Abberton Reservoir

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Abberton Reservoir

Abberton Reservoir

The 1200 acre Abberton Reservoir near Colchester (Essex) is one of Europe’s most renowned wetland sites. It is of international importance as a safe haven for wild duck, swans and other water birds, whether resident, passing through on migration or over-wintering. The reservoir is situated close to east coast migration routes and, with its surrounding envelope of pasture and tree plantations, is a welcome sight to tired birds.
The sheer numbers of wildfowl in autumn and winter cannot fail to impress. Total numbers of the top seven species wigeon, teal, mallard, pochard, tufted duck, coot and black-headed gull can run to many thousands. Added to this there can be hundreds of shoveler, gadwall, goldeneye, pintail and great crested grebe.
In summer there is the unusual sight of cormorants nesting in trees, one of the few places in Britain where this occurs, and the largest tree nesting colony in Britain. They suddenly began doing this in 1981 and have continued ever since.
Late summer brings the spectacle of large numbers of swans and ducks moulting replacing their worn-out feathers on the reservoir. Safety is vital while they do so because they replace all their flight feathers at once, which means that for a while they are unable to fly. In dry winters water levels fall temporarily to expose large expanses of mud. This attracts large numbers of passage waders such as ruff and spotted redshank to the reservoir from the coast, further confirmation of the great value of the site to birds.
Spring and Autumn migration can bring Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Terns including Black Tern.
Click here for a location map....
Black Tern illustration by Hilary Burn, from The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe and the Western Palearctic. Mark Beaman and Steve Madge

Essex Wildlife Trust Reserves
The Essxe Wildlife trust manage many reserves including Abbotts Hall Farm, Backwarden, Brookes Reserve, Great Holland Pits, Little Haven, Rushy Mead and other wonderrful wild places.There are also seven visitor centres ,including Abberton Reservoir.Click here for full details.......
Essex Wildlife Trust Reserves
bird photographs from Abberton
Video from Abberton
Abberton Twitter
Abberton local patch blogs and links
Abberton local services and accommodation
Suggested walks around Abberton

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Essex |  Abberton Reservoir

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