Bradwell Bird Observatory (BBO)

Bradwell Bird Observatory (BBO)

Description


This 200 acre reserve, overlooking the North Sea, is jointly managed by Essex Birdwatching Society and Essex Wildlife Trust, it consists of extensive shell bank and saltmarsh with some areas of scrub and copse backed by arable farmland. It is designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Protection Area and is part of the Dengie National Nature Reserve.

The mixture of habitat hosts a wide variety of species, the area being particularly notable during autumn/winter and migration periods.

 

Notable Species


All Year

Grey Heron

Little Egret

Shelduck

Sparrowhawk

Kestrel

Peregrine

Redshank

Oystercatcher

Ringed Plover

Green Woodpecker

Rock Pipit

Stonechat

Corn Bunting

Skylark

Linnet

Spring

Chiffchaff

Willow Warbler

Blackcap

Common Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Gannet

Common Tern

Sandwich Tern

Little Tern

Sanderling

Common Swift

Barn Swallow

Summer

Chiffchaff

Willow Warbler

Blackcap

Common Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Common Tern

Common Swift

Barn Swallow

Hobby

Autumn

Common Tern

Sandwich Tern

Little Tern

Great Skua

Arctic Skua

Pomarine Skua

Gannet

Sanderling

Greenshank

Grey Plover

Golden Plover

Knot

Dunlin

Whimbrel

Curlew

Bar-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Pintail

Teal

Wigeon

Dark-bellied Brent Goose

Whinchat

Wheatear

Winter

Greenshank

Grey Plover

Golden Plover

Knot

Dunlin

Curlew

Bar-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Great Northern Diver

Red-throated Diver

Black-throated Diver

Common Scoter

Teal

Wigeon

Dark-bellied Brent Goose

Redwing

Fieldfare

Merlin

Hen Harrier

Short-eared Owl

Past rarities include

Pallas’s Warbler

Short-toed Treecreeper

Pallas’s Warbler

Isabelline Shrike

Yellow-browed Warbler

Turtle Dove

Osprey

Montagu’s Harrier

Black Brant

Access Details


Access Details


Upon arrival from the car park, passing the historic St Peters Chapel, one has a choice of turning either north or south and observing the reserve from the sea wall.

Northern trail

This trail of approximately 0.4km (0.25 miles) in length takes you to Sales Point where the public beach can be accessed for views over the northern tip of the reserve. There are also some areas of copse which are particularly attractive to migrating birds.

Southern trail

Follow the sea wall for approximately 1.2km (0.75 miles) viewing the reserve and sea beyond on the east side and grassland/farmland to the west.

 

The observatory (often staffed on Wednesdays and Sundays) is located at Linnets Cottage within the copse just southeast of the Chapel. There are a number of feeders within the copse which attract a good selection of bird species.

Map