This morning the weather looked good even though the stormy winds were still strong, a good day for a long overdue trip to the seaside . . .
We drove down the Colne valley to Brightlingsea on the Colne Estuary and after a warming pot of tea and substantial biscuit in a lovely cafe near the harbour we set on on a bracing walk . . .
We walked along a promenade lined with cheerful coloured beach huts, we remembered seeing these from our walks on Mersea Island on the far side of the wide estuary. This morning the tide was in and the wind whipped up waves that sent spray over walkers and dogs that got too near to the edge of the pathway.
The waves were crashing around Bateman's Tower, a WWII lookout post for spotting enemy aircraft heading towards London from across the North Sea.
To our left were the huge blocks of stone making up the sea defences and the choppy water of the Colne Estuary. Between the water of the land are fragments of salt-marsh, you can see the spray from the waves hitting the muddy channels that cut through the low hummocks of vegetation.
We had hoped to see some wildlife but the wild winds meant they were probably tucked into the reedbeds and low scrubby bushes. However we did spot a small flock of birds which landed on the marshes, zooming in with my camera I managed to see they were Brent Geese and also some Curlew.
I don't think I've seen a Brent Goose before. They're surprisingly small, we spotted two Brent Geese in a field behind the sea wall, a rook landed next to them and was almost the same size!
Walking against the wind was hard work and trying to look at birds through binoculars was impossible as you couldn't hold them steady. So we took a route that turned inland along another high earth bank called The Great Divide!.
We circled round though fields divided by reed beds, the views were wide expanses of green and ochre.
Eventually we got back to the outskirts of Brightlingsea, through housing estates and then streets of Victorian red brick cottages. I made a mental note to return on a day when the interesting bric-a-brac shops would be open.
We decided to drive a bit further along the coast to Clacton-on-sea for lunch and a quick breezy stroll along the pier and the promenade gardens before heading home.
... It's almost time to watch the last episode of War & Peace ... Oh Pierre! so I'll sign off