Skylarking around Dengie Deliveries

Annual Report delivery day #2 took us out to the Dengie Peninsula, a stretch of Essex coastline that is formed by the Rivers Crouch and Blackwater, both tidal, and the North Sea to the east.  The boundary of the Dengie Hundred ran from North Fambridge to west of Maldon.

We drove out to via Purleigh to Bradwell on Sea, home of the power station (not The Power Station – Robert Palmer and escapee Duran Duran band members) and the Chapel, where St Cedd landed to teach us heathens about Christianity in 654 AD.  We walked down to the Chapel, then instead of turning left, the usual route that walkers take along the coastline towards the power station, we decided to talk the right hand path that tracks along the saltmarshes towards Burnham on Crouch.  We walked for a while then stopped for a packup lunch and watch a bit of nature.

I have one of those apps that helps you identify birds by their call, so when I set it off, it told me that the riotous squawking was coming from Skylarks. We couldn’t see any but they were making an almighty racket.  Then there was a different sound, just in one particular spot, and the app told me that was a Redshank.  Again, couldn’t see any but this one was rather vocal.  We also spotted, but didn’t hear some gulls, mallards, a coote and a solitary egret type bird.  There were some other sea birds a bit further out be we couldn’t make them out.

After our 4 mile round trip, we started our deliveries.  Reports for Bradwell, only we went up and down the same stretch of road about 4 times trying to find a house name.  Then the return journey via Southminster to Tillingham and then Burnham on Crouch.

When we arrived at Burnham we decided to have another little walk along the river edge.  And stop for the obligatory ice cream.  What a palaver that turned out to be. There are two ice cream outlets opposite each other.  One seemed to have a long queue, the other didn’t, so we joined the one with the shorter queue.  Then we noticed that they had a sign telling you that basically they’d run out of all flavours of ice cream except two.  So we turned around and joined the other queue.  It took FOREVER to get served.  There seemed to be four staff, one on ice creams and the other three taking it in turns serving chips and hot food, or standing around chatting.  The young lady serving the ice cream seemed to have the memory of a goldfish.  If you gave her too many options, she just couldn’t remember it.  And from the time of taking your order, and your money, to actually starting your order, she had everything jumbled up.  It must have taken at least 20 minutes to get our order.  We did wonder whether it was worth it, but when you so close to the front of the queue, you kind of have to stay with it.

Anyway, eventually with ice cream in hand, we continued our walk passed some houseboats and the playing field to as far as we could get along the harbour, where the marina is.   We clocked up another 1.7 miles.

A leisurely drive back home through the countryside and back into the city, on a beautifully day.  Tomorrow’s adventure takes us north!


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