Worth Marshes is a large area of reclaimed farmland dominated by open landscapes and wetland habitats. It contains small wooded pockets as well as a vast ditch system bordered by shrubs and hedges. The RSPB recently purchased much of the land and have begun creating the Lydden Valley nature reserve.
The ditches are alive with Sedge and Reed Warblers in Spring and you can hear the iconic sound of Cuckoos resonating across the marshes. Garganey and Little Ringed Plover are possible on the small pools. Spot invertebrates such as the Large Red Damselfly and Orange Tip butterfly and keep one eye out for Water Voles along the ditches.
In summer, this is one of the best areas in the UK to see the declining Turtle Dove, which nests in the dense hedgerows and bushes on the edges. These also provide excellent habitat for Lesser Whitethroats and Cetti’s Warblers. This is prime time for dragonflies and damselflies and many of our rarer species, such as Norfolk Hawker and Scarce Chaser, are found here.
In autumn, keep your eyes low for Kingfishers but don’t forget to look to the skies as well for hunting Hobbies. Expect Green Sandpipers and Lapwings on the pools and maybe something scarcer like Cattle Egret.
In winter, Worth is a great place for a visit. Keep your eyes open for White-fronted, Tundra Bean, and Pink-footed Geese but also for Bewick’s Swans during this time. You might bump into the elusive Jack Snipe or the secretive Water Rails. If you’re lucky Bearded Tit and Merlin will pay you a visit too.