Friday, 15 January 2021

REYMEAD FIRECREST

 

Richard Brown found this little gem of a firecrest in Reymead Wood in the middle of West Mersea originally on Tuesday 12th. The bird was still present four days later on Friday 15th when Richard returned and got this great picture of it. The firecrest was seen on Wednesday both in the morning and the afternoon, although it was sometimes hard to locate when it stayed silent.

Two snow buntings were still at East Mersea Point on Friday 15th, both quite confiding and their markings helping camouflage them along the strandline. The purple sandpiper was feeding close into the beach near the Point as the tide came in late morning, also two sanderling, as well as a few ringed plovers and turnstones. On the mudflats were 150 oystercatchers, 40 avocets and 1000 dunlin while offshore were six red-breasted mergansers, three common scoters, four great crested grebes and a distant Slavonian grebe to the south-west.

Thursday's inch of rain has waterlogged the park's grazing fields more and filled up the nearby borrowdyke. On Friday morning the wet fields were filled with wildfowl and waders with 1500 wigeon, 490 black-tailed godwits, 100 teal, 14 shoveler, 12 gadwall, 80 lapwing, two greylag geese, 50 redshank, 30 dunlin and 30 curlew. A Cetti's warbler sang by the borrowdyke, a rock pipit and eight reed buntings near the Point. A pale-bellied brent goose was feeding with 300 brent geese near Ivy Farm and a mistle thrush was amongst the mistletoe near the Golfhouse, while two fieldfares were also noted.
A red squirrel was seen scrambling through trees in the country park near the entrance.

At West Mersea a kingfisher flew across the water towards Cobmarsh Island on Friday. It was also reported in this area a week earlier being seen from the Mulroy houseboat as it fished close-by.
A red squirrel was seen in The Lane by Ron Harvey and earlier on Friday a red squirrel was also seen (perhaps the same one) in the Firs Chase garden

It rained throughout Thursday 14th soaking the fields by the Strood seawall even more than before. As the tide covered the nearby mudflats many waders were flying onto the muddy fields to continue their feeding. Some of the birds seen through the drizzle were 200 dunlin, 200 golden plover, ten grey plover, 20 redshank, 15 curlew, a single black-tailed godwit and at least five ringed plover along with a few lapwings
The bearded tit showed itself a couple of times amongst the reeds and a Cetti's warbler also called from a bush.


This handsome male sparrowhawk was photographed by the Legion Field in West Mersea on Tuesday 12th. A sparrowhawk was seen in Reymead Wood on Wednesday whilst waiting for the firecrest to show and a sparrowhawk was seen by Ian Black in his Mersea Avenue garden that day too.

A female blackcap was photographed on Wednesday by Michael Thorley in his East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane.

The blackcap was seen feeding at the fat balls in Michaels garden.

As well as the blackcap, also seen from Michael's garden were a stock dove and two red-legged partridges.

On Tuesday 12th offshore from Coopers Beach were eight red-throated divers, three Slavonian grebes, 100+ great crested grebes and four common scoter. On the flooded marshes beside Coopers Beach was a big flock of fifty snipe flying around with another twenty noted in the area too. Also 110 curlew, 20 ringed plover, 15 turnstone, four little egrets, eight redwing and a buzzzard.

At Maydays farm on Tuesday Martin Cock saw 12 pintail in the Pyefleet, two stonechats and 40 corn buntings flying over. Further along the seawall Andy Field noted at Reeveshall four red-breasted mergansers, a pair of stonechat, a few fieldfares, a barn owl on Langenhoe and a Chinese water deer on Reeveshall.

Along the Strood seawall on Monday 11th a kingfisher was perched along the central field ditch, a peregrine flew over Ray Island, two buzzards and a marsh harrier also noted. Rising in the air over Strood Hill were 1000 golden plover, while in the wet fields were 40 ringed plover and two rock pipits near the seawall. The usual flock of avocets were in the channel with 20 noted on Monday.
Two sanderling were feeding on mud by the West Mersea Hard, as were the usual few turnstones.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

PYEFLEET RED-CRESTEDS


Five red-crested pochard made a surprise appearance in the Pyefleet Channel on a dull and cold Sunday 10th. The four males and a female were first seen flying high as they headed down channel, before dropping down onto the water. It wasn't until they swam for a few minutes into view that the birds could be seen as red-crested pochards

After swimming slowly back up the Pyefleet for about ten minutes, the red-crested pochards flew 500m further up the channel and landed opposite Maydays beside some red-breasted mergansers. After a few minutes here, they took to the air again and flew low further up the Pyefleet as if heading to the Strood.
Last year a male red-crested pochard was seen in East Mersea near the Oyster Fishery on 20th May, the first island sighting for about fifteen years.

Also of note along the Pyefleet were 14 red-breasted mergansers, 7 pintail, 150+ avocets and 500+ knot. In and around the Maydays and Reeveshall fields were three marsh harriers, two buzzards, four corn buntings, three yellowhammers, stonechat, 30 linnets, 10 fieldfares, sparrowhawk and two green woodpeckers.

A common seal in the Pyefleet Channel was having a sleep on this blue floating pontoon.

Later on Sunday, Martin Cock visited Maydays and reported a short-eared owl, merlin, two marsh harriers and 12 red-breasted mergansers
Ian Black saw c55 grey geese fly over Ray Island on Sunday afternoon that possibly sounded like pink-feet geese.

On a sunny Saturday 9th a little owl was sunning itself on the side of a big Cupressus-type tree at the front of the East Mersea Youth Camp (pictured here heavily zoomed-in). It's probably the same bird that was seen a few times last spring perched on some nearby poplar trees.

At the nearby marshes beside the boating lake a marsh harrier flew over, ten snipe were flying about, while beside some fields to the west of East Mersea church 15 fieldfare, two redwing, two yellowhammer, ten reed bunting, chiffchaff and two buzzards were seen.

The black brant - pictured centre standing upright facing right, was feeding with 100 brent geese in a field between Cross Lane and Waldegraves. The leucistic starling was feeding with 100 starlings in Waldegraves and two song thrushes nearby. A great northern diver was offshore from the Esplanade and two Mediterranean gulls.

Along the Strood Channel on Saturday Andy Field saw a marsh harrier, buzzard, couple of avocets and a stonechat as well as a number of meadow pipits and rock pipits.
Two short-eared owls were seen by Martin Cock hunting along the Maydays borrowdyke on Saturday, also seen were a marsh harrier, buzzard, two stonechats, two corn buntings and three yellowhammers.

In West Mersea early evening on Saturday, Richard Brown reported a tawny owl over his Barfield Road garden. At East Mersea a barn owl was reported by Donna Moncur flying near the country park at dusk.

There wasn't much to see in the fog on Friday 8th, although a bearded tit was heard calling from the Strood reedbed. Also along the Strood seawall were seen a stonechat, snipe, 25 avocets, 300 golden plover, a marsh harrier over Ray Island and five redwing near the caravan park.

Also on the foggy Friday, Martin Cock reported two marsh harriers and two stonechats at Maydays, while Michael Thorley could only see at Coopers Beach 65 curlew on the football pitch. A buzzard was seen flying south over Ian Black's house in Mersea Avenue, while Jonathan Bustard saw 60 starlings in his garden.

This sparrowhawk was photographed by Shaun Bater as it perched on his garden fence in Estuary Park Road on Thursday. A red squirrel was also seen earlier in the garden.

Another of Shaun's photographs of the sparrowhawk in his garden.

On Thursday along the Strood seawall, two marsh harriers, two buzzards, two kestrels and two stonechats were seen while along the channel were 30 avocets and 300 golden plover of note.
A blackcap was seen in the Firs Chase garden on Thursday morning.

A Chinese water deer was seen near Bower Hall by Martin Cock as he walked along the seawall there on Thursday, also seen were a stonechat, redwing and fieldfare.

Richard Brown managed to find and photograph the purple sandpiper near East Mersea Point just before the mid afternoon high tide on Wednesday 6th when it flew in from the west with some ringed plovers.

Offshore from the West Mersea Esplanade on Wednesday, Andy Field reported seeing two great northern divers, female eider, red-necked grebe, 16 red-breasted mergansers and a marsh harrier. Michael Thorley reported three great northern divers and two black-throated divers offshore.

Along the Strood seawall on Wednesday the bearded tit was seen briefly as it perched up on some reeds, also two marsh harriers, three buzzards, stonechat, 25 avocets, with fifty ringed plovers seen feeding in the wet fields.
Later on Wednesday a short-eared owl was seen in the Strood fields area by Jonathan Bustard, the bird later seen perching on the seawall sluice.

Three snow buntings were still on the East Mersea Point on Tuesday 5th- the birds skulking amongst the grass and other plants making them hard to spot until you almost stood on them.
In the river Colne were five red-breasted mergansers.

The Golfhouse paddock was very wet on Tuesday and had twenty teal feeding in it as were fifty wigeon. In the nearby park grazing fields were 1500 wigeon, 70 teal, 50 black-tailed godwits, 90 greylag geese, seven gadwall and 50 redshank. A tufted duck was in the Golfhouse dyke and ten shoveler were on the saltmarsh lagoons. In the various hedges were 100 fieldfares, ten redwing and a mistle thrush.

The red-necked grebe was seen by Martin Cock offshore from Kingsland Road on Tuesday.

I had to dodge showers along the north side of the Island on Monday 4th, here a rainbow pictured from the Maydays seawall. A pale-bellied brent goose was feeding in the fields with 800 brent geese, also a big flock in the wet wheat fields of 1000 golden plover, 100 lapwing and also 70 grey plovers and 50 dunlin. Three marsh harriers, ten fieldfares and a stonechat were also noted at Maydays while in the Pyefleet were 1000 knot, red-breasted merganser and 100 avocets.

At East Mersea Point three snow buntings and the purple sandpiper were seen by Martin Cock on the wet Monday morning.

A red squirrel was seen visiting the nut feeder in the Firs Chase garden about midday on Wednesday 

Sunday, 3 January 2021

WHITE-FRONTS DROP-IN

Happy New Year folks.
Five white-fronted geese dropped down onto one of the grazing fields at the country park on Sunday 3rd. They had circled round several times mid morning before deciding to land beside the big flock of wigeon

Four snow buntings were feeding on the beach at the East Mersea Point on Sunday - present for their fourth day. Also at the Point were the purple sandpiper seen close as the tide pushed it in, a sanderling, rock pipit and a stonechat by the seawall.

The wet country park grazing fields are providing perfect feeding conditions for waders and wildfowl with the water now flowing off the field into the borrowdyke. Across both fields on Sunday were 1000 wigeon, 12 gadwall, four snipe, fifty lapwing, 20+ black-tailed godwits, 8 greylag geese as well as a few brent geese, teal and shoveler

A buzzard and a sparrowhawk were perched a few metres apart in the alders by the park pond on Sunday. The hedgerows by the Golfhouse were busy with at least fifty fieldfares, 30 redwings, several blackbirds and a noisy mistle thrush all feeding on the berries.

Offshore from the West Mersea Esplanade on Sunday were three great northern divers, two common scoter, two eider, a pair of goldeneye, as well as a marsh harrier flying low north over the Blackwater from Bradwell to Mersea.
Earlier in the day Andy Field saw from the Esplanade, two great northern divers, seven red-breasted mergansers, eight common scoter and by Cobmarsh Island five bar-tailed godwits, while a shag was seen by Martin Cock.
The covey of seven red-legged partridge was seen in the field by Chapmans Lane by Steve Entwistle.

An obliging male green woodpecker was feeding on the grass at Seaview Caravan Park on Saturday 2nd.
Offshore from the Esplanade were two eider, shag and red-necked grebe noted on Saturday by Steve Entwistle. Two great northern divers were seen later in the day.
At Waldegraves 65 sanderling were noted on the beach, 300 brent geese feeding in a wheat field and a big flock of 1000+ wood pigeons dropping down into a wood.
Ian Black reported a buzzard over St Peters and a blackcap in his Mersea Avenue garden on Saturday.
A kingfisher was seen along the Strood seawall by Jonathan Bustard on Saturday.

In the Coopers Beach and boating lake area on Saturday were a marsh harrier high over, great northern diver close-in on the sea, also 200 great crested grebes offshore. Waders gathered on the marshes were 90 curlew, 30 golden plover, 10 ringed plover, 30 redshank and twenty dunlin along with two Mediterranean gulls
In the hedges and fields west of the East Mersea church were 70+ fieldfares, 12 redwing and two yellowhammers.

At Cudmore Grove on Saturday were four snow buntings and purple sandpiper at the Point, a black-throated diver in the Colne and three Slavonian grebes offshore.

A flock of 400 brent geese was feeding in one of the Strood fields on a murky start to the New Year on Friday 1st. A pale bellied brent was feeding with a few other brent geese in front of the Firs Caravan park.
The bearded tit was heard calling from the dyke reedbed, a pair of stonechat was still present and four red-legged partridge were by the Strood Hill. In the channel were 30 avocets, 200 golden plover and a Mediterranean gull while two marsh harriers flew south-west over Ray Island and two buzzard also noted.
A flock of 34 fieldfares flew west high over Firs Chase and a mistle thrush was perched by mistletoe by the Firs Caravan park.
Sixty-six species were logged during the morning walk on New Year's Day between Firs Chase, Feldy View and along the Strood seawall.

Andy Field reported seeing three snow buntings at the East Mersea Point, also the purple sandpiper on the mud and a Slavonian grebe offshore from the park on Friday. Four Slavonian grebes were seen later offshore by Jonathan Bustard while Steve Entwistle saw a red-throated diver from the park, as well as a buzzard, three stonechats and near Mersea Barns 450 fieldfares and ten redwing.

Along the Pyefleet Channel on a cold and misty Friday were noted by Michael Thorley - six red-breasted mergansers, 191 avocets, four great crested grebes, 30 wigeon, ten grey plover, 100 redshank and fifty knot. On the Reeveshall fields were 280 brent geese, 50 curlew, 100 lapwing and 12 black-tailed godwits.

This kestrel was photographed by Michael Thorley in his East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

TAKING STOCK

 A pair of stock doves was perched in a tree beside the Firs Chase Caravan Park on Thursday.
Earlier in the morning a flock of about fifty white-fronted geese flew north west over Firs Chase and out over the Hard, having initially flown over Martin Cock's house in The Coverts.
Another smaller flock of fifteen white-fronted geese flew down the Strood Channel late morning, heading towards Salcott.

Along the Strood seawall were a pair of stonechat, eight reed bunting, buzzard, four red-legged partridge, redwing, 24 avocets and in the field 25 ringed plover were roosting with 100 golden plover. A snipe flew out of the dyke while another was seen in flight over Ray Island.

At Coopers Beach on Thursday, Michael Thorley reported a close red-throated diver and common buzzard, while off West Mersea Jonathan Bustard saw a red-throated diver from the Esplanade.

At least four snow buntings were at East Mersea Point on Thursday 31st and photographed by Bob Covey.

On Wednesday 30th at Coopers Beach four red-throated divers, two Slavonian grebes, 100+ great crested grebes were offshore while over the marshes were a kingfisher, ten snipe and a Mediterranean gull. Sixty fieldfares flew over the fields near the East Mersea church.

At Reeveshall on Wednesday morning a marsh harrier was sitting in a field, a fox ran across a grass field spooking 300 brent geese off in the process. In the distance three great white egrets and two little egrets were seen feeding on the Geedon saltmarsh, while two marsh harriers were over Langenhoe.

Offshore from the West Mersea Esplanade on Wednesday, Jonathan Bustard reported a great northern diver, seven red-breasted mergansers and two Slavonian grebes and also a Mediterranean gull over the Post Office. A great spotted woodpecker was heard drumming beside the Firs Caravan Park by Ian Black. 

A red-necked grebe was reasonably close to the West Mersea beach between Kingsland Road and the Monkey Beach on Tuesday 29th. The calm sea allowed good views of it as it fed, diving regularly and on one occasion coming back up to eat a crab. Also showing offshore very well that morning was a guillemot found by Steve Entwistle from the Esplanade as it was swam quickly west towards the Monkey Beach.

Offshore from East Mersea a black-throated diver and two Slavonian grebes were seen by Steve Entwistle from the country park. A pair of ravens was also seen by Steve landing on the conifers and being mobbed by carrion crows in the south-west corner of the park, before they headed off west to Coopers Beach. The black-throated diver was also seen by Martin Cock from Coopers Beach, who also noted a shag close-in and a grey wagtail flying towards the church. The black brant was seen in the field opposite Meeting Lane by Steve. At Maydays farm a barn owl made a rare appearance late afternoon for Martin Cock, who also saw a merlin, two buzzards and fifty fieldfares.

The black brant was seen in the Strood Channel on Tuesday 29th - pictured here facing left. Earlier it had been feeding in the wheat field with 1000 brent geese and a pale-bellied brent goose. Two marsh harriers, two buzzards, sparrowhawk and a kestrel carrying and plucking a turnstone by the seawall were all noted, also a stonechat, snipe, five Mediterranean gulls, 10 avocets while roosting in the fields were 88 ringed plover. Three red-breasted mergansers were in the Mersea Quarters.

A calm and sunny Monday 28th at the flooded marsh near the East Mersea boating lake, looking towards Coopers Beach. Seen in the area were the black brant, two pale-bellied brent geese, 400 brent geese, ten Mediterranean gulls, 110 curlew, 50 redshank, 18 snipe, five little egrets, 20 dunlin, kingfisher and 12 sanderling. In the hedges west of the church were 70 fieldfare, two redwings, 3 yellowhammers, five reed buntings and sparrowhawk. The male stonechat was still by Coopers beach play area.

The flat sea opposite the boating lake and Coopers Beach provided views of six red-throated divers, two Slavonian grebes, 310 great crested grebes and a distant red-necked grebe,

Offshore from West Mersea on Monday Steve Entwistle along with Martin Cock and Richard Brown reported red-necked grebe, two red-throated divers and three great northern divers.
A great white egret was seen by Martin on the Ray Island saltmarsh near the Strood.
 
Two pairs of stonechat were seen at either end of the Strood seawall on Sunday 27th, the male here perched up near the caravan park.

The sun was shining on the Strood on Sunday morning after a night of rain with the seawall path wet and muddy. The tide was coming in during the morning walk with 24 avocets and 20 knot of interest along the channel. In the wet fields were 500 golden plover, 100 ringed plovers, 150 dunlin, 10 grey plover and 20 redshank. A marsh harrier was also noted flying over Ray Island.

Ian Black reported two siskin heard calling in flight over The Lane on Sunday afternoon. A shag was watched from the Esplanade on Sunday by Martin Cock and Steve Entwistle.

On Saturday 26th a walk past the Rewsalls fields and to the East Mersea boating lake provided a nice variety of birds. The black brant and two pale-bellied brent geese were feeding with 700 brent geese in the fields where there was also 150 fieldfare, a redwing, leucistic starling, four yellowhammers, eight reed buntings with several house sparrows and 20+ chaffinch near a game crop.

On the flooded Coopers marsh at high tide on Saturday the kingfisher perched on fenceposts, 16 snipe flew about, among 50 curlew was one with a colour-flag H31 which appears to be from a Dutch breeding population, also 30 redshank, five Mediterranean gulls, 70 carrion crows, two buzzards, rock pipit while offshore were three Slavonian grebes.

At Gyants Marsh on Boxing Day a woodcock was seen flying away by Tom Fleetwood.

Two red squirrels were together at the feeder in the Firs Chase garden at lunchtime on Christmas Day.

Shaun Bater reported a badger feeding in his Estuary Park Road garden on the night of Boxing Day.

Friday, 25 December 2020

SEASONAL GREETINGS


A Happy Christmas to everyone.

A song thrush which recently reappeared in our Firs Chase garden after its autumn break, has started singing outside our front of house.

A sunny but chilly walk along the Strood seawall on Christmas Day with the fields getting more waterlogged with each rainy day. A marsh harrier and a peregrine were seen flying together over the top end of the Strood channel for a few minutes before drifting away eastwards up towards Wellhouse farm. The peregrine was making a few stoops on waders on the channel while the female marsh harrier circled above and despite the peregrine seemingly flying faster, the marsh harrier seemed to follow and keep up with it. Over on Ray Island a merlin was seen disturbing a few birds off the saltmarsh, as it flew low and fast before alighting on a post.

The tide was still receding on Friday morning with the main bird flocks of interest being 150 wigeon, 100 teal, 300 golden plover and 25 avocets. The pair of stonechats was at the seawall end near the caravan site, two fieldfares flew off the Island, forty skylarks and four red-legged partridges were feeding in the fields.

A turnstone was feeding around the Strood seawall sluice on Thursday 24th. A bearded tit was heard calling from the main reedbed in the dyke, while feeding in the wet fields were 500 golden plover, 35 ringed plover and 20 dunlin. A marsh harrier flew up channel, where 27 avocets were the only waders of interest seen.
A large female peregrine was seen by Ian Black taking a redshank above the end of Ray Island on Thursday.

On a wet Wednesday 23rd along the Reeveshall seawall near Shop Lane, three marsh harriers, four yellowhammers, a singing corn bunting, 50 fieldfares and a stonechat were seen over the fields. In the Pyefleet nine red-breasted mergansers, 1000 golden plover, 1000 knot, 50 avocets and 200 lapwing were noted. A mistle thrush was seen by Fishponds Wood where two red squirrels were also seen.

On Tuesday 22nd this common buzzard was photographed by Andy Field perched in the alders near the country park pond. Also seen there were 101 greylag geese, 1000 wigeon, 212 black-tailed godwits, 100+ lapwing, 11 snipe feeding in the fields, also two Cetti's warblers heard, water rail called while offshore were two common scoters, 100 great crested grebes and two divers sps.

Offshore from the Esplanade on Tuesday morning Martin Cock reported three great northern divers, three eiders while two pale bellied brent geese were among the brent geese opposite Meeting Lane, also the leucistic starling there. Later at Maydays a pale-bellied brent goose was feeding in the brent flock there, also a kingfisher by the sluice and three common seals and a grey seal in the Pyefleet channel.

Steve Entwistle saw a great northern diver and 75 great crested grebes from the Esplanade on Tuesday afternoon while Michael Thorley reported a possible Slavonian grebe offshore from the Esplanade.
Ian Black watched four bats flying round his Mersea Avenue garden late on Tuesday afternoon.


The regular male stonechat was feeding amongst the reedmace in the dyke at the south-west end of the Strood seawall on Tuesday 22nd.

This pair of stonechat has been around for a couple of months although some days they're not always seen. Also since the autumn the other pair of stonechat has been frequenting the opposite end of the Strood seawall / dyke.

The bearded tit was heard calling from the reeds on Tuesday and also a Cetti's warbler called from a bush by the dyke near the caravan park. Two marsh harriers and a buzzard flew over the Ray, while along the channel were 200 redshank, 27 avocets and 300 golden plover.

The great spotted woodpecker is often seen in Firs Chase, this male seen from the garden on Thursday 24th.

Also seen from the Firs Chase garden was this kestrel perched in the neighbours on the 22nd. A male sparrowhawk swooped low past the bird feeders in the garden on Wednesday 23rd.

Highlights on Monday 21st during a walk along the Strood seawall were two female/ immature merlins having a brief tussle with each other on the Ray Island saltmarsh. One bird had been watched for a few minutes as it sat on a post before it quickly flew off to fly at this other merlin that was flying nearby. One dropped onto the saltmarsh while the other was watched as it flew the length of the Ray Saltings. A marsh harrier, buzzard and a kestrel were also seen during the walk.

The female kingfisher perched on a bush beside the dyke before flying away to perch on the seawall sluice. Three stonechats were seen along the dyke, while 24 skylarks and five red-legged partridges were in the fields. Also feeding in the waterlogged wheat fields were 70 ringed plovers and 40 grey plovers. In the Strood Channel were 1000 dunlin and 30 avocets.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

BARNACLES, BRANTS AND BRENTS

Three barnacle geese were seen by Andy Field on Sunday 20th flying into the country park's grazing fields at East Mersea. The geese were photographed by Andy, shown here.

The origin of these barnacle geese is unknown - this is the first sighting on the island this year.
The geese spent most of the morning feeding in the fields but not really keeping close company with either the wigeon or other brent geese.
All the birds in the fields including the barnacle geese took to the air when a peregrine appeared low over the seawall and flew fast over the fields scattering all the waders and wildfowl, before it continued over the fields and the houses north-westwards.
Earlier Andy had watched a sparrowhawk catch a starling in the fields until a carrion crow intervened, allowing the starling to fly away a bit scathed.

This black-tailed godwit was photographed by Andy in the grazing fields on Sunday, one of about sixty black-tailed godwits feeding.

The colour ring combination of Red Red - White//White revealed this black-tailed godwit to have been ringed in September 2019 at Snettisham in north-west Norfolk.
Andy also saw two marsh harriers, 45 avocets on the mud and two stonechats. The Cetti's warbler was also calling loudly and singing briefly from the reeds along the borrowdyke. In the grazing fields were 1000 wigeon, 100 lapwing and 200 brent geese, while 40 shoveler were on the Golfhouse pools.

In the Pyefleet channel on Sunday near the Oyster Fishery, 200 avocets were on the mud at the east end of the channel, while forty black-tailed godwits were feeding on mud near Reeveshall.

At Chapmans Lane the covey of seven red-legged partridge was seen on Sunday by Steve Entwistle.

Two black brants were seen in the flock of 800+ dark-bellied brent geese on Saturday 19th feeding in the winter wheat field near the East Mersea church. This picture was the only one managed of either brant, with its head up facing right showing the prominent white neck collar. Most of the time the birds were moving around within the flock and keeping their heads down or facing away, making it tricky to get a picture of one. The big flock of brent geese was spread across the field with the black brants at either end about 200m apart. Also seen were the two pale-bellied brent geese.

After a couple of loud shots were heard, the brent geese flew off the fields and landed at the nearby boating lake near the Youth Camp where they rested for half an hour before flying back to feed on more winter wheat.
A sparrowhawk was seen by Mersea Barns and later a common buzzard flew low over the fields to the flooded Rewsalls marshes. There were 75 curlew, 30+ redshank and four little egrets on the marshes.
Also noted were fifty fieldfares and a flock of 20 magpies near Coopers Beach.

Eight sanderling were feeding along the water's edge on the beach just west of the Youth Camp on Saturday, while five pied wagtails were on the beach at Waldegraves. Also at the Waldegraves pond were a little egret, two redshank, ten mallard and ten moorhens. A sparrowhawk was seen landing on top of a beach hut at Seaview holiday park.