Saturday, 17 October 2020

CONFIDING SNOW BUNTING

A snow bunting was playing hard to find in recent days on the beach at the East Mersea Point- here tracked down by Shaun Bater on Friday 16th,
 
Shaun Bater managed to track the snow bunting down after an hour walking around looking for it and took these four photographs of it on Friday. 

The snow bunting is very confiding and stays still and well camouflaged among the shells and shingle and is almost stood on while looking for it. Shaun got to within six to eight feet from the bird for these photos.

Another of Shaun's pictures of the snow bunting. The bird was first seen earlier on Friday morning by Andy Field.

Along the Strood seawall on Friday a male hen harrier was watched hunting over the grass field for about fifteen minutes. It was quartering the field, occasionally dropping down and then back flying again. After a while some carrion crows started mobbing it and it disappeared out of view near the seawall. The bird must have returned a couple of hours later as it was seen again by Ron Harvey.

Also seen along the Strood seawall was a kingfisher along the dyke, three stonechats, fieldfare, two rock pipit, leucistic starling with 1000 starlings in a field, buzzard, seven red-legged partridge, greenshank, 200 golden plover, eight lesser redpoll over as were two siskin and ten redwing near Feldy View,

Five lesser redpolls flew over the Firs Chase garden, also chiffchaff heard there and two visits during the day by a hummingbird hawkmoth.

Near Meeting Lane in East Mersea Michael Thorley reported a flock of forty chaffinch with eight goldfinch and a brambling feeding in a recently harvested maize field, also a goldcrest in a hedge.

A meadow pipit was calling from the side of the Strood seawall on Thursday 15th along with three others while three rock pipits were also noted during the walk. Four stonechats were seen, the leucistic starling with 1000 starlings, two common buzzards, marsh harrier, 150 brent geese and ten knot were also seen from the seawall. Near Feldy View two fieldfares, five redwing and one lesser redpoll were noted while a common buzzard flew low over Firs Chase gardens being mobbed by crows.
A common seal was watched swimming up the Strood Channel within 100m of the Strood causeway.
A small white, red admiral and common darter were seen in the Firs Chase garden.

Angela Buckley visited the Strood on Thursday and saw a pair of stonechats, marsh harrier and a buzzard during the afternoon.
Ian Black saw two sparrowhawks over Ray Island, a buzzard over the High Street and five redwing flying over on Thuraday.

On Wednesday 14th the tide began covering the mud along the Strood Channel late morning. Birds noted from the seawall included 25 brent geese, four Canada geese flying, 25 shelduck, 50 wigeon, greenshank, marsh harrier, fifty skylarks, two stonechats, three rock pipits and a Cetti's warbler. In the Feldy View area nine siskin, a lesser repoll, brambling were seen flying over while in bushes were five redwing, chiffchaff and ten blackbirds.

At Coopers Beach on Wednesday Martin Cock saw four gannets offshore and a merlin over the sea, while at Maydays there was a kingfisher, chiffchaff, 30 redwing and 60 linnet.
Ian Black reported a big movement of thrushes over Mersea Avenue on Wednesday evening.

Michael Dawson watched the osprey fly close-by on Wednesday as they were dredging for oysters in Salcott Creek, also a peregrine and marsh harrier seen from their boat in the Mersea Quarters

The snow bunting was found on Tuesday morning on East Mersea Point by Andy Field. I went in the rain during the afternoon and managed to take this photo of it just a few metres in front as it fed along the strandline at the eastern-most part of the Point.
Also noted in the area of the Point and park fields were two fieldfares, two stonechats, snipe, 75 brent geese, 120 wigeon, 50 teal, 20 shoveler, 15 meadow pipits and five rock pipits, blackcap and Cetti's warbler near the Golfhouse sluice.

 Tuesday mid-morning Andy Field watched from the park two gannets fly up the Blackwater and also three distant common scoters and a Sandwich tern in the Colne.
Martin Cock reported 30 meadow pipits, four rock pipits as well as the snow bunting in the rain on Tuesday at the Point. First thing on Tuesday morning a short-eared owl was seen hunting over the saltmarsh by the Golfhouse by Adrian Amos and Andrew Tillsley.

At Coopers Beach on Tuesday morning 35 little egrets were scattered across the flooded marshes - the area now getting regularly inundated by the high tides. Also a gannet seen offshore mid morning, four swallows flew west, stonechat, rock pipit, three common buzzards, 2 Mediterranean gulls, 25 linnets, fifty goldfinches, a leucistic starling and 19 pied wagtails as well as a chiffchaff by the East Mersea church.

Andy Field took this video clip of the snow bunting feeding on the East Mersea Point beach -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFPRJbfovY4;

The snow bunting refound and photographed by Andy Field on Tuesday - first found six days earlier by Steve Entwistle on the beach 400m to the west.

A skylark photographed by Andy on the beach at East Mersea Point on Tuesday.

On Monday 12th a merlin flew low along the Strood dyke before perching on the metal railings by the sluice. A short while later a kingfisher also flew along the dyke and perched at the same sluice. A green sandpiper flew over from Ray Island calling and then landed at a pond at the back of the fields, a greenshank, ten knot and 200 black-tailed godwits were also noted. A buzzard, marsh harrier and a sparrowhawk were seen, while in the fields were 100 skylark, 30 linnets and a rock pipit by the seawall.

A brambling flew past Feldy View calling on Monday, also two siskin and a swallow while three redwing, ten blackbirds and a chiffchaff were in the bushes.

A male red squirrel has been making daily visits recently to the feeder in the Firs Chase garden - seen here on Thursday 15th.

Monday, 12 October 2020

DOUBLE REDSTART DAY

Two common redstarts were on show 400m apart from each other not far from the Firs Caravan site at West Mersea on Sunday 11th. This male was still showing on its third day by the Strood seawall. Andy Field took these first two photos.

The male redstart has been spending the last three days beside the Strood borrowdyke in the reedbed corner, perching in the bushes and large oak tree.

The moderate breeze on Sunday made the redstart drop down to feed out of the wind under an oak tree. At times the orange tail was seen quivering in typical redstart fashion. This photo taken by Jonathan Bustard.

Jonathan Bustard also took this of the male redstart. It's been rare to have a colourful male stay on Mersea for longer than a day in the autumn.

Earlier on Sunday morning a female common redstart was found in the Feldy View cemetery field by Steve Entwistle and myself. At first we thought we were hearing a chiffchaff calling before realising that the bird perched in the small birch tree was a female redstart. Andy Field soon arrived and took the photo above and the one below.

The redstart flitted along the hedge and disappeared for a few minutes before returning to the same spot where it was easily watched.

Jonathan Bustard took this photo of the female redstart, before heading down to the seawall to see the colourful male redstart.

Having just finished photographing the male redstart by the Strood seawall, this peregrine circled over the area providing a bonus photograph opportunity for Jonathan with these two snaps.

The peregrine scared some of the waders off the mud along the Strood Channel late on Sunday morning.
Other birds of prey noted were three sparrowhawks at various times over the Firs Chase and Feldy View areas, a buzzard flying west over the Yacht Club and another three circling over Firs Chase early afternoon. Ian Black also saw a buzzard over Victory Road a short while later.

A noticeable redwing passage was watched on Sunday morning with small flocks totalling 300 passing west over Firs Chase, also a siskin and goldcrest noted here. Also eight redwing passed later over Feldy View as were two siskins and a chiffchaff. A speckled wood butterfly was there and a migrant hawker nearby.

Along the Strood channel on Sunday were 100 black-tailed godwits, 20 shelduck and 15 little grebes.

At Cudmore Grove a Cetti's warbler was heard singing by Steve Entwistle at the east end of main park in the overgrown ditch on Sunday.

On Saturday 10th a peregrine flew fast and low over the Strood fields after some wood pigeons. Two pairs of stonechats were seen and also an unpaired male heard singing unusually here. There were flocks of 50+ skylarks and 70+linnets in the Strood fields, also rock pipit seen and two buzzards at the back. Along the channel were 3 greenshank, 300 golden plover, 120 wigeon, 3 knot and 50 dunlin.

A distant osprey was seen flying slowly west along Salcott Channel, circling round a few times before dropping down out of sight. Thanks to a heads-up text from Brian Churches who was also watching the osprey on Old Hall Marshes.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

SUNNY STROOD WALK

There was a nice variety of birds seen on Friday 9th during a walk along the Strood seawall with the sun shining and plenty of mud along the Strood channel. Amongst the various waders were 100+ black-tailed godwits, this one feeding close to the seawall, also of interest were 500 golden plover, two greenshank, four knot and fifty dunlin. Also along the channel were 16 shelduck, 20 wigeon, 15 teal and a common tern.

A male redstart was found in bushes beside the borrowdyke, making the occasional flight showing off its orange-red tail. It was watched for several minutes but it never perched out in the open, staying hidden amongst the branches. Four stonechats, 70+ linnets and 70+ skylarks were flying about the fields, while ten lesser redpolls and ten swallows flew west. Two siskins fed with a few goldfinches in Feldy View where four chiffchaffs and two blackcaps were seen.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday, Andy Field reported seeing four stonechats - one photographed by Andy here, a wheatear, 20 house martins, 12 swallows, several passage meadow pipits, 50 golden plover, two chiffchaff and a goldcrest as well as two red squirrels at the park entrance.
Martin Cock saw a green sandpiper, buzzard and a blackcap during a brief visit to Maydays farm on Friday.

Ron and Jenny Harvey were pleased to see these two young hedgehogs in their Whittaker Way garden this week, feeding up for the winter. Ian Black also has been seeing a hedgehog in his Mersea Avenue garden.

On Wednesday 7th a snow bunting was watched by Steve Entwistle at Cudmore Grove as it fed with a few meadow pipits on the beach near the start of the seawall. Martin Cock reported a blackcap, chiffchaff and a flyover redpoll at East Mersea, while Ian Black saw five willow warbler / chiffchaffs in Feldy View and 15 black-tailed godwits in the Strood on Wednesday.

At Maydays on Tuesday 6th a stonechat, Mediterranean gull, two chiffchaffs and two swallows were seen by Martin Cock. 

At Cudmore Grove on the 6th, Andy Field saw 2 wheatears, one photographed by him above, 5 chiffchaffs, 2 goldcrest, 2 Cetti's warblers and a common tern.

Martin Cock reported at East Mersea on Monday 5th, two wheatears, 2 goldcrest, lesser whitethroat, bar-tailed godwit, 12 swallows, an obliging Cetti's warbler and lots of meadow pipits. At Coopers Beach Michael Thorley saw 26 little egrets, 7 mallard and a curlew.

Four gannets were seen offshore by Martin Cock from Coopers Beach on Sunday 4th and another one seen by Steve Entwistle heading westwards from Coopers Beach.
At West Mersea two wheatears were seen by Jonathan Bustard on the Strood seawall, also 30+ pied wagtails at the Glebe. Ian Black saw two sparrowhawks over Mersea Avenue, a buzzard over the High Street and a green woodpecker in the Lane.

A large female peregrine was seen over Cobmarsh on Saturday 3rd by Ian Black, also three Mediterranean gulls seen and a sparrowhawk in St Peters Road. 
Ten common scoters were seen by Steve Entwistle as they landed on the sea off Coopers Beach. At the country park, Andy Field noted a wheatear, couple of goldcrests, a few robins and also hundreds of cormorants out at sea and in flight.
Two immature gannets were seen on Friday 2nd from Coopers Beach by Martin Cock.

On Thursday 1st at the country park, this wheatear was photographed by Andy Field, also noted there was a pair of stonechat and a siskin passing overhead. Martin Cock also at East Mersea reported a hobby, peregrine, lesser whitethroat and a few swallows.

In Cross Lane on Wednesday 30th, Martin Cock saw 3 chiffchaffs, blackcap, a few swallows and sanderling on the shingle ridge opposite Waldegraves.

A great white egret was seen by Steve Entwistle flying over the Strood causeway east to west late afternoon on Tuesday 29th. At East Mersea a chiffchaff, six blackcap, two lesser whitethroat, nine brent geese and a clouded yellow were seen by Martin Cock on Tuesday.

Two common cranes were seen by Andy Field and Martin Cock on Monday 28th as they flew north-east over East Mersea. Also 12 gannets, common scoter, a diver sp, six Sandwich terns and two wheatears
At West Mersea three stonechats were seen on the Strood seawall by Jonathan Bustard, while Ian Black saw three buzzards heading south over the High Street on Monday.

On the West Mersea beach on Sunday 27th, Martin Cock reported a grey wagtail, Sandwich tern, Mediterranean gull, also some pied wagtails and meadow pipits flying over, while Steve Entwistle noted common gulls back on the sea-front.
Jonathan Norgate saw six common terns by the beach huts on Saturday 26th.

On Thursday 24th twelve brent geese were seen at St Peters Beach by Ian Black. In Shop Lane Martin Cock saw a stonechat, chiffchaff, forty swallows, a tawny owl heard calling and a red squirrel.

The osprey was seen by Andy Field on Wednesday 23rd perched on a post on the Geedons to the north of the Island. At Cudmore Grove three Sandwich terns, four chiffchaffs, three siskins over, Cetti's warbler, two knot, 230 oystercatchers were noted by Andy.
At Maydays Martin Cock reported on Wednesday the same osprey perched on the Geedons post, greenshank, 30 knot, 50 swallows, sand martin and a few house martins

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

PYEFLEET OSPREY

Richard Brown took this picture of an osprey whilst he was on the Langenhoe ranges just to the north of the Island on Monday 21st. The bird was seen by Richard and John Fell flying in a clockwise direction from South Green then along the Fingringhoe channel, turning south down the Colne and then west along the Pyefleet, doing this several times during mid afternoon. It was last seen with a fish on its usual post in the Geedons at 15.30.

A male redstart was a nice discovery along the Strood seawall on Tuesday 22nd. The bird appeared at the side of the bush quivering its tail and on a couple of occasions flew down onto the seawall to pick up some food. The bird had to switch bushes because of walkers passing nearby and it was later seen along the central hedgeline on bushes. Half an hour later it returned to the original hawthorn bush where this "record-shot" was taken moments before a vehicle drove past it.
A stonechat was also on the same bush, also a new bird just passing through.

A kestrel was perched up near the Firs Caravan Park on Tuesday, surveying the scene. Later it had a tussle with a local crow, before hunting over the fields. Two common buzzards were circling high over the Strood fields.
Two swallows passed over and three chiffchaffs called from the trees.

A turnstone was turning over seaweed beside the Strood seawall on Tuesday. Other waders of interest seen along the channel were four greenshank, eight knot, 25 dunlin, 50 golden plover, one avocet and 200 black-tailed godwits by the Dabchicks sailing club.

Later on Tuesday Jonathan Bustard saw the stonechat and a wheatear along the Strood seawall.

A wheatear was feeding along the Strood seawall on Monday 21st. A Cetti's warbler was singing quietly from the reeds and a reed warbler was also seen feeding in the reeds. 
A peregrine made a couple of flights over the fields scattering the pigeons before it settled back down on the ploughed field, while two common buzzards were at the back of the fields.
Along the channel were 13 wigeon, three greenshank, ten knot, one bar-tailed godwit, twenty dunlin, five ringed plover and also 250+ black-tailed godwits on mud by the Dabchicks sailing club. Twelve little grebes were in the channel and another in the dyke - where a water vole was also seen splashing among the rushes.
Ten meadow pipits flew over and four swallows were flying over Strood Hill and three chiffchaffs feeding near the caravan site.

Martin Cock reported seeing on Monday six chiffchaffs, grey wagtail and red-legged partridge in Cross Lane, then between Cudmore Grove and the Oyster Fishery seven chiffchaffs, two Cetti's warblers, reed warbler, eider, two Sandwich terns, 40 teal, 25 wigeon, while in his West Mersea garden two chiffchaffs were present too.

On Sunday 20th birds noted along the north side of the Island during the monthly WeBs count by Andy Field and me, included a greenshank and wheatear at Maydays, 20 avocets in the Pyefleet, an eider on Langenhoe Point, snipe, thirty brent geese arriving in the Colne in three flocks - the first autumn arrivals, three buzzards, sparrowhawk, 15 swallows, wheatear on park fields, while at the park pond was a calling water rail and eight wigeon.
Four common seals and a grey seal were seen in the Pyefleet.
Charlie Williams reported 25+ Mediterranean gulls by the Strood.

Two hummingbird hawkmoths were seen visiting Andy Field's garden in High St North on Sunday morning.

A Sandwich tern was roosting during the high tide on Saturday 19th at the East Mersea Youth Camp along with fifty other gulls - black-headed and common gulls. A green woodpecker was feeding on the Youth Camp field while nine little egrets were on the flooded Rewsalls marshes.
A common blue, brown argus, small white and large white butterflies were seen by the Youth Camp.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

RINGED GODWIT

This black-tailed godwit with its colourful display of rings seen feeding on mud beside the Dabchicks sailing club on Friday 18th, was ringed in October 2015 in Suffolk on the river Alde at Iken. This is its fourth appearance on Mersea since it was ringed and has made five trips each year back to Iceland to breed.

A redshank seen feeding near the ringed black-tailed godwit on Friday. There was a big flock of 310 black-tailed godwits gathered on the mud beside the Dabchicks, some feeding as the tide came in while others rested.

An adult Sandwich tern and a chick flew up part of the Strood channel and landed on the mud near the Firs Caravan park. The adult went off for a few minutes and returned to feed the chick a small fish. Five common terns were seen flying along the channel too.

The first ducks of the autumn were noted along the Strood with five wigeon, a pair of shelduck and a teal, while a pair of mute swans was in the borrowdyke. Waders seen along the channel were five greenshank, four dunlin and two knot. A grey wagtail flew along the bottom of the seawall along the muddy edge, landing briefly to feed. Twelve skylarks and a swallow were over the fields while a covey of five red-legged partridge flew over the Strood Hill road above the lakes. A large hairy fox moth caterpillar was seen crossing the seawall path.

The first four wigeon of the autumn were seen resting on the saltmarsh near the East Mersea Point on Thursday 17th, as were 26 teal both here and on the park pond. Roosting on the pools here were 200+ redshank while on nearby mud were 93 ringed plover and five dunlin. The female eider was feeding in the river close to the Point.

A peregrine flew over the saltmarsh pools and then the Point before heading east across the Colne. A few minutes later a hobby was seen taking the same sort of route across the river and a sparrowhawk flew near the Golfhouse.
On the park pond 17 little egrets were roosting in the trees while two shoveler and the 14 teal were seen here. Andy Field watched two common buzzards fly low over the pond which made the roosting little egrets jump!
 
A flock of 500+ starlings was feeding near the Golfhouse on Thursday, some on the blackberry bushes and others on the fields.
Ashley Gooding reported seven Sandwich terns in the Colne on Thursday, also at the park 27 little egrets, 15 avocets, 388 redshank, 7 shelduck and a swallow.

On Wednesday 16th a red kite was watched from the Strood seawall flying north-east over the Peldon fields, then crossing the Strood road near Bonners Barn as it headed towards Langenhoehall. Other birds noted were a common tern, six meadow pipits and fifteen little egrets on the saltmarsh.

A kingfisher was the highlight of a walk along the Strood seawall on Tuesday 15th, the bird seen flying along the shoreline near the caravan site before heading up behind it. A yellow wagtail, swallow and sparrowhawk were noted from the seawall while a willow warbler was in Feldy View.

A young badger was recorded visiting Ian Black's Mersea Avenue garden by his trail camera during Monday night.

A stonechat was still by Coopers Beach on Monday 14th, feeding beside the children's play area, in the same area where the family bred earlier in the spring. On the Coopers marshes were 70 redshank, 27 little egrets, heron, 20 mallard, tufted duck, 11 linnets, 7 Mediterranean gulls and five golden plover flying over. Two common blue butterflies were on the wing at Coopers Beach.

Interested in seeing a shoal of 30+ fish swimming inside the seawall beside the new breach at Coopers Beach on Monday, possibly mullet or bass.

Four wheatears were feeding on the Maydays seawall on Sunday 13th. A kingfisher was perched on the seawall sluice while in the nearby creek was a greenshank. Along the Pyefleet were 18+ knot, 6 dunlin, 50 grey plover and a great crested grebe. A flock of 500+ wood pigeons was feeding at the back of the Reeveshall fields.

Three common seals were in the Pyefleet channel on Sunday 13th, one seemed to be eyeing up a place on top of the pontoon with the other two seals.

At Shop Lane on Sunday, Steve Entwistle reported 20 sand martins, two house martins, five chiffchaffs, two common darters, five small heaths, three red admirals, holly blue, large white and small white

On Saturday 12th birds noted along the Strood channel were 270+ black-tailed godwits, 70 golden plover, five knot, five ringed plover and four dunlin. Two chiffchaffs were calling from trees near Feldy View.

A red squirrel made an appearance in the Firs Chase garden on Sunday 13th.

The red squirrel seemed to realise that he had an audience watching from the nearby house and stopped to stare before it scampered into a neighbour's garden.
Shaun Bater reported seeing a red squirrel in his garden run along the back fence in Estuary Park Road the day before.
 

Sunday, 13 September 2020

REEVESHALL WHEATEARS

One of two wheatears photographed by Andy Field near the Reeveshall seawall on Friday 11th.
Also seen near here were 32 avocets, three buzzards and three marsh harriers on Langenhoe- two being juveniles. No sign of the osprey anywhere. A red squirrel was seen at Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane.

Also on Friday an eider was seen feeding offshore beside the Cross Lane sewer outfall. A common buzzard flew over Cross Lane to land in a nearby tree late morning and a couple of chiffchaffs were calling.

On Thursday 10th a brown argus was enjoying the sunshine in Feldy View.

A small copper fluttered low along the ground in Feldy View on Thursday.
Along the Strood seawall were a whinchat, three kestrels over the fields, while a trickle of 20+ meadow pipits passed west in small groups. In the channel were three greenshank, 100+ black-tailed godwits and 100+ golden plover.

Andy Field reported that the last of his two swift chicks left his swift-nestbox on his High Street North house earlier on Thursday morning - a day later than the first chick which flew off the previous day.

Two willow warblers were in Michael Thorley's garden near Meeting Lane on Thursday.
A barn owl was seen by Steve Entwistle on Thursday early evening perched beside Dawes Lane at the northern end.
Glyn Evans watching from Alresford, reported seeing the distant osprey flying along the Pyefleet.

On Wednesday 9th, a scan with the telescope from the Shop Lane seawall revealed the distant osprey through the heat haze perched on the usual post on the Geedons saltmarsh. A whinchat was perched on a fence by the seawall while in the Pyefleet were 55 avocets, 50 black-tailed godwits and a small flock of 25 common terns sitting on a buoy in the Colne. A flock of 22 stock doves was feeding in the Reeveshall fields.

In Meeting Lane on Wednesday evening Martin Cock reported six chiffchaff, four lesser whitethroat and a blackcap.

At West Mersea an orange flash of a redstart tail was briefly glimpsed from the neighbours driveway in Firs Chase on Wednesday early afternoon. It did not show itself although it was heard calling a couple of times from the thick bushes beside the garden.
Ian Black reported two blackcaps, three "willow/chiffs" and a great spotted woodpecker in The Lane.

This willow warbler was photographed by Michael Thorley on Tuesday 8th as it perched in an elder bush near Meeting Lane along with three other willow warblers.

A tame guillemot was photographed by Rusty Marshall with his mobile from his boat close to Cobmarsh Island on Tuesday late afternoon.

Two spotted flycatchers were feeding beside the Firs Caravan park on Tuesday morning. A swift flew over the top of the Lane and fifteen meadow pipits flew west over the Firs Chase houses.
Along the Strood channel were two curlew sandpipers, four greenshank, three knot, 20+ ringed plovers while most of the 250 black-tailed godwits were near the Dabchicks.
A hobby flew over the Strood channel scattering all the waders, before continuing over the Strood fields, also common buzzard, marsh harrier and a sparrowhawk noted too. A Cetti's warbler sang briefly from the central ditch while 25 meadow pipits passed west.

The osprey on the Geedons post was seen on Tuesday from the East Mersea seawall by Martin Cock. Earlier near Meeting Lane a spotted flycatcher possibly two birds, two blackcaps, lesser whitethroat and chiffchaffs were noted by Martin.

An Arctic skua was reported by Liz Huxley on Tuesday while watching from Brightlingsea, watching the bird resting on the river Colne before flying off over East Mersea.

On Monday 7th five curlew sandpipers were seen feeding along the Strood Channel, this photograph by Andy Field of a couple of them was as close as they got. Other waders noted included three greenshank, five knot, 150+ golden plover, 50+ grey plover and 200+ black-tailed godwits.
Two sparrowhawks, marsh harrier and two common buzzards were noted from the seawall walk.

A spotted flycatcher was seen on Monday morning in the overgrown corner near the Firs Caravan park - these two photos taken by Andy Field.

This scrubby corner seems to be a regular stopping off point for spotted flycatchers.
Also in this area were four blackcaps and three chiffchaffs.

A wheatear was also photographed along the Strood seawall on Monday by Andy - a whinchat was also present along one of the hedgelines. Twenty meadow pipits were seen heading west.
Andy reported twenty Mediterranean gulls on one of the Strood fields, two birds being colour-ringed.

At Maydays on Monday, the distant osprey was seen by Steve Entwistle perched on the Geedons post.

A walk along the Maydays seawall on Sunday 6th proved a productive visit to the area.
Along the Pyefleet Channel were found five curlew sandpipers feeding on the north side of the channel along with 12 knot, 2 greenshank, 50 dunlin, 20 ringed plover, 20 black-tailed godwits, 70 grey plover and 10 bar-tailed godwits. A kingfisher and common sandpiper were by the seawall sluice.
Along the channel were eight great crested grebes and eight common tern passing by, also four common seals resting on saltmarsh.

Two pairs of hobbies were noted hawking high in the skies while a peregrine circled over the channel to Langenhoe, where a marsh harrier was noted hunting too. Two common buzzards were seen over Maydays and Reeveshall.
Five wheatears and seven whinchats were seen near the seawall, while 100 swallows drifted slowly low westwards over the fields and ten meadow pipits also flew west.

Later in the afternoon a spotted flycatcher was found by Steve Entwistle in bushes near the Maydays seawall. Two curlew sandpipers were still present Sunday evening after the high tide, five knot, 15 dunlin, 30 black-tailed godwits and bar-tailed godwit noted too, as were the six wheatears and four whinchats, all seen by Steve.

A little stint was reported on the Strood on Sunday by Simon Banks.

A hummingbird hawk-moth paid a visit to the Firs Chase garden on Sunday 6th to feed on some of the salvia flowers.

A hummingbird hawkmoth was also photographed by Jonathan Bustard in his Chatsworth garden on Friday 11th. Great that it actually rested for a photo to be taken, rather than the usual picture of blurred wings as it hovers!

Photographs taken from the back of Jonathan's camera of the hummingbird hawkmoth.