Sunday, 9 November 2008


Sunday 9th was a bright day but with a chill in the wind. The hint of winter in the air was matched by the typical sight of big flocks of birds. In the country park grazing fields, 100 wigeon got spooked off the grass and landed in the nearby ditch, pictured above. The brent geese numbers have rapidly built up in the wheat field near the car park with about 800 birds now present.

Another typical bird seen along the beach near the Point was a snow bunting flushed out from the grassy strip just above the strand-line, pictured above. The bunting flew a short distance and landed on the pillbox where it stayed for a few minutes. It was still present an hour later when Martin Cock saw the bird too. Last winter small numbers of snow buntings were recorded on a number of days throughout the winter.

Other small birds noted included rock pipit, stonechat and a flock of 50 goldfinches on the grazing fields.

There was quite a contrast when viewing the mudflats on either side of the Point. The one to the north covering part of the East Mersea Hard, pictured above, reflected the colour of the blue sky. Looking south across the mud, the mud could only reflect the grey skies spreading in from the west, pictured below.

There were some big impressive wader flocks late morning as the tide receded. Something sent all the waders into the air with about 3000 birds flying around in the air, each species keeping together. Golden plover took off with about 1000 birds, dunlin with 1000 too, while the knot numbers seemed to have increased recently with around 500 seen. Other waders included the usual black-tailed godwit, curlew, oystercatcher, ringed plover, grey plover, redshank and turnstone.

Another big flock of waders were seen flying around Langenhoe Point with about 2000 birds in the air, most of them appeared to be lapwings. Richard Allen visited Reeveshall on Sunday and managed to find a ring ouzel, as well as seeing short-eared owl and two marsh harriers.

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