Wednesday, 31 December 2008


The last two days of the year have been chilly although the sun managed to shine on the Tuesday but not on Wednesday 31st. There was another nice sunset to admire from the park beach, pictured above on the Tuesday late afternoon.

On the sea there was the notable count of 6 Slavonian grebes, snoozing in a small group on Tuesday but no sign of them on Wednesday. Instead there were 10 red-breasted mergansers and 25 great crested grebes offshore, as well as 200 wigeon.

The 27 snow buntings were seen on both days both on the beach and also on the frozen flooded section of grazing fields. Also seen on the fields were 500 wigeon, stonechat, 50 goldfinches, 15 black-tailed godwits, 3 snipe and a little egret. There was also the unusual sight of a green sandpiper flying over the fields on Wednesday, calling as it passed over.

From the Point 130 avocets were roosting on the mud near Ivy Dock on Tuesday and a common seal was seen in the outer river. Amongst the 50+ turnstones along the beach at least 8 sanderling were noted.

The park pond wasn't completely frozen over and on Wednesday 14 gadwall, 70 mallard, 25 shoveler were the main ducks on show. A fox caused a minor panic at the back of the pond amongst the waterfowl, before it wandered away. Five stock doves flew into the trees to roost late on Wednesday, 3 snipe fed in the nearby field, two water rails called and a sparrowhawk dived into the hedgerow.

The barn owl was seen early on Wednesday morning flying along the East Mersea road near Meeting Lane. On Tuesday morning the barn owl was still out hunting fields near Bromans Lane.
Martin Cock saw 2 short-eared owls at Rewsalls Marshes on Wednesday, stonechat and a little owl. There was also a little owl perched along Chapmans Lane in the early evening on top of a speed-limit sign. When I reversed the car back for a closer look, it had switched road-sides and provided close views as it perched on a fence.

Although the temperature was close to freezing, 4 winter moths were noted just after dusk in the car park on Wednesday evening - the last species of any kind noted at the park for 2008!

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