Monday, 29 December 2008


Visited the Rewsalls Marshes next to the Coopers Beach caravan site in East Mersea on Monday 29th. The sight of some motorbikes scrambling across one of the fields suggested it was going to be a disappointing visit as I'd hoped to see some short-eared owls.
However I needn't have worried as I was quickly rewarded with telecope views of 2 distant short-eared owls hunting low over one of the long grass fields.

After watching the two short-eared owls, one pictured above, for several minutes from the top of the seawall, another much closer owl was spotted flying away from the nearest corner, only 50 metres from me. It must've been hiding in the long grass nearby before it got up and did some flying around. Walking along the seawall for 800 metres, I got very good views of one of the other owls, which was active for at least half an hour. At one point it flew fast and low, chasing away one of the other owls from its favourite field. The owl came back and sat on a fence-post for five minutes, providing good close views.

A pair of stonechats were the only other birds of interest on the lower marshes, along with 4 meadow pipits, kestrel, 5 greenfinch and one goldfinch. In the adjacent dyke there were 18 mallard, 2 teal, little egret and 2 redshank.

The biggest concentration of birds was on a big wheat field behind the marshes where 1000 golden plover, 500 lapwing, 60 turnstone, along with one or two grey plover, curlew and dunlin. Some of these waders were using the field because of the high tide.

No mud on show during the walk along the seawall. The only bird of interest at sea was the usual group of great crested grebes with at least 50 noted.


Anonymous said...

beautiful pics and landscapes, please could you repeat pic of Holly berries.. Thanks

Dougal Urquhart said...

Glad you enjoy the wildlife update from the Island. Is the photo you like the one of the cotoneaster berries posted on 27th November? I scrolled back through the postings and can't recall having a picture of holly berries.
Regards - Dougal