Sunday, 30 November 2008


I joined Andy Field at the East Mersea Point on a cold and grey Sunday 30th, so that I could try and see the big flock of 34 snow buntings that he'd found early in the morning. Unfortunately the birds had taken off by the time I got there and had flown east across the Colne to the beach at Point Clear. This is the biggest flock of snow buntings to have been seen so far this winter here, although there had been a report of about 25 birds seen here the day before.

In the river Colne we saw two eiders treat us to a nice fly-past as they headed up river, dropping down near Rat Island. Ten red-breasted mergansers were busy doing lots of diving under for food, with several big gulls waiting nearby to see what they brought back up. A female common scoter was seen in the outer part of the estuary and there was a fly-past from one goldeneye. About five great crested grebes were also seen in the river. One common seal swam slowly out of the river, popping up every so often to stare at us, while a bit later a second seal was seen just in the Pyefleet.

As the tide came in, many waders started to gather on the nearby mud by the Point under a dark grey sky as pictured below, Howard Vaughan with his group of birdwatchers from south Essex, managed to find a curlew sandpiper feeding on the mud - a winter rarity for Mersea. Apart from the usual frenzied wader activity in this area, there were 70 avocets seen and a roost of about 400 golden plover.

On Langenhoe 5 marsh harriers circled above the reedbed lagoon at the Point, while nearby on the Rat Island a peregrine was seen a couple of times doing some low-level flights, disturbing flocks of birds before settling down on a low post in the saltmarsh. Amongst the oystercatcher roost on the Point were a reasonable roost of godwits, the majority appearing to be bar-tailed with at least 20 birds present. On some distant bushes on Langenhoe were 50 fieldfares flying about.

On the park grazing fields most of the bird activity seemed to be around the recently flooded sections of the fields. There was a nice selection of wigeon, teal, mallard, moorhens, redshank, curlew and black-tailed godwits all enjoying the wet conditions. The regular flock of 50 goldfinches were still present and 3 stock doves were also noted.

A sparrowhawk was seen flashing low across the park in the middle of the day and then just after nightfall, there was a good view in the car headlights of a tawny owl, perched just inside the park entrance. Four winter moths gathered round the lit window after dark at the house in the park.

Off shore from the esplanade at West Mersea, Howard and his group later saw 4 great northern divers. The previous day Graham Ekins had seen 2 great northern divers, Slavonian grebe, shag, common scoter, 5 goldeneye, Mediterranean gull and 12 red-breasted mergansers. By the Strood he also noted the big flock of 3000 golden plovers and also 200 knot.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


As winter sets in, all the berries on the bushes around the country park are disappearing fast. These cotoneaster berries pictured above, in the car park on Thursday 27th, are virtually the last type of bushes with any fruit on show. The blackbirds especially have been stocking up for the winter by stripping the berries off as have the occasional song thrush, mistle thrush and one or two wood pigeons. There don't appear to be any hawthorn berries left on the bushes and the hungry blackbirds have even started on the rose-hips too which seems early in the season for here.

A brightly marked male sparrowhawk with peach-coloured cheeks and throat, swooped briefly onto my back garden fence to check the area out for small birds. Earlier a female sparrowhawk was seen at the back of the park pond, being mobbed by a jay. On the pond were 4 tufted ducks and a heron amongst the other regular resident wildfowl.

On the grazing fields 200 wigeon fed in one corner while in other parts of the fields 12 black-tailed godwits, 50 goldfinches and 7 stock doves were noted.

At the Point 9 snow buntings appeared from somewhere, flying over the beach, circled a couple of times and then flew eastwards across the river Colne to the beach at Point Clear. The incoming tide forced many waders into the last corner of mud with 25 avocets the most eye-catching. The biggest concentrations were 1000 dunlin and 100 knot with small numbers of grey plover and redshank. Just offshore from Ivy Dock in the river were 90 shelduck but little else in the Colne.

A cloudy, dry night on Tuesday seemed suitable for some winter moth-trapping at the park but only one winter moth showed up all night. The tawny owl was seen flying along Bromans Lane in the car headlights on the same evening.

Monday, 24 November 2008


A day of contrast between the morning and the afternoon on Sunday 23rd as shown in the two photographs above of the beach at the country park. There was a feeble dusting of snow in places early in the morning which struggled to settle. The biting cold wind then whipped up, stinging the face with wintry rain, followed by a torrential downpour late in the morning. By contrast the afternoon was glorious sunshine with hardly a cloud in the sky, as in the second picture above.

It was a bit unfortunate that I'd arranged that Roy Croucher, visiting from France, should come to the country park for some typical winter birdwatching on the Essex coast, along with mutual friend Bob Graves. By the end of the morning walk to the Point we were drenched and it ended up being pointless trying to peer through binoculars or spectacles as they were coated in water!

We battled our way along the beach and were finally rewarded with some waterlogged views of four snow buntings, feeding on the grassy part of the Point. A little further along we saw the snow buntings again but this time with five birds. In the rain we couldn't be sure if this was a different flock feeding 40 metres apart. However a visit back to the area in the afternoon sunshine, revealed a single flock of 8 birds. Finding some snow buntings on the morning walk provided a drenched reward for braving the elements. Andy Field had seen 5 snow buntings two days earlier, on Friday at the Point.

Some of the other birds noted at the Point were 5 sanderling, several knot and 3 bar-tailed godwits along with the other regular waders arriving to feed as the tide dropped. In the afternoon a marsh harrier glided south over the Point and then across the river Colne, as it headed for a late afternoon hunt at Colne Point. A common seal was seen in the river just off from the Point.

Along the seawall 2 stonechats, a few meadow pipits and skylarks were the main small birds noted. At least 200 wigeon were feeding either on the saltmarsh or on the grazing fields, many whistling loudly as they took to the air. Also in the fields were a handful of black-tailed godwits feeding with some curlew, while 2 snipe were seen flying away.
At the park pond a snipe flew off calling, while the usual ducks of shoveler, gadwall, teal, mallard and wigeon were still present.

One section of the grazing fields is looking like a flooded water meadow after all the recent rain, as shown in the picture above. Hopefully as winter progresses, the waterlogged fields should provide good feeding for the ducks and waders. Only a handful of brent geese were seen in the fields, as the main flock were feeding elsewhere in East Mersea.

In a field to the east of Manwood Grove near Shop Lane, there was an interesting mix of waders on Sunday morning. Fifty lapwing, 100 golden plover and about 50 curlew, along with some gulls and rooks, were busy feeding while the tide was high on nearby mudflats.

On Saturday Martin Cock saw a short-eared owl fly out of the long grass at Rewsalls Marsh near Coopers Beach. This follows a recent sighting by Michael Thorley of two short-eared owls here. Graham Ekins noted 2 great northern divers, 2 goldeneye, 4 common scoter, red-breasted merganser and a Mediterranean gull, off-shore from West Mersea on Saturday.

On the mammal front, I received an interesting report from local resident Rosemary Dickson about a muntjac deer seen early in the morning in the country park about a month ago. This is the first report of a muntjac at the country park, other than two strandline corpses in recent years.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


The most sheltered spot from the chilly Arctic wind at the country park on Saturday 22nd, was below the cliff along the beach. The early morning was the best part of the day and as the tide headed out, there were lots of waders arriving to feed.

Many of the waders would be eager to get back to a normal day's feeding after the strange goings-on with the tides on the day before. The strong northerly winds prevented the tide from going out around the middle of the day. The sea didn't even get to its usual halfway mark and at times was even flowing back in again.

There were some big flocks of waders flying around the mudflats that were exposed such as 500 knot and 1000 dunlin, while overhead there was a prolonged whooshing sound like a gust of wind, as 1000 golden plover flew past.

The waders that were waiting for the tide to recede from the beach on the sunny Saturday morning included a group of 20 turnstones and a sanderling resting on a partially submerged pillbox. Out at sea a red-breasted merganser flew westwards low over the water.

In the grazing fields 300 brent geese and 100 wigeon grazed while 25 goldfinches fed on some of the old thistle-heads. Along the seawall the usual pair of stonechats perched up on a bush.

There seemed to be more ducks at the park pond today with nearly 200 birds on show, although many more were probably hiding amongst the reeds. Most were mallard with at least 120 seen, also 30 teal, 30 shoveler and 6 gadwall. The regular pair of mute swans, little grebes and coots added to the spectacle.

Later in the day Andy Field noted 5 snow buntings on the beach at the Point.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


It turned out nice on Wednesday 19th for a walk to the Point at East Mersea with the calm conditions allowing the water in the dyke to reflect the blue sky above. A walk around the beach at this east end of the Island only produced 3 reed buntings, 2 rock pipits and a couple of linnets. The elusive snow bunting wasn't located until it was flushed off the beach back towards the park by a dog-walker, as I was returning along the seawall. The bird called out clearly as it took off and passed overhead, flashing the big white panels in the wings, as it headed back to the Point.

Despite the clear conditions there was little of interest in the river Colne, although with the tide well out, there was the usual mix of waders and wildfowl along the muddy edges of the river. Fifty avocets fed near Ivy Dock and 400 golden plover gathered just north of the Point in their usual spot. Feeding amongst the wetter parts of the saltmarsh close to the seawall were 100 wigeon.

Some of the brent geese fed quite close into the shore on the green algae growing on the mud, as shown on this patch of mud in front of the park cliff in the picture above. Up to 400 brent geese were seen in the area with most of them flying onto the grazing fields to feed later. The brent hadn't been in the fields long, when a low-flying sparrowhawk passed nearby, sending the geese away.

There was the nice but brief sight of an immature marsh harrier passing over the pond and then the grazing fields, before it drifted north over the Golfhouse. At the park pond the majority of the ducks such as mallard, teal and shoveler, stayed hidden amongst the reeds or under some of the sallow bushes. A small group of gadwall and coots gathered around a pair of diving dabchicks, picking off items disturbed from the bottom of the pond. A water vole was seen swiming along one section of pond-edge, quickly scuttling into the cover of rushes.

The cloudy and relatively calm start to Wednesday evening seemed a good opportunity to put the moth trap out at the park. There was a good showing of these December moths pictured above, with 11 found in and around the trap in the morning. Less than a handful of this species were recorded last year, so this seems quite a good showing of this late flying moth. It is getting harder to find suitable nights for moth-trapping as it is usually very chilly, too windy or maybe raining. The only other moths found in the morning included scarce umber and yellow-line quaker.

Earlier in the middle of Wednesday a red admiral flew rapidly past the park pond.

Martin Cock had visited Maydays farm on Wednesday morning and noted 9 white-fronted geese flying west from the direction of Brightlingsea towards Peldon. Also seen was the flock of twite still feeding along the side of the seawall but numbers now up to 12 birds. Two stonechats, a few corn buntings and rock pipit were also seen. On Langenhoe there were 7 marsh harriers flying around and a goldeneye was seen in the Pyefleet.

Later from the Esplanade with Andy Field, were 2 great northern divers and 2 eiders seen feeding quite close in. There was no sign of the 100+ common scoters that had been seen flying into the river Blackwater the previous day by Martin.

Many of the trees have dropped their leaves and these oak leaves pictured above, lie thick in some places. The sunny weather this week is forecasted to give way this weekend to wintry weather, so it seems likely that the autumn season will give way to winter.

Bird highlights around the park for Thursday included 700 brent feeding in the grazing fields, 200 wigeon, 40 goldfinches and 20 greenfinches also here too. Out on the mud was a feeding group of 300 knot, while passing over the park was a lesser redpoll. Four tufted ducks were present on the pond and tucked amongst the reeds were at least 20 shoveler, along with the usual mallard, teal and gadwall.

Monday, 17 November 2008


Recent rains have left flooded pools in the fields along the Strood on Monday 17th. A few birds were taking advantage of the waterlogged conditions to feed and this pool above was where a ruff was found amongst a handful of lapwing. As the tide came in, the ringed plovers were forced off the nearby mudflats and at least 40 arrived at these pools to continue feeding on the muddy field.

Another field was being grazed by 500 brent geese, heads down tucking into the winter wheat. That was until the local farmer arrived nearby and fired his gun to scare the birds off. This wasn't aimed at the brent geese although they quickly got the message but masses of wood pigeons tucking into his rape crop. It was only when the 2000 pigeons took to the air that the size of the flock could be appreciated.

Other birds seen around the fields were a flock of 30 skylarks, 25 corn buntings, stonechat, 3 reed buntings and 2 mistle thrushes. Along the sea-wall 10 meadow pipits, rock pipit, 5 greenfinches and 5 linnets were seen.

There was a notable concentration of waders at the east end of the Strood Channel on the last part of the mud to be covered by the incoming tide. The regular roost of 1500 golden plover waited until the last moment before flying off to nearby Feldy Marshes. Also on the mud were 200 knot and 1000 dunlin, along with grey plover, redshank and a few black-tailed godwits and curlew.

The usual wildfowl were seen along the edge of the Channel with brent geese spooked off from the field joining the wigeon, teal and a few shelduck.

Martin Cock was lucky enough to find a small flock of 7 twite feeding along the side of the seawall at Maydays Farm on Monday. One bird had some colour-rings on it, no doubt a bird originating from the north Pennine moors.

On Sunday Graham Ekins saw offshore from West Mersea a Mediterranean gull, 2 shags, 2 eider, red-throated diver, goldeneye and a pair of red-breasted mergansers.
Andy Field and Richard Hull visited the nearby Langenhoe Marshes and noted 2 short-eared owls, 14 marsh harriers, merlin, peregrine, 54 pintail, kingfisher, 8 red-breasted mergansers, 2 greenshank, 2 green sandpipers, 200 black-tailed godwits, 800 redshank, 800 knot, Cetti's warbler, 40 fieldfare and 4 stonechat.

Friday, 14 November 2008


An hour along the Pyefleet just after mid-day on Friday 14th, proved lucky for seeking enjoyment with the waders. The tide was on its way out and big flocks were arriving to feed with this big group pictured above being a group of about 800 noisy dunlin. Also eager to feed were redshank, grey plover, black-tailed godwit and golden plover.

Something disturbed the waders along the Colne near the Rat Island roost and thousands of waders and ducks flew around in different directions. At least 500 avocets caught the eye, also 500 golden plover, 1000 lapwing and big mixed flocks of grey plover / knot / dunlin. A group of 27 gadwall was an interesting group.

Along the Pyefleet 9 red-breasted mergansers provided good clear views and the males showed off their colourful plumage with red eyes and bright red bills. Six great crested grebes drifted along the Channel too. Scattered along the edge of the Channel especially around Pewit Island were brent geese, wigeon, teal and shelduck with five cormorants and 2 little egrets.
A common seal drifted down the channel as the tide ebbed.

On Langenhoe a male and female marsh harriers were seen quartering the marshes. In the distance a common buzzard circled high above before drifting north towards Fingringhoe.

No sign of the 9 white-fronted geese that had been seen on Reeveshall on Wednesday by both Andrew Thompson and Martin Cock. No sign either of the 2 crossbills that had been seen by the conifer wood in Shop Lane on Monday morning. A redwing and great spotted woodpecker were seen today by the wood.
A late chiffchaff was seen by Martin in his garden on Monday, while along the East Mersea road on Thursday 4 fieldfares and a corn bunting were seen.

At the country park over the last few days the birds have been the usual mix with good numbers of ducks on the park pond especially lots of shoveler, pair of stonechats along the seawall and single redwing and fieldfare seen too.

The moth trap was put out at the park rather hopefully on Wednesday night and only 8 feathered thorns and a mottled umber were noted the next morning.

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.

Friday, 7 November 2008


The brent geese started feeding on the winter wheat crop next to the country park on Friday 7th. Around 400 geese were spread out across the large field, tucking into the newly sprouted shoots of wheat. Earlier in the day the geese had been seen feeding on one of their regular fields in previous winters, on the north side of East Mersea.
Also feeding in the field next to the park were about 50 lapwing, a small flock of starlings, rooks, pheasants as well as a grey heron standing in the middle of the field.

At the park pond there was the usual mix of six species of duck totalling probably about 100 birds although a lot were hidden in the reeds. One pochard, 2 tufted, 6 gadwall, 15 shoveler with the rest mallard and teal.

Recent rains have bounced the water level up in the main ditch in the grazing fields, pictured above. There is surface water lying in some parts while other low-ways are still very dry. Along one club-rush filled creek, ten snipe flew off calling, while from the central ditch a few shoveler, wigeon, teal and mallard flew off.
A sizeable flock of 60 goldfinches flew around in between feeding on the old thistles and there were several skylarks that took off from the fields too.

On the saltmarsh near the Point there were 100 wigeon, whilst on the mudlfats nearby were about 1000 golden plover roosting. Along the outer edge of the Colne were 25 avocets feeding by the river's edge. At least five little egrets were feeding on the mudflats at low tide although it seemed like there were other individuals flying around as well. A pair of stonechats perched up on bushes by the beach.

In the park a kestrel hovered above areas of long grass, three song thrushes have continued to stay close to the rowan trees and their berries. A few goldcrests foraged with the mixed tit flock which included lots of long-tailed tits.

On Wednesday a yellowhammer and a fieldfare were seen flying over the car park. Two male tawny owls were heard calling loudly to each other along Bromans Lane on Tuesday night with another tawny seen perched on a speeed limit sign along the East mersea road, west of the pub, late on Wednesday night.
At West Mersea Richard Hull saw a woodcock fly past the Hard on Monday afternoon.

When the sun came out in the afternoon, this female common darter dragonfly was seen sunning itself on a wooden fence in the car park. The run of mild winters recently has meant that it not unusual to see these dragonflies well into November. In 2006 two were seen on the 22nd November. A red admiral flew across the car park in the middle of Friday.

The moth trap was run during a couple of nights in calm but fairly misty conditions with about 30 moths of 9 species noted on the 5th. The main moth present was this feathered thorn pictured above, with at least 15 in and around the trap on one morning. Also present were the brick, mallow, November sp, black rustic, green-brindled crescent and setaceous hebrew character.

These two moths above are the closely related yellow-line quaker on the left, beside the red-line quaker on the right. Both are typical autumn moths although the red-line quaker appears to be less common here.

During the day a silver-Y moth and a grey shoulder knot were noted around the buildings.

Monday, 3 November 2008


After lots of days recently with lots of blue skies, it's back to the typical November weather of low cloud and light drizzle on Monday 3rd. It stayed dry long enough for a reasonable walk along the Strood seawall in the late morning.

No unusual sightings to report but what was nice, was the sight of a wide variety of typical estuary waders and wildfowl for the winter here. Numbers of many birds have only recently increased following last week's easterly winds and the drop in temperatures too. The timing of the walk as the tide came in, provided more birds to look at.

A scan along a short section of mud on the north-west side of the Strood Channel revealed a wildfowl mix of brent geese, wigeon, teal and shelduck feeding alongside dunlin, ringed plover, grey plover, redshank, black-tailed godwit, knot, curlew and one or two oystercatchers. It was great seeing such a concentration of activity in the one area, not involving huge numbers but a good variety. On the mud near the Strood causeway was a golden plover roost of 1000 birds.

Today was the first day the brent geese started to feed on the newly sprouted winter wheat crop inside the Strood seawall. About 100 geese were on the crop while another 150 were still along the Channel. It was interesting to find a family of 3 juveniles with their parents, the only young ones seen this year so far. It appears to have been a breeding failure for the brent geese this year in Siberia with one recent south Essex count finding no young amongst 2500 geese!

The only other birds of interest along the Channel were 20 little grebes and about 5 little egrets.

The big winter wheat field seemed popular with lots of other birds too with 500 starlings, 50 lapwing, 50 golden plover, 20 skylarks and 20 corn buntings. Also seen along the walk were kestrel, stonechat, 2 rock pipits, 3 reed buntings and a few meadow pipits.

At East Mersea at least two of the crossbills were still present in the Shop Lane conifer wood. Seen by both Martin Cock and Andy Field, the birds were as quiet as yesterday but were eventually located feeding in the tops of the pine trees.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


Keen Mersea birder Steve Entwistle above, raced to the conifer wood in Shop Lane, East Mersea on Sunday 2nd to watch a small group of crossbills feeding in the tops of the trees. As I returned from my walk along the Pyefleet, I passed this small conifer wood and immediately recognised the loud calls of several crossbills nearby. Peering upwards, around four birds appeared to be feeding on the pine cones at the tops of the trees. Tantalising glimpses and normally in dark silhouette, were the only views to be had.

For an hour the birds fed quietly, spending several minutes in each tree, plucking off a pine cone and then carefully extracting the individual seeds. Luckily there was no wind as the birds could only be located by the rustling of their cones, or the clatter as a cone was dropped to the ground. The partially hidden birds could also be traced by the steady fall of the small "wings" that held the seeds in the pine cones.

One of the birds was a colourful male in an eyecatching brick-red plumage and at one point provided very good views as it clung upside down at the end of a pine branch whilst pecking at a cone. Even big Essex bird-lister Graham Ekins raced onto the Island within an hour of the birds being first seen and was rewarded with great views of this male. The other three birds appeared to be females as they were greenish in colour.
There were two crossbills briefly in this same area of woodland, two months ago but as they were seen to fly off, this group of four would appear to be different birds.

Also in the woodland were a couple of male great spotted woodpeckers on the same tree, also several goldcrests calling.

The walk along the Reeveshall seawall during the middle of the day, coincided with the tide coming in and displacing lots of the waders. The lack of wind provided a flat Pyefleet Channel and also helped to carry the sounds of the birds.

There was the nice surprise at the start of the walk, watching a short-eared owl hunting amongst a flock of sheep, flying in and around the animals as they grazed. It dropped onto the ground and I was able to get great views through the telescope of those bright yellow eyes, as the bird anxiously looked around.

A male marsh harrier flew over the same field a bit later as it crossed over to Langenhoe. At various times during the walk, three female marsh harriers were seen flying around and perched on bushes on Langenhoe. No sign of any hen harriers although one was reported a few days ago near the Strood.

Along the Pyefleet there was plenty of wader activity as the tide came in, with one last area of mud by Maydays holding about 2500 waders. Most involved 2000 dunlin, also 300 knot, 100 grey plover, 100 redshank and 100 black-tailed godwits. Twenty avocets were also noted along the Channel. The nearby Pewit Island became the popular destination for the roosting waders as they lined up together on the saltmarsh. Other waders noted included a greenshank, green sandpiper and snipe flying over the Reeveshall fields. One redshank was colour ringed on its legs with the combination of WR- GY, so it will be interesting to find out where this bird has come from.

Other birds of interest along the Channel included a female red-breasted merganser, 200 brent geese dotted along the water's edge, 2 great crested grebes, 25 cormorants and 10 little egrets.

No waterfowl of any description on the Reeveshall pool and after recent heavy rain, certainly no mud around the edge. Five pied wagtails were the only birds noted although nearby 2 kestrels perched on bushes as did a stonechat. Twenty meadow pipits, rock pipit and 4 skylarks were the only other small birds noted.

Other wildlife noted were 2 common seals near the Maydays corner, brown hare amongst the sheep, one red admiral flying fast over the fields and a late common darter dragonfly.

Elsewhere on the Island today, Martin Cock saw the kingfisher, 2 stonechats and a greenshank near the Golfhouse at East Mersea. He also saw four red-breasted mergansers from West Mersea while Steve Entwistle saw 3 chiffchaffs along Cross Lane feeding in a tit flock.