Saturday, 24 January 2009


After a few days break, found time at the end of Saturday 24th for a late afternoon walk on the beach by St Peters, at West Mersea. After lots of recent rain it was nice to have a dry day and enjoy seeing the sun set over Cobmarsh Island in the middle distance in the photo above.

The tide was still heading out and there was the usual mixture of waders seen from the beach including curlew, redshank, bar-tailed godwit, grey plover, dunlin, oystercatcher and turnstone. There were probably several other species present too but the light was fading fast and most of the waders were some distance away.

It wasn't ideal time of the day or state of the tide for seeing any birds on the river although one eider was seen along with the regular small group of brent geese around Cobmarsh Island. Several hundred gulls were gathering on the water for their night-roost.

Andy Field found a guillemot on the sea from the Esplanade and also 2 great northern divers too. Martin Cock ventured out in a boat and reported seeing 2 red-throated divers a good distance south of East Mersea. Heading back into West Mersea he noted great northern diver, shag, 3 eiders and 20 little grebes amongst the boats. Adrian Kettle visited East Mersea today and saw a long-tailed duck in the Colne, also the curlew sandpiper and 2 snow buntings at the Point. One short-eared owl showed well for him at Rewsalls Marsh by Coopers Beach.

Various birders from different parts of Essex have been visiting East Mersea over the last week to try and see the short-eared owls at Rewsalls Marshes. Three birds were seen by RichardBrown on Monday with two seen by Andrew Thompson on Wednesday and one bird reported on Sunday 18th. Other birds seen at Rewsalls included an immature male merlin, 2 Slavonian grebes seen by Sean Minns and 12 bar-tailed godwits on Wednesday with a curlew sandpiper being seen by Sean at East Mersea Point on the same day. David Nicholls counted 8 snow buntings at the Point during the week.

Andy Field and Richard Hull visited Langenhoe on Sunday 18th and noted ringtail hen harrier, 2 common buzzards, 7 marsh harriers, barn owl, little owl, 3 green sandpipers and 5 stonechats.

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