Saturday, 21 February 2009


The sun had shone for most of the day during Saturday 21st, finishing off with this view at the Reeveshall pool at dusk. The warmth of the day enticed a few species out of hibernation including the first adder at the country park seen by David Nicholls and then at the end of the day there were at least 3 pipistrelle bats hawking along Shop Lane in East Mersea as darkness fell.
Birds on this Reeveshall pool included grey heron, 2 little egrets, pair of mute swans, 2 tufted ducks, some teal, shelduck and mallard.

There was plenty of mud on show along the Pyefleet Channel with some of it reflecting the pink hue of the sky above just after the sun set. Scanning the Langenhoe ranges to the north of the Island, the marsh harriers headed to the Point for their roost with at least 6 birds seen. Two other marsh harriers were also seen late on over Reeveshall including a male bird.

A common buzzard perched on a bush for a while before flying low over the marshes. Two barn owls were out hunting just before sunset on the ranges with another bird seen hunting over Maydays farmland. A fourth barn owl was seen earlier, surprisingly at 3pm over the rough grass field at the south end of ShopLane. Kestrels on both Reeveshall and Langenhoe were also noted.

Along the middle section of the Pyefleet there were 300 dunlin, 100 redshank, 50 black-tailed godwits, 20 knot, 200 lapwing and a few curlew, grey plover, turnstone, oystercatcher and golden plover.

The wildfowl seen along the Channel included 12 red-breasted mergansers, 300 shelduck, 100 wigeon as well as a pair of pintail over Langenhoe. There were the usual small flocks of brent geese flying around although none seen feeding on nearby fields. Also a few of the regular noisy greylag geese were always to be heard.

Also seen were a common seal in the Pyefleet, 2 brown hares and a stonechat on Reeveshall.

Despite lots of scanning of the distant Geedon Saltings to the north of Langenhoe, there was no sign of the spoonbill that had been seen at the beginning of the day.

Earlier in the day 3 marsh harriers and a sparrowhawk were seen briefly soaring together high over Firs Chase at West Mersea.

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