Wednesday, 11 February 2009


The grazing fields at the park pictured above on Wednesday 11th, are the wettest they've ever been following recent rains and melting snow. The area isn't used to having a month's worth of rain dumped in 24 hours, as happened during Monday. The dyke inside the seawall as shown above, has risen up and flooded the grass path alongside and is nearly up to the same level as the fields. The water here was a bit higher yesterday but today it has already started to drop, flowing out of the seawall sluice.

There was a good variety of waders on the fields during the high tide with 11 species present - 170 black-tailed godwits, 50 lapwing, 70 curlew, 50 dunlin, 40 redshank, 10 turnstone, 5 ringed plover, golden plover, 2 snipe, grey plover and the unsual sight on the fields of a single knot.

Various wildfowl included 300 wigeon with a similar amount also offshore at high tide, 70 teal, 22 gadwall, 25 shoveler, 50 mallard, 22 gadwall and 3 tufted duck. Even the pair of mute swans enjoyed swimming across the fields.

Other birds in the fields included 70 starling, 25 goldfinches, 3 stock doves, 2 reed buntings and a small group of meadow pipits and skylarks.

In the park the male sparrowhawk perched up near the car park. At the end of the day there was a close view of the resident tawny owl seen in the car headlights, sitting on a low tree just inside the park entrance.
Earlier in the morning 3 red-legged partridges were seen in a field opposite the Dog and Pheasant pub, a species that has been surprisingly elusive in recent weeks.

At Coopers Beach on Wednesday one short-eared owl was seen flying over the Rewsalls marshes and a huge flock of 500 - 700 great crested grebes reported by Dave Ladbrook. Tim Mendham also visited Coopers Beach the day before and saw a short-eared owl and a barn owl. At West Mersea he saw a black-throated diver, at least 2 great northern divers, red-throated diver and several eider and 100 great crested grebes.

No comments: