Sunday, 29 March 2009


After an overnight frost, it took a while for Sunday 29th to warm up at the country park. The sun eventually broke through around mid morning and several of the reptiles at the park came out to bask.

This common lizard pictured above, was one of two individuals seen by participants on a well attended "Snake-watch" event. This lizard was spotted creeping up the side of a small tree amongst the long grass and was plucked off by one very enthusiastic young boy who gleefully passed it round to show some of the other 90 members of the group. The lizard was surprisingly obliging and sat very still on the young hand, despite cameras and lots of faces staring closely at it. It was then released back into the long grass where it made a hasty retreat.

The main stars of the morning walk were the adders which came out to bask in a variety of locations around the park and everyone got very good and close views of up to nine different adders. This is the highest count so far this spring and there should be one or two others in some of the other corners of the park still waiting to be located.

The chiffchaff was still singing from the trees around the pond but there's no sign of any other migrants yet. Also at the pond were 12 tufted duck, 5 shoveler, 2 pairs of little grebe and a few mallard. There had been 7 pochard seen here two days earlier.

Walked along the seawall at the end of the day, although the cold breeze made it a chilly walk. In the grazing fields there were 2 little egrets, 100 wigeon, 10 teal and 10 shoveler. The tide was well out so the only group of waders to catch the eye were 20 black-tailed godwits in summer plumage.

Andy Field had good views of a short-eared owl still present on the Rewsalls marshes near the Coopers Beach caravan site. A pair of Mediterranean gulls were also seen near here. During his later walk along the Reeveshall seawall he noted merlin, common buzzard and 12 marsh harriers over the nearby Langenhoe marshes. On Reeveshall there was a pair of pintail and a green sandpiper on the pool and a big flock of 1000 brent geese feeding on one of the pastures.

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