Monday, 2 March 2009


There was plenty of blue sky on Monday 2nd but the ice still had to be scraped off the car windscreen first thing. There was plenty of wildfowl activity on the grazing fields to admire in the bright light. This small group of wigeon pictured above were some of the 400 birds in the fields. There was the big conspicuous flock of 500 brent geese also grazing, as were 3 greylags. The other usual ducks on the fields included lots of teal, shoveler, gadwall, mallard with a few tufted ducks and pochard on the pond.

The most interesting waders were two ruff that dropped briefly onto the very flooded section, teaming up with a handful of black-tailed godwits. The fields have looked ideal for ruff all winter but it has taken till today for any to be seen here. Also in the fields were 2 snipe, 10 curlew and 4 pairs of displaying lapwing.

Along the beach 3 snow buntings were almost stood on as they stayed motionless on the shingle whilst I walked past. Overhead a siskin flew east over the river to Brightlingsea, calling as it went. Several skylarks were also in song around the park.

There wasn't much to report from a very overcast park yesterday although offshore late-on, Steve Entwistle came to see red-throated diver, 7 eider, 4 Slavonian grebes, 25 great crested grebes and 2 red-breasted mergansers. Amongst the usual waders arriving to feed as the tide ebbed were one or two sanderling and knot. Two goldcrests fed in the company of some long-tailed tits in the bsushes on the clifftop.

Earlier in the day Andy Field, Martin Cock and Steve at various times, visited the Pyefleet and noted kingfisher, green sandpiper, corn bunting, stonechat and short-eared owl near Maydays Farm. Andy enjoyed close views of a weasel on the seawall here. Along the Pyefleet a red-throated diver was unusual, a couple of goldeneye were noted and on the Reeveshall pool there were 6 pintail. There were the usual marsh harriers flying around nearby Langenhoe with the males flying high and calling as they displayed.

On Saturday evening Steve and Andy watched 2 ringtail hen harriers joining the 10 or so marsh harriers for the Langenhoe roost. They were able to enjoy seeing a merlin perch on a bush on Langenhoe too.

The sunshine provided ideal basking conditions for the adders at the park with two seen intertwined in the picture above. A third adder was found on a tussock of grass a short distance from the main "adder-dell". By the pond a fox was seen snoozing in the morning sunshine.

The moth trap operated at the park throghout Saturday night and a few moths were found in the morning including a couple of the hebrew characters, one pictured above. The suitably named March moth pictured below, made its appearance on the first of March. Also found were clouded drab, dotted border and a satellite moth too.

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