Friday, 1 May 2009


Checked out the Pyefleet Channel and the Strood Channel on Friday 1st May. The mid-day walk alongside the Pyefleet near Reeveshall didn't produce any excitements and despite plenty of mud on show, hardly any waders were seen. The picture above is the eastern end of the Channel looking across the river Colne to Brightlingsea.

On the pool at Reeveshall one avocet, redshank, pair of oystercatchers, pair of gadwall, 10 shelduck, 4 Canada geese and 4 greylag geese were noted, while a pair of pochard and pair of shoveler flew over. On the fields a wheatear, golden plover and 3 stock doves were seen and a little egret and grey heron were seen feeding along the dyke.

Two male and one female marsh harriers were seen flying over the nearby ranges of Langenhoe. A pair of common terns were seen flying along the Pyefleet.

This small clump of brackish water crowfoot added a bit of life to a dried up puddle in one of the Reeveshall fields. The patch of baked mud held water until last week but the recent fine weather has seen water levels drop quickly.

Along the East Mersea road two corn buntings were perched up on their songpost-bushes. A house martin was seen flying over Chapmans Lane along with one or two swallows. Andy Field noted two red-legged partridge in a field near Bocking Hall.

One or two bits of interest alongside the Strood seawall, although the tide was still high in the early evening, pictured above. Andy Field joined me in catching up with one or two more summer migrants to the Island, especially as I'd just enjoyed views of yellow wagtail, common tern and swift within a few minutes.

One female yellow wagtail landed on the saltmarsh nearby and one was also seen flying away and disappearing into a bright yellow crop of oil-seed rape. Two swifts that appeared overhead, were seen later flying over the houses with at least five birds noted. Five little terns came close in, calling out excitedly to each other, diving down for tiny fish and then flying on. Two noisy common terns also provided close views as they flew up and down the nearby borrowdyke.

A group of 7 whimbrel flew high along the Channel, whistling as they went. A couple of other whimbrels were also noted during the walk. Three brent geese also flew along the Channel with a fourth bird seen feeding in a field. A marsh harrier was seen briefly just to the east of the Strood.

At least three corn buntings were singing from various bushes, although one sedge warbler proved more elusive as it skulked in a bush and a reed warbler sang briefly. Two male reed buntings were seen as were several linnets, meadow pipits and skylarks. A small copper butterfly was seen along the seawall.

Later Andy watched a cuckoo calling from a tree just up from the Strood on the East Mersea road. First thing in the morning a cuckoo was waking everybody in the area of Coast Road and Victory Road inWest Mersea.

Another dry and warm day drew to a close with the sun peeking behind some clouds along the Strood Channel.

No comments: