Sunday, 3 May 2009


The big winter pool on one of the park grazing fields is shrinking fast, leaving behind various muddy areas that have quickly dried up, as pictured above. This area is the main focus of attention for waders and wildfowl and there was a good variety on Sunday 3rd May.

As in the last few days here, the greenshank was the most notable wader. Also here, black-tailed godwit, 3 redshank and about 10 lapwing as well as the first brood of four,10 days old lapwing chicks. Sixty black-headed gulls seemed quite a number, there was also 14 squabbling shelduck, a pair of gadwall, 15 mallard, pair of shoveler and coots and moorhens.
On the park pond there were 14 tufted duck and a female pochard.

As the car park filled up with cars, the nightingale sang loudly from a nearby hedge. The songs of several common whitethroat and one lesser whitethroat could be heard near the car park too.

The leafy northern end of Shop Lane in East Mersea was where several speckled wood, orange-tip and small white butterflies fluttered along and a chiffchaff sang from the nearby wood. The verges of the lane have come to life with the cow parsley in flower.

There was a recognisable increase in anxious calls from a nearby chicken-coop and it didn't take too long to find the reason. A fox was calmly strolling through the long grass up towards the coop in broad daylight, stopping every so often to sniff the air. It checked out part of the fencing, perhaps knowing in advance the chickens were already secure but ever hopeful in his dreams there might be an open door. After walking right up to the coop fence, the fox turned away and ambled off into a nearby hedge.

Along the nearby Pyefleet a pair of Mediterranean gulls fed on nearby mud along with the black-headed gulls, also one brent goose. The only waders seen along the channel were a few oystercatchers, although three whimbrel fed in one of the grass fields. Three marsh harriers were seen on Langenhoe Point, two males and a female.

Very little of note on the Reeveshall pool other than a few shelduck, one redshank, grey heron and a few greylag and Canada geese. Three stock doves fed on one of the fields and a few swallows passed over.

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