Sunday, 20 December 2009


Another chilly but sunny day with plenty of snow still lying around for its third day since it fell on Thursday night, as shown at the park pictured above. There were a few more smaller birds to see foraging through and beneath the trees. One edge of the park had a mixture of long-tailed tits, blue tit, robin, wren, dunnock, blackbird, song thrush, chaffinch, greenfinch, while a small group of goldfinches fed in some nearby alder trees.

At the partially frozen park pond, 90 mallard, 20 gadwall, 10 shoveler, 3 little grebes and 10 coots were the main wildfowl present. On the flooded field nearby 12 snipe fed with 15 moorhens and a couple of lapwings. Three little egrets roosted briefly at the pond in the late morning while in the fields were 800 golden plover roosting during the high tide.
Late in the afternoon at least 50 stock doves arrived to roost at the copse by the pond.

The saltmarsh beside the seawall near the Point is still carpeted with snow, pictured above. There was no sign of the shorelark at the Point since its brief showing for an hour and a half yesterday. A dozen skylarks, 8 reed buntings, 2 rock pipits were still present and the male stonechat was seen by the seawall.

In the river 3 female eider, 5 red-breasted mergansers, 6 great crested grebes were noted as well as the usual good selection of waders on the nearby mudflats.

The sun setting across the sea in front of the park as in this picture above, is quite a rarity to admire. For most of the year the sun sets much further north and behind the park cliff. Getting the high tide combined with a clear sunny afternoon for this view doesn't happen too often either.

Martin Cock spent the last part of the day on the Shop Lane seawall and saw 12 marsh harriers coming into the Langenhoe roost. Also noted were 6 goldeneye, 4 red-breasted mergansers, 60 avocets, 100 bar-tailed godwits and 2 pintail along the Pyefleet. The jack snipe was seen again in the ditch by the East Mersea road near the shop.

The last glimpse of the setting sun was just after this photo was taken, dropping between the two reactors of the Bradwell nuclear power station on the south side of the river Blackwater.

No comments: