Sunday, 21 February 2010


Made a quick visit to Reeveshall and its pool in East Mersea, pictured above, in between some heavy showers on Sunday 21st. A combination of already saturated fields and the afternoon high tide, meant there were thousands of birds feeding on the Reeveshall and Maydays fields.

At least 1000 brent geese grazed in two flocks before they were spooked and disappeared with lots of noise. The first grass field also held an unusually large number of waders with 300 black-tailed godwits, 300 lapwing and 100 golden plover. Joining them were 200 dunlin, 100 redshank a number of curlew and 1000 starlings. In the second grass field 70 stock doves, 200 wigeon were seen with more lapwings and curlews. Large wader flocks were seen on the distant Maydays fields with 2000 golden plover recognised when they rose into the air. There appeared to be another 2000 waders which may've been dunlin or even more golden plovers.

The whole mass of waders and wildfowl rose into the air, separating into different flocks that circled round several times before settling back down again. The disturbance was probably due to a peregrine by the chaos that followed, although the only birds of prey seen were a couple of female marsh harriers. A male marsh harrier was seen later over the Reeveshall reedbed. Another spell of chaos in one field a little while later was probably due to a male sparrowhawk that was seen perching on a nearby fencepost.

On the Reeveshall pool a pair of pintail, little egret, 20 redshank and 20 black-tailed godwits were noted. In the nearby muddy bay in the Pyefleet, 1000 dunlin gathered as the tide came in along with 30 avocets, and lots of redshank, grey plover and black-tailed godwits.

On Langenhoe a barn owl was seen hunting the marshes but only a couple of marsh harriers flying about.

The end of the afternoon stayed dry leaving more water on the park grazing fields pictured above. The large flock of 1000 wigeon flew noisily off the fields with most heading out to sea to sit on the water. Also seen on the fields were 44 shoveler, 100 teal, 3 snipe, 10 turnstone, 30 redshank and a few black-tailed godwits, lapwing and golden plovers. There were 5 tufted ducks on the dyke and 30 gadwall seen on the park pond.

Next to the car park 70 fieldfares, 2 mistle thrushes and a redwing were seen up until dusk.


geraldgee said...

Great photos....thanks

Dougal Urquhart said...

Pleased to hear you like the photos.