Sunday, 28 March 2010


The popular annual "Snake-walk" took place at the country park on Sunday 28th with sixty folk turning up hoping to glimpse an adder or two. It proved to be a successful walk especially as the sun came out in the morning and so did 4 adders.
In fact three other adders were located at the park, outside of the period of the main Snake-walk, bringing the day's tally to 7 for the day. The picture above was taken near the east end of the seawall, a spot where the occasional adder has been seen in previous years.

This adder was missed during the walk but appears to be the one that went "slither-about" from its normal basking spot near the car park. It was seen in the middle of the afternoon sliding through the long grass about 25 metres from its normal spot.

One of the adders has been very obliging this month, allowing all 60 enthusiasts ranging in age from toddler up to 93 years old, to admire it as it basked in the sun beside a path.
Also seen amongst the long grass whilst searching for the adders were up to 4 common lizards, while the warm weather also saw a couple of peacoock butterflies fly past.

The flooded field still provides the main bird interest with a roost of 50 black-tailed godwits and 150 redshank as well as 2 ruff. A little egret was finding one or two small shrimps or something in the pools. Ten pairs of lapwing were busy displaying noisily over the fields, chasing each other around the place. The ducks present included about 70 wigeon, 50 teal, 10 gadwall, 10 shoveler, a few mallard and shelduck.

Offshore 200 brent geese roosted on the mud at low-tide as did 100 golden plover. Two avocets were seen on the saltmarsh pools at the Point. There was a report of a marsh harrier flying passed the park and the resident sparrowhawk and kestrels were seen too.

The only migrant about the place at the moment is still the chiffchaff singing in the trees near the park pond. It's been present for over a week now.

Early in the morning the corn bunting was singing from its regular bush alongside the East Mersea road, while a brown hare and green woodpecker were also noted near the road.

Martin Cock had a chiffchaff singing from his West Mersea garden on Saturday and also a Mediterranean gull flew over.

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