Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Discovered this greylag goose with a neck collar in the park's grazing fields on Wednesday 12th. Through the binoculars the letters OEB could be read on the collar and later in the day armed with my telescope, I could see the same letters marked on a small ring on its lower leg. The goose was keeping company with 10 other greylags and spent time either grazing or snoozing. Greylags are often seen in the fields each spring in small numbers as pairs check out suitable sites for breeding.

Having done some preliminary research on the internet, it would appear that this goose was ringed in southern Sweden as part of a study into the movements and dispersal of greylags away from their breeding grounds. Despite having lots of resident greylags in Essex, little is known about any movements they make, so if this goose is from Sweden, it would be an interesting sighting.

Five black-tailed godwits have been feeding in the fields for the last few days, with the brightest coloured individual this one pictured above with its ginger head and neck. The only other waders on the fields were several redshank and lapwings including the lone chick still.

From the beach 200 dunlin, 70 ringed plovers and a whimbrel were out on the mudflats along with a scattering of oystercatchers. The ringed plover was still on her eggs at the Point and five brent geese flew past the beach. Around the middle of the day there was a small influx of swifts into the Colne estuary when about 50 birds were seen flying upriver.

This delicate small copper was enjoying the warmth of the morning sun as it basked out of the cool wind. This is the second small copper seen this spring but generally numbers of butterflies have been lower because of the chilly breezes. An adder was also out enjoying the sun at the park during the day.

The last couple of hours of Tuesday were spent along the Pyefleet Channel at Reeveshall. Along the Channel were 10 little terns, 30 grey plover, 100 dunlin, 8 whimbrel, 7 curlew, 10 turnstone, single brent goose and one common seal. On Langenhoe only one marsh harrier was seen but a cuckoo could be heard calling.

On Reeveshall a Mediterranean gull flew past, the male marsh harrier was flying about, 65 greylags and 10 Canada geese were seen as were 5 brown hares. On the pool 2 wheatears, gadwall, pochard, 2 pairs of swans and a little egret that flew off to the nearby Shop Lane wood to roost for nightfall.

In the area of Shop Lane a sparrowhawk, yellowhammer, cuckoo were seen while at dusk a tawny owl flew off the roadside wires and there was the pleasant surprise hearing a nightingale singing from Manwood Grove. Interestingly Martin Cock had also heard a nightingale earlier in the day in Shop Lane but from a copse 300 metres away, so should be different bird.

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