Thursday, 26 August 2010


Braved the gloom and light drizzle along the Pyefleet in the evening of Thursday 26th, hoping that the broad-billed sandpiper might still be present. Despite spending an hour on the seawall, the conditions were far from ideal with a dark grey sky above and several wipes of the telescope lens to clear the drizzle spits away.

There was no sign of the broad-billed but it could still be present as it was seen yesterday morning in much better light. The ringed plovers were still scattered across the mud with at least 230 birds counted along with 100+ dunlin also present. Amongst the redshank, grey plovers, curlews and black-tailed godwits were a greenshank and 70+ avocets, while the summering brent goose was still on Pewit Island.
At the Maydays end of the Channel, 3 common seals were lying on the mud.

On Reeveshall 2 male marsh harriers were noted, also green sandpiper, wheatear, 10 yellow wagtails, 2 grey herons and 24 greylag geese flying in at dusk.
By the Shop Lane wood, back from the seawall, 2 spotted flycatchers were feeding in a garden.

In the country park, there was a bit of bird activity around the park pond where a spotted flycatcher was present with 3 blackcaps, sedge warbler, willow warbler, chiffchaff, several whitethroats, reed warblers and lesser whitethroats. Five little egrets perched in an oak tree beside the pools where 8 black-tailed godwits were feeding.

The only insect activity noted during Thursday were a few small white butterflies, holly blue and migrant hawker dragonflies buzzing about. There was the nice sight of 3 red underwing moths resting on the information room building during the day.

On Wednesday the broad-billed sandpiper was seen in the Pyefleet in the morning before the high tide. There was also a kingfisher seen beside the Reeveshall seawall and a wheatear too.
Also received a report of a kingfisher being seen at the park pond a fortnight ago - the first autumn record.

On Tuesday the broad-billed sandpiper was seen in the Pyefleet by Andy Field in the morning from Reeveshall. Two spotted flycatchers were seen at the country park. A spotted flycatcher was also found by the wood at the north end of Shop Lane and there was a turtle dove on wires near the pub. Twelve yellow wagtails were seen in a horse paddock by Chapmans Lane, West Mersea on Tuesday.
At the park one wheatear was at the Point and a possible second bird was seen closer to the main park.

On Monday 23rd it stayed bright enough for a walk along the Strood seawall although there was a strong wind to contend with. Despite a thorough scan of the waders on the mud, there was little of note amongst the 400+ redshank other than a greenshank, 30 grey plover and a bar-tailed godwit. A couple of common terns were noted resting on the mud and 5 little egrets wre noted on the Ray saltings. The 2 young little grebes and 3 young swans were still present on the dyke and one yellow wagtail flew past calling.

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