Saturday, 18 September 2010


At least ten snipe were skulking around the muddy pools in the park's grazing fields on a sunny Saturday 18th. This one above was feeding with a second bird, it's bill just visible behind, anxiously watching an approaching cow that was grazing it's way towards them. All the snipe and several teal flew away to a quieter part of the field. There were 100 teal , 5 shoveler and a few wigeon too.

Joined Andy Field at the East Mersea Point (with the old sailing barge Edme from Harwich in the background), where we had an unsuccessful search for the lapland bunting. The bird had been seen first thing yesterday morning by Martin Cock who had seen it fly off the beach calling loudly and then drop into the long grass of the nearby grazing field. It doesn't appear to have been seen since then.

There was the interesting sight of 6 common buzzards soaring high over fields and woodland near Brightlingsea church. Two of the buzzards managed to get enough height to fly high across the river Colne westwards, while the others continued to circle in the distance. On Langenhoe a male marsh harrier was seen quartering the marshes.

As the tide uncovered the mud, some of waders noted near the Point included 500 golden plover, 10 bar-tailed godwits, 12 knot along with many of the usual other waders. At least 20 common terns were seen flying past the Point with most coming into the river. Eighteen linnets were on the seablite bushes while 12 goldfinches were feeding on thistles in the field. Amongst the small group of 30 hirundines were 15 house martins, 20 swallows and a few sand martins.
Andy had seen a kingfisher at the park pond earlier in the morning, calling loudly as if there was a second bird in the area. This could've been the same bird seen along the dyke on Thursday evening by Andy and Steve.

An adder and a common lizard were basking amongst the reeds alongside the dyke. Dragonflies seen included lots of egg-laying pairs of common darters, migrant hawkers egg-laying and also a single small red-eyed damselfly. Amongst the butterflies enjoying the sunshine were red admiral, comma, small white, common blue, holly blue, small heath and speckled wood.

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