Saturday, 20 November 2010


There was a very vocal tit flock moving through the trees at the park on Saturday 20th. There seemed to be about 20 long-tailed tits foraging through with lots of blue and great tits. A couple of tiny goldcrests were very obliging and came down low to give close views as they picked over some shrivelled oak leaves. A fieldfare was also noted along this path as were a few of the regular chaffinches, goldfinches and greenfinches.

The main ducks on the pond were 80 mallard, 12 gadwall, 20 shoveler and 5 tufted ducks. The water rail was heard calling briefly from the back of the pond and the fox was curled up resting a couple of feet off the ground on a willow tree.

On the grazing fields 45 snipe were dotted across the pools along with the 50 black-tailed godwits and 50 redshank that had gathered here at high tide. There were the usual big flocks of several hundred wigeon and teal around the pools while a group of 400 brent geese fed in the other field. The river Colne was surprisingly quiet although 10 great crested grebes were on the sea from the park.

At West Mersea Andy Field noted a red-throated diver, 4 common scoter and a goldeneye on Saturday. Later alongside the Strood, there was no sign of the lapland buntings although 50+ linnets and lots of skylarks, corn buntings and pipits were seen as were 250 knot, greenshank and 300 brent geese.

Earlier in the week a marsh harrier was seen flying past the East Mersea Point late on Tuesday afternoon and there was a common seal in the river. Sixteen red-breasted mergansers flew past the Point so close that it was the sound of them flying that made me look up at them, as they headed out of the river to feed.

In the grazing fields on Thursday a sparrowhawk flew along the central ditch and perched on a fence post to survey the birdlife. There were about 600 brent geese still feeding in the field towards dusk and 50 snipe was the best count so far this autumn. On the park pond 40 shoveler were seen and a little egret thought about roosting in a tree over the pond.

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