Sunday, 7 November 2010


There was a sunny and still start to Saturday 6th with clear views across the park's grazing fields. The flooded western end of the fields continue to hold the main concentration of waders and wildfowl. This in turn attracted a peregrine to the area which caused chaos on the pools beneath it as it passed overhead. The birds weren't allowed to settle for a minute as they then had to wait for a sparrowhawk to glide over the pools too, as it seemed to follow the same route as the peregrine.

Numbers of waders and wildfowl peaked over the weekend during the spring high-tides around the middle of the day. There were about 300 wigeon, 300 teal, 100+ curlew, 140 redshank, 50 black-tailed godwits, 25 lapwing and 30 snipe. Along with a few shoveler, mallard, moorhens there were also 2 little egrets and 2 grey plover by the pools.

Several finches, buntings and small birds were feeding alongside this path near the East Mersea Golfhouse. At least fifteen species were noted together in this small area which seemed an interesting gathering. Birds of note included a siskin on top of a bush calling, brambling heard briefly, yellowhammer and 2 reed buntings in the bushes with a small flock of greenfinches, chaffinches and 15+ goldfinches.

On the nearby seawall 140 avocets were on the mud and a red-breasted merganser was in the river Colne near Langenhoe Pt. There was the fine sight of 800 golden plover flying high over the park in a huge flock and at least 50 knot flew onto the mudflats.

Twenty chaffinches were seen near this path by the park pond on Saturday morning, while earlier a brambling was seen flying west over the car park and also 4 redpolls and 6 siskins passed over the park too. A yellowhammer stopped off at the car park briefly on Friday morning.

The sunny weather brought out one last common darter and a red admiral to enjoy the warmth around the middle of the day on Saturday.

The following day there was a cold winter's feel to the weather on Sunday 7th with a few showers in the afternoon. The fresh easterly wind brought in a late swallow across the park and also lots of flocks of starlings totalling about 500 birds coming in off the sea and heading west. Five redpolls flew west but 6 siskins were seen flying east over the car park.

As the tide was coming in 13 sanderling were feeding close to the park beach with a few dunlin, turnstone and redshank. On the park pond there were 28 shoveler and 3 tufted ducks, 4 gadwall, 25 mallard while a water rail called from the back. In the early evening a badger was seen in the car headlights crossing the road near the park entrance.

At West Mersea there was a great northern diver, red-throated diver, common scoter and eider seen from the Esplanade on Sunday and a kingfisher was seen by the East Mersea Oyster Fishery.

On Saturday Martin Cock saw two bearded tits at Maydays and there was a greenshank and 5 red-breasted mergansers in the Pyefleet. Later in the afternoon at Reeveshall, 10 marsh harriers and a merlin were seen over the Langenhoe marsh coming into roost for the night. At least 200 brent geese and a few greylag geese were seen feeding on the Reeveshall fields up until dusk.

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