Monday, 27 December 2010


Checked out this weedy Strood-side field on Monday 27th, as it had been a month since my last visit. Just as I arrived at the side of the field, a lapland bunting rose up and called loudly, passing overhead it soon disappeared westwards high and fast towards the West Mersea Hard and Old Hall marshes. This was the only glimpse of a lapland bunting I was able to get during the walk, so it was fortunate I arrived when I did.

There was an impressive flock of 100+ skylarks feeding in the field, flying around every so often and then disappearing amongst the plants. Also present were 70 linnets 3 reed buntings and 6 stock doves feeding in the field, while on the saltmarsh a rock pipit was seen.

Lots of the usual waders and wildfowl along the Strood Channel during low tide. Several hundred wigeon and teal gathered on the mud as well as 70+ shelduck. The main brent flock appeared to be feeding on fields alongside the Ray Channel. Amongst the lots of waders noted, small numbers of both black-tailed and bar-tailed godwits were seen, 100 knot, one snipe and a single avocet.
The closest bird of prey seen was a marsh harrier hunting over the saltmarsh and seawall on the Feldy side of the Ray Channel.

In the West Mersea grassland of Feldy View, two lapwings, green woodpecker 2 reed buntings and 2 stock doves nearby were noted and two grey herons flew over the fields towards the Strood Channel.

Driving off the Island in the early afternoon, there was a nice view of lots of waxwings perched on roadside telegraph wires about 200m north of the Peldon Rose pub. Unfortunately the birds were feeding in roadside bushes beside a busy section of this Colchester road and so views were hurried. Steve Entwistle and Andy Field braved the busy traffic later and counted 36 birds present here.

Steve and Andy also confirmed that 6 swans seen on Langenhoe fields initially by Martin Cock whilst he was at Maydays farm, were 6 Bewick swans. The swans appeared to be a family group comprising two adults and 4 youngsters. Also seen at Maydays was a black brant with 500+ brent geese and a common buzzard noted too.

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