Friday, 31 December 2010


The fog of the previous few days cleared away enough on Friday 31st, so that some of the birds such as this woodcock pictured above, could be seen at the country park. This very obliging woodcock was feeding along the edge of the pond, providing good views from the hide. The striking feature of this bird was the light colouring, much paler than the typical dark brown plumage. For comparison a second woodcock was seen further along from the pond feeding beside a hedge and there was also a snipe in the grass by the pond too.

Most of the park pond remained frozen with 35 gadwall the main ducks, also 3 tufted duck seen, a water rail called and a fieldfare perched up nearby. A goldcrest and a yellowhammer were noted during the morning in the park.

Offshore a female long-tailed duck was feeding with 4 common scoter, while 2 Slavonian grebes were seen with 10 great crested grebes. Also seen were 10 red breasted mergansers, goldeneye, 3 pintail along with hundreds of wigeon and teal waiting to fly onto the grazing fields.

At the Point a snow bunting circled round several times before landing briefly on the beach nearby. At the same time 25 white-fronted geese flew high and south out of the river Colne, disappearing in the direction of the Thames. Nineteen greylag geese were also noted on the grazing fields.

At West Mersea a great northern diver, Slavonian grebe, 11 eider, 8 common scoter and 5 red breasted mergansers were seen offshore. Martin Cock saw a brambling at Maydays Farm in with lots of chaffinches.

The slightly milder temperature of 5 degrees in the early evening brought out a good number of 20 winter moths to the lighted windows of the house in the park.

The fog has been thick on the previous couple of days as seen in this view of the park pond on Thursday. The only birds that were noted were ones heard calling especially the wigeon on the grazing fields. A water rail was heard calling on Thursday and 10 redwings flew over, while a sparrowhawk flew past the pond on Wednesday. A woodcock flew over the car park on Tuesday in the middle of the day.

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