Saturday, 25 December 2010


A pleasant surprise on Xmas day morning was finding a small flock of waxwings as I drove along the East Mersea road. Fourteen birds perched up in some of the bushes opposite the Dog and Pheasant pub.

The waxwings were feeding mainly on some hawthorn berries in one of the gardens but if you were in the pub pictured above, you could've had a nice warm view of them in the bushes on the opposite side of the road. The flock that was seen three weeks ago was very near to this spot and comprised about the same number of birds, so this could be the same flock come back again. Needless to say, some of the local birdwatchers this morning managed to escape from their kitchens ahead of Xmas lunch to come and view the waxwings.

Most of the country park was obscured by freezing fog early in the morning and visibility was poor - and it was very cold. The only birds seen on the frozen fields were 30 lapwing. At the park pond 100+ wildfowl were still occupying the little bit of exposed water with gadwall, mallard, teal and shoveler the main ducks present. A female sparrowhawk flashed along the hedgeline and perched on a post briefly. One fox was hunting over the park in mid morning and another one was curled up sleeping on the frozen ground near the pond.

Not much could be seen at a very foggy Point although the large outline of a female marsh harrier was seen flying low over the saltmarsh before crossing the river.

Both Helen Mussett and Martin Dence saw the barn owl hunting near Bromans Lane at different times during the morning and also a kingfisher was also seen at Bromans Farm. Martin Cock saw a spotted redshank at Maydays Farm feeding beside one of the outflows in Maydays creeks.

Yesterday Andy Field noted from Reeveshall 2 hen harriers and at least 22 marsh harriers going into the Langenhoe roost. Also noted in the area were 1000 brent geese, 16 goldeneye, 6 red-breasted mergansers and 100+ avocets.

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