Sunday, 30 January 2011


There were still lots of teal on the flooded pools in the park's grazing fields on Sunday 30th. Many of the 200 teal were dabbling in the shallow water but others were happy dozing just like this male teal pictured above. The teal were the most obvious duck around the pools with only a few individuals of mallard, gadwall and shoveler.

In other parts of the fields there were the 500 wigeon and 400 brent geese grazing in dense flocks with the 6 greylag geese still present too. Amongst the waders were 6 snipe, 30 curlew, 60 lapwing and 10 black-tailed godwits. In the nearby dyke 6 reed buntings perched in some reeds, while 20 skylarks flew from the fields to feed in the nearby saltmarsh.

Not as many ducks on the park pond as compared with a few days ago with 9 tufted ducks and 10 gadwall being the main ones present. In the alder trees 25 goldfinches flew around at times with a couple of siskins glimpsed too. In horse paddocks to the north there was the small flock of 30+ redwings and fieldfares.

Offshore 11 eider were seen in the river Colne along with at least 10 red-breasted mergansers and 5 great crested grebes. There was no sign looking up-river of the red-necked grebe or long-tailed duck that had been seen opposite the Geedons earlier in the day by Glyn Evans from Alresford. In the Pyefleet 10 pintail were seen by Pewit Island along with lots of wigeon and teal, while a peregrine and 3 marsh harriers were seen over Langenhoe Point.

Martin Cock located a bearded tit and 3 brambling at Maydays farm in the afternoon while there was a report of 28 lapland buntings still present in fields by the Strood. Mo Jackson visited this spot later and didn't see any laplands but did report seeing a ringtail hen harrier followed by a male hen harrier, then a marsh harrier before concluding with a barn owl flying past.

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