Friday, 14 January 2011


Most of the small birds at the country park were feeding around this small field beside the pond on Friday 14th. Amongst the flock of up to 25 goldfinches was at least one siskin this morning perched up in the trees. In recent days the goldfinches have been feeding in the alders along the hedgeline, with two siskins also seen yesterday. Also feeding in the area were 20 greenfinches and about 12 chaffinches.

The recent rains seemed to have brought more thrushes into this area with ten blackbirds, couple of song thrushes, a few redwings and fieldfares, either in the bushes or feeding in the field. A dozen moorhens were also feeding along the lower part of the field.

At the park pond 7 tufted duck were of interest amongst the usual gadwall, mallard with a few teal and shoveler. The grazing fields are much wetter after the rains although most of the wigeon were absent, resting on the nearby sea. Fifteen snipe, 50 lapwing, 30 black-tailed godwit, 10 redshank, 150 teal and 20 shoveler were seen around the flooded area. A noisy flock of 300 starlings were busy feeding in the field too.

The birds of prey seen in the last few days include a peregrine flying over this corner of the fields as it headed north on Wednesday, a harrier sp flying away over the Point on Thursday looked like a ringtail while on Friday a nicely marked male sparrowhawk flew very low at pebble height along the beach.

In the river Colne 3 eiders were seen on both Thursday and Friday with one or two great black-backed gulls keeping them company. Up to 10 red-breasted mergansers and 5 great crested grebes were also seen. Not much to report from the vast expanse of mudflats exposed during the low tide, although 12 avocets were noted near the Point on Thursday.

At the west end of the Island 20+ lapland buntings were seen in the arable field near the Strood on Tuesday by Martin Cock and they were reported again on Wednesday. Also on Tuesday 2 Mediterranean gulls were on the greensward by the Esplanade and offshore a Slavonian grebe and 10 common scoters were seen.

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