Monday, 3 January 2011


The local Colchester RSPB group made their annual birdwatching visit to the park on a chilly but dry Sunday 2nd. Amongst the birds seen were hundreds of wigeon, many grazing the fields as in the picture above, but also many seen resting on the sea. Lots of teal were also in the fields around the pools. There were about 400 brent geese feeding in the fields by the middle of the day.

Most of the ice has gone from the pools in the grazing fields, although the nearby borrowdyke is still covered in ice. Some of the waders seen in the fields during the period of high tide were curlew, black-tailed godwit, redshank, lapwing, golden plover, grey plover, and turnstone. Also seen in the fields were 30 skylarks with one or two meadow pipits, a small flock of goldfinches and also a reed bunting in some reeds.

In the area by the park pond 2 siskin fed with a few goldfinches in alders, 8 fieldfares flew over, 3 musical jays still present, 3 tufted ducks with the 30+ gadwall and other wildfowl on the pond, 2 goldcrest close to the path and a fox snoozing near the pond.

Offshore three Slavonian grebes, eider, common scoter were seen from the beach with 6 goldeneye and 15 red-breasted mergansers seen in the Colne. On Langenhoe 3 marsh harriers flew around the Point and further back 2 little egrets were seen in flight. Amongst the roosting waders on this Point were several bar-tailed godwits with knot, dunlin and oystercatchers.

A last walk around the park as dusk approached, there was a good view of a ringtail hen harrier flying north over the clifftop and then across the middle of the main park. A sparrowhawk then flew over the car park in the fading light, heading to the trees in the clifftop.

Seven waxwings returned at various times during the morning to Michael Thorley's garden along the East Mersea road near Meeting Lane. Some of the birds were dropping down to the roadside to drink at the puddles.

At West Mersea six Slavonian grebes, eider and 15 common scoter were the main birds seen off the Esplanade. There was also a report of 2 waxwings in Kingsland Road by the BT exchange.

At the end of the day, there were a handful of winter moths in the car park around the windows and also a mottled umber moth by the park entrance.

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