Friday, 4 February 2011


There was a bit more wind blowing about on Friday 4th, during a mid-day walk beside the Rewsalls marshes on the south side of East Mersea. The fields are still very saturated with water and several birds were enjoying the muddy conditions.

Waders roosting during the high tide or enjoying feeding in the fields included 80 curlew, 200 dunlin, 15 redshank, 20 turnstone, 5 ringed plover and a grey plover. A flock of 200 brent geese were also grazing in some of the wet grass fields too. Eleven pied wagtails were noted amongst the pools and 20 moorhens were seen along the field edges.

A male sparrowhawk sat up on an exposed bush-top with the fresh wind ruffling its feathers, as it scanned the marshes. Near the entrance to the Youth Camp, the little owl was seen hiding beside an ivy-covered limb of a willow tree. Martin Cock had seen the owl here on Wednesday and if he hadn't described which tree to look at, this bird would've stayed undetected today. It stared down at me with its big yellow eyes, giving me quite a disapproving look. A green woodpecker perched on several trees near the Youth Camp entrance.

Two flocks of fieldfares were seen, one group of 20 birds were in a field near Rewsalls farm while another 40 were seen by Weir farm. There was no sign today of the 100 linnets that have been seen in recent days in a rape field near Bocking Hall.

Yesterday on Thursday 3rd, Andrew Thompson and Steve Grimwade visited Mersea and noted 4 Slavonian grebes, 2 Mediterranean gulls and a shag at West Mersea, while from the park there was another Slavonian grebe noted offshore.

There seemed to be more waders around the park pools during the high tide with 70+ curlew, 100 redshank, 50 black-tailed godwit, 5 snipe, turnstone, dunlin and 70 lapwing. A little egret feeding in the fields was the first one noted here for over two months, since before the snow fell at the end of last November. There were several hundred wildfowl in the fields with 350 teal, 400 wigeon and 300 brent geese, as well as the 6 greylag geese. Nine tufted duck were still present on the park pond. At dusk a sparrowhawk was seen by the clifftop and two pairs of little owl duetted to each other, one pair calling from Cosways caravan site and being answered by the pair at nearby Bromans farm.

On Wednesday 22 eider flew out of the river past the Point late in the afternoon and a peregrine and a marsh harrier were also seen here too. Martin Cock saw the long-tailed duck amongst 22+ red-breasted mergansers near Langenhoe Point. Earlier Martin was joined by Bruce Brown on the Strood seawall where they saw 24 lapland buntings on Wednesday.

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