Monday, 21 February 2011


A group of eight eager birders were taken by Ray Hempstead on his Sorcerer boat along some of the local creeks and into the river Blackwater on Sunday 20th, in search of some interesting seaduck, divers and grebes. We were on the water for about four hours and took the opportunity to look at various inshore waters including near Bradwell on the south side of the river and behind Osea Island a few miles to the west.

Although there was only a slight wind, it was a cold one and we needed to be wrapped up warm. It even managed to stay dry which was a relief after the continuous rain of the previous day. Peter Triston is pictured above scanning the waters of the Mersea Quarters for some birdlife.

Offshore from West Mersea we noted about 25 great crested grebes, 2 eider, red-throated diver, common scoter and 10+ red-breasted mergansers. Along the north side of the Blackwater we noted 2 more red-throated divers, 10+ Slavonian grebes, 15+ red-breasted mergansers, 5 goldeneye, 2o+ great crested grebes and 50 pintail. A shag was seen perched on the baffle wall in front of the Bradwell power station.

Surprisingly the Salcott and Tollesbury creeks were very quiet for birds with the 8 red-breasted mergansers in Tollesbury being the most notable. Four marsh harriers were seen flying around Old Hall marshes. There was the familiar variety of waders and wildfowl noted on the trip with the waders especially dunlin, grey plover, golden plover and knot flying around lots as their normal hgh tide roosts became submerged.

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