Sunday, 27 February 2011


After a rainy Saturday, it was nice to see the sun shining on Sunday 27th and spring inching closer. This cluster of the lambs-tail catkins on a hazel tree in Bromans Lane near the country park are becoming more eyecatching with each sunny day. Some pussy willow catkins have also turned into their distinctive yellow clusters while many of the alder trees are covered in their long catkins too.

The BBC CountryFile programme about the Cudmore Grove geology is now going to be shown a week later than planned - now Sunday 13th March.

At the park pond 2 pochard and 12 tufted duck were the main ducks of interest here along with a few gadwall. The pair of swans rested on an island,a pair of dabchicks called to each other while two water rails were heard calling from the back of the pond.

As the light faded at the end of the day, two muntjac deer came out from the copse at the back of the pond to feed in the corner of the grazing field. This is the first time two have been seen together since the spring last year. I've also heard from Gerry Mason that he also saw a muntjac in this same area ten days earlier.

There was a nice variety of the usual waders and wildfowl on the fields with 500+ brent geese, 200+ teal, 300 wigeon, 70 redshank, 50 black-tailed godwit, 50 lapwing, 16 snipe and 30 curlew.

At the end of the day 100+ wood pigeons roosted in the copse behind the pond along with a few stock doves. Forty greenfinches also roosted in a thick hedge near the pond with a few chaffinches, while the usual 30+ goldfinches gathered by the car park. Two little owls were heard calling from different locations to the north and west of the park pond.

At West Mersea 40 lapland buntings, barn owl and the female scaup were seen by the Strood in the afternoon by Andy Field and Steve Entwistle. Sean Nixon had counted 47 lapland buntings in the weedy field on Saturday. Earlier on Sunday, by the East Mersea pub there was a mixed flock of 70 fieldfares and redwings in a rape field. Another sign of spring was the sight of a corn bunting on the usual "song-post" bush near Bocking Hall farm and 70 linnets were also in a field here too.

No comments: