Friday, 25 February 2011


Lots of rain fell during Wednesday 23rd and into the evening which enticed a few more toads and frogs to crawl and hop to their ponds. This toad above was on its way to the pond near Firs Chase. David Nicholls also reported seeing toads and frogs visiting his West Mersea garden pond on the 10th February - my first date too.

Found a trail of these little muntjac footprints along one of the muddy paths along from the hide. It turns out one was spotted a week earlier from the hide as it fed in the field near the pond.

On Thursday 24th a big flock of 700 brent geese flew off the grazing fields when a sparrowhawk passed overhead. When the geese flew across to Brightlingsea, there appeared to be a much larger gathering of 2000 birds here at the mouth of the Colne. Also in the fields were 250 teal, 300 wigeon, 15 snipe, 20 black-tailed godwits and 1oo lapwings, while a grey heron was also noted.

By the pond 6 siskin flew over while 25 fieldfares and 10 redwing landed in a hedgeline to the north of the park. On the pond were 9 tufted duck but no sign of the 3 pochard or snipe seen on Tuesday.

Offshore 3 eider flew out of the river on Thursday while 2 red-breasted mergansers flew up-river. A little egret flew over the mudflats at low tide on Friday 25th.

Glyn Evans noted along the Pyefleet on Tuesday 22nd, 8 marsh harriers, 2 peregrines and a common buzzard over Langenhoe while an Egyptian goose flew east and round to the Point. At West Mersea the female scaup was seen later that day at the Strood fishing lake. Alan Shearman saw at least 2 lapland buntings in the field by the Strood along with 10 reed buntings on Wednesday. Graham Ekins noted great northern diver, 2 Slavonian grebes, 1 eider and 36 great crested grebes off West Mersea, along with the scaup near the Strood on Friday 25th.

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