Monday, 7 March 2011


A rare day with blue sky from dawn till dusk over Mersea on Monday 7th. Spent a couple of hours in the middle of the day walking along the Reeveshall seawall on the north-side of the Island. Despite the welcome sunshine, there was a cold easterly breeze blowing.

The sunshine brought a few birds of prey into view with five species noted. Three common buzzards were noted as they drifted eastwards along the Pyefleet where they were joined by a fourth bird and a male marsh harrier aleady circling over Langenhoe. There was the typical showing of marsh harriers over Langenhoe with about 7 birds noted either quartering the marshes, perching on bushes or soaring high in the sky.

A peregrine was seen flying high over Langenhoe while flying closer to the ground were a couple of kestrels. On Reeveshall a sparrowhawk flashed low down a few metres past me, whilst I stood on the seawall. Just the one marsh harrier was seen over the Reeveshall reedbed before drifting over Maydays farm.

The tide was coming in along the Pyefleet Channel with a female scaup flying up-channel the highlight. Also of interest were 4 red-breasted mergansers, great grested grebe, 100 shelduck near Pewit Island and 2000 dunlin along the water's edge, whilst flying over Langenhoe were 4 pochard and 2 tufted ducks.

A common seal drifted up channel with the tide, occasionally sticking its head above water, meanwhile a fox was trotting along the saltmarsh behind Pewit Island flushing lots of wildfowl.

On the Reeveshall pool were 25 teal, 3 redshank, cormorant, grey heron with 9 stock doves feeding on the nearby field. In the nearby Shop Lane 3 siskins perched in a tree above the popular bird feeders next to the conifer wood.

There was a colourful end to the day with a bright sunset seen from the Hard at West Mersea. Over the Feldy fields 400 brent geese noisily flew around before settling back down. On the nearby mud were a typical selection of waders with oystercatchers, curlews, redshank, dunlin and turnstones all present.

A late afternoon walk along the Strood seawall on Sunday 6th provided views of at least 28 lapland buntings in the weedy field with 25 of the birds seen heading over to the mainland field on the east side of the Strood causeway, presumably to roost for the night. Also flying around the weedy field were 4 linnets, skylark and 5 reed buntings. A barn owl was seen flying along the seawall at the top end of Ray Channel. Amongst the many regular waders along the Strood, 100 knot were of note.

Martin Cock saw the female scaup still on the Strood fishing lake on Sunday as well as one in the Pyefleet from Maydays.

Two adders were seen basking at the country park today as they were yesterday too.

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