Sunday, 17 April 2011


There were several of these colourful patches of red dead-nettles along the seawall near Shop Lane in East Mersea on Friday 15th. Despite the plant being very common, it still manages to catch the eye early in the spring before many of the other plants come into flower.

There was the nice sight of the male marsh harrier going through its display flight high over Reeveshall. The effortless undulating flight with distinctive deep wing-beats, whilst calling at the same time, is now a regular sight in spring along many parts of the Essex coast. Above the nearby Langenhoe marshes were another 8 marsh harriers circling or quartering the army ranges.

On the Reeveshall pool there was a little egret, pair of redshank, a lapwing, pair of Canada geese, 4 mallard and a pair of shelduck. On the big grass field were 20 greylag geese and six Canada geese, while a male wheatear was seen on the seawall.

There weren't many waders to see along the Pyefleet Channel as it was near high tide. A male red-breasted merganser and 5 brent geese were late winter stragglers still present in the area. In behind the seawall a male yellowhammer sang from the top of some bushes as did a whitethroat.

In the Shop Lane wood a blackcap and chiffchaff were singing and a speckled wood butterfly fluttered along the track.

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