Monday, 27 June 2011


Enjoyed the sunshine along the Strood Channel over the weekend of Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th. Although there was plenty of mud on show, only a few species of wader were seen feeding. The main change from recent visits was a influx of redshank with about fifty birds noted, which is about fifty more than were present during the first 3 weeks of June! A few curlew and oystercatchers were the only other waders noted.

A couple of shelduck and two little egrets were seen while a great crested grebe in the channel was unusual. A couple of little terns and a common tern were also seen flying amongst the boat moorings.

Inside the seawall a kestrel, grey heron, little egret, 2 singing sedge warblers, corn bunting, 4 reed warblers, 2 reed buntings and a family of yellow wagtails were seen on the Saturday walk.

In several places the spiny rest-harrow clumps added some pale pink colour to the side of the Strood seawall.

The flowers of white clover were busy with small skippers and Essex skippers as well as a few meadow browns. Most of the grassland, bramble bushes and the seawall had lots of meadow browns fluttering around them. Also noted on the walk were 3 small tortoiseshells, 4 comma, red admiral, 25+ small heaths, small white and large white butterflies.

Along the dyke were several black-tailed skimmers jostling with each other and also seen were emperor dragonfly and a glimpse of a what looked like a four-spotted chaser too. Lots of blue-tailed damselflies and azure damselflies were resting amongst the rushes at the side of the dyke. On Monday a large red damselfly was seen in Firs Chase and a migrant hawker was seen in The Lane.

At East Mersea Martin Cock and Andy Field watched a Sandwich tern fly out of the Colne on Sunday morning. In West Mersea a sparrowhawk circled high, a pair of Mediterranean gulls flew over Firs Chase while young moorhen chicks were seen near the Monkey Steps and another brood at the pond near Firs Chase.

Andy's visit later on Sunday to the nearby Langenhoe ranges with Richard Hull provided views of peregrine, several marsh harriers, 2 spotted redshank, 2 greenshank, 100 bar-tailed godwits, 60 black-tailed godwits, Mediterranean gull, several bearded tits in the reeds and little terns on the shingle at the Point.

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