Monday, 8 August 2011


One of the recent high tides had deposited the empty shells of thousands of shore crabs along the side of the Reeveshall seawall at East Mersea on Monday 8th. All along the tideline were lots of these tiny crab-shells, discarded by the growing crabs that have needed to move out of their old shells and grow newer and bigger ones.

It stayed dry but breezy during the hour along the seawall early in the afternoon. Around 200 swallows were hawking low over various fields beside the seawall. This flock may involve local birds but is probably made up of swallows that have finished breeding elsewhere and have got together here on their journey south for the autumn. One house martin was also seen with the swallows.

A male marsh harrier was seen over the Reeveshall reedbed and there was also one over the Langenhoe reedbed too. The water levels have risen recently on the pool and the only waders here were the two broods of 7 avocet chicks, one brood fledged over a fortnight ago. Three mallard were also seen while a grey heron and a calling greenshank flew over.

Along the Pyefleet with the tide out, 9 whimbrel, 180 black-tailed godwit, 70 avocet, 70 redshank, 4 turnstone, 25 lapwing, 10 curlew and 20 oystercatcher were the waders noted. Two common terns flew along the channel, 4 little terns were seen near the Point, a female pochard drifted down the channel, while a group of 8 little egrets fed beside the Colne.

Andy Field saw a wheatear, 2 yellow wagtail and sedge warbler at the country park while offshore were 2 eider with 10 dunlin, 100 golden plover and 100 turnstone seen amongst the usual godwit numbers on the mud.

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