Friday, 2 September 2011


The hot and still conditions on Friday 2nd provided a good excuse to get in the canoe and visit the nearby Pennyhole Bottom lagoon on the Old Hall RSPB reserve opposite West Mersea. In the picture above, oystercatchers and black-headed gulls roost within sight of some of the houses in the background along West Mersea's Coast Road.

Visiting during the high tide meant that there were lots of waders roosting and feeding on the lagoon, with about 1000 gulls and 800+ waders. Amongst some of the waders noted were 2 curlew sandpipers, 20+ ruff, 20+ spotted redshank, 2+ greenshank, green sandpiper and 5+ avocet while the main roosting flock consisting of several hundred redshank and black-tailed godwits.

Over the nearby pastures 2000+ black-headed gulls appeared to be hawking through the air after flying ants. A noisy juvenile Sandwich tern followed one of it's parents as they crossed from the Mersea Quarters into the Blackwater river. A couple of yellow wagtails were seen along the seawall and 50 ringed plovers were on the saltmarsh as the tide receded.

In the evening 4 swifts were flying around the Coast Road and Firs Chase area along with 30+ swallows.

Earlier in the day a walk around the Rewsalls marshes near Coopers Beach in East Mersea was generally quiet in the heat. However a marsh harrier circled overhead, at least 5 Mediterranean gulls were mixed in with mainly black-headed gulls as they hawked after ants in the air and a wheatear was along the seawall near the Youth Camp.

The main wader on the mudflats as the tide came in were 100 golden plover, while a little egret was also seen. Fifty swallows flew around Coopers Beach with a couple of house martins mixed in, while other birds noted were kestrel, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, 2 skylark and a meadow pipit.

Andy Field found a wood sandpiper on the Reeveshall pool late Friday morning which unfortunately flew off and wasn't located again. Also seen were ruff, green sandpiper on the pool and 3 whinchats still along the fenceline near the Shop Lane seawall.

No comments: