Sunday, 6 November 2011


The first snow buntings of the winter were at the East Mersea Point during all of Sunday 6th. On such a dull day with a cold wind from the north, the three snow buntings added a typical winter's feel to the day. The birds fed along the various strandlines on the beach, picking at various seeds washed up amongst the debris. Their brownish markings blended perfectly with the beach and they seemed happier crouching down to remain camouflaged rather than fly up in the air. Neil Harvey found the birds first thing in the morning and also saw a common scoter fly up river and 9 red-breasted mergansers.

Also seen from the Point were 2 rock pipits, male goldeneye flying upriver, marsh harrier flying out of the river, while 3 shelduck flocks totalling 30 birds appeared to be new arrivals from the continent. Fourteen sanderling, 300 knot and 40 avocets and a common seal were also noted.

There was no sign of the jack snipe over the weekend although a dozen snipe were still present at the pools in the park's grazing fields. The brent geese flock flew onto the fields late in the morning and the pale-bellied brent was seen amongst the 400 dark-bellied brent geese but no sign of the black brant.

At the park pond 25 siskin flew around with some goldfinches and a least one lesser redpoll, settling back down on some of the nearby trees. Earlier in the morning 3 lesser redpolls flew over the car park and a brambling sat atop one of the rowan trees in the car park calling. A chiffchaff called from the willow trees at the back of the pond and at least two redwings were seen.

The day before on Saturday 5th, a water rail having showed fleetingly on the pond's edge, walked into full view on the muddy cattle pathway and nervously crossed over it to the nearby hedgerow. Fifteen redwings were also feeding on the same bit of muddy track.
A yellowhammer flew over the seawall calling near Ivy Dock on Saturday morning and 1000 golden plover were on the mud near the Point.

The moth trap was put out on both Friday night and Saturday night with roughly the same sort of moths noted on both sessions although 40 moths of 8 species on Friday was the slightly better night. This neatly marked satellite moth pictured above, was one of two noted on the Friday night.
Other moths noted were large wainscot, yellow-line quaker, green-brindled crescent, dark chestnut, November sp, feathered thorn as well as a late square-spot rustic. The very tiny migrant micro-moth, the diamond-back was also noted on the Friday session.

Two streak moths were amongst the 30 moths found after the Saturday night's trapping session. Slightly fewer moths than the previous night but then the breeze had switched to a northerly direction.
During Friday a red admiral butterfly was flying around in the afternoon sunshine.

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