Thursday, 8 December 2011


It has been relatively quiet birdwise on the Island over the last few days. However Andy Field managed to find this jack snipe on the flooded corner of the grazing fields at the country park on Tuesday 6th. It can be tricky to find when there's at least 70 common snipe to look at too, around the same pools. When the sun shines, the golden stripes on the common snipe show up well and the birds are easy to spot amongst the old dock tussocks and the snoozing teal.

Andy also took this great photo of an obliging curlew that was feeding in the field just in front of the hide. This same curlew has been seen several times over the last week feeding in the field at the west end of the park pond. Two or three common snipe have also been feeding here at this western end of the pond.
On Thursday there was a big feeding flock of 80+ curlew in a wheat field at the west end of Bromans Lane in East Mersea.

It was a bright sunny winter's morning on the Tuesday although with a chill in the slight breeze. There was the usual selection of waders and wildfowl on the fields with 500 teal and 500 wigeon being the main flocks. Many of the wigeon have been grazing the edge of the fields alongside this borrow-dyke pictured above. They also spend time in the water here too.

On the park pond up to 80 ducks have been present with mallard, shoveler, gadwall and tufted duck being the regulars noted over recent days, although a grey heron standing on the edge was not a familiar visitor here. Thirty stock doves roosted in the pond copse on Wednesday night, as they have done on other recent nights.

Andy saw a male eider duck in the river Colne and also a common seal in the outer part of the estuary. On Wednesday at the Point a sparrowhawk flew off clutching a small bird, while on the beach 25 sanderlings scurried along the edge of the high tide. Three red-breasted mergansers were in the river Colne but no sign of any snow buntings since Sunday.

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