Saturday, 28 January 2012


There were more brent geese on the park fields on a sunny Saturday 28th with several of them enjoying a bathe and a drink. The morning started off with lots of sunshine although there was a chilly breeze blowing from the north.

There were 1000 brent geese grazing the park fields and then they moved onto the nearby field at Ivy Farm, pictured above.

At the Point it was a nice surprise to see 22 snow buntings fly onto the beach during the morning as they hadn't been seen here for over two weeks. The birds were very flighty and never seemed very settled, only spending a minute or so on the ground before flying off and landing further along. They weren't seen again after this mid-morning brief visit to the Point.

Four marsh harriers were seen during a 30 minute spell flying up the river from Colne Point towards Langenhoe. Later in the morning there were at least ten marsh harriers flying over the lagoon at Langenhoe Point.

Lots of teal were at the pools in the grazing fields with around 250 birds noted. Many of the birds were feeding while others like this pair pictured above, were resting. Also here were 20+ snipe, 10 shoveler, 70 curlew, 20 redshank while in the other field were 400 wigeon, 50 black-tailed godwits and 500 golden plover.

This grey heron was perched on a tree overlooking the pond for the second day running and it may've spent that whole time on the same branch. The image above is a bit washed out in the bright sunshine.

A water rail was flushed out of the ditch at the back of the pond by a fox again with the bird landing in the safety of the reeds. At the end of the afternoon the water rail was feeding along the outer edge of the reeds beside the grass. Three green woodpeckers were seen in the area. At dusk the sparrowhawk flew into the copse resulting in 300 wood pigeons flying out the other side as well as 30+ stock doves.

At high tide in the afternoon there were 65 mallard and 5 red-breasted mergansers offshore from the park. Martin Cock noted from Coopers Beach 8 Slavonian grebes, 7 red-throated divers and 300+ great crested grebes offshore on Saturday afternoon. Steve Entwistle saw the great northern diver from the Esplanade at West Mersea on Saturday.

On Friday afternoon at the end of a very calm day, grebes could be seen across the flat sea. In the waters roughly opposite Fen Farm were 18 Slavonian grebes in two small flocks and also a red-throated diver. Stretching across the waters into the distance were at least 370 great crested grebes and no doubt more further out. A male sparrowhawk flew low along the beach at high tide to Fen Farm at dusk.

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