Monday, 23 January 2012


A small group of brent geese were helping to turn this field of rape into a muddy field on Monday 23rd alongside the Strood seawall. Most of the grazing damage was done a few weeks ago when there were more brent geese around. At the moment the main flock of brent geese in the area of the Strood seem to be feeding on a field adjacent to the Ray Channel.

During the high tide in the middle of the day, 18 ringed plovers were feeding in the bare areas of this rape-field, while in the nearby field 250 golden plovers roosted. A corn bunting sang from a bush near the seawall which seems an early setting up of a territory here. Other small birds noted were 20 skylarks, 5 meadow pipits, 4 reed buntings, 2 linnets, while on the saltings were 2 rock pipits. A fieldfare was seen feeding under an apple tree near the caravan site.

The high tide covered most of the saltmarsh such as this area near the Dabchicks sailing club. Feeding amongst these saltings were 100 brent geese, while ten dabchicks were seen in the Strood Channel. There seemed more shelduck along the channel than previous years with about 120 birds noted. Two pintail flew over the Hard and there was the nice sight of a sanderling scuttling along the narrow bit of sand in front of the Hard car park at high tide.

A dozen or so house sparrows chirped from the West Mersea Yacht Club garden and in the nearby Firs Chase the pied blackbird was seen again and the song from a stock dove was an unusual sound here.

Martin Cock noted a lapland bunting, kingfisher and a spotted redshank during his visit to Maydays farm on Monday morning.

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