Monday, 6 February 2012


Wrapped up warm and enjoyed a walk along the Strood seawall for the last hour of daylight on Monday 6th. Even without the help of any binoculars there was plenty of activity to see and hear along the Strood Channel. As the sun dropped down, the fog seemed to be slowly creeping back over the snowy fields by the Strood.

As the sun was disappearing a steady procession of six marsh harriers headed east high along the Channel on their way to the evening roost at Langenhoe. There were several long flights of 300+ cormorants heading back from the sea towards their Abberton reservoir roost. One big flight of over 100 birds passed close overhead with just the sound of their wingbeats being heard. A little egret headed off as it got dark towards Ray Island while a grey heron dropped down into the Channel.

The noisiest birds were the brent geese with over 2000 birds rising as one big mass into the air, each bird joining in the chorus as they flew of the fields to roost along the channels. Waders were busy feeding on the mud with lots of little dunlin, the lanky silhouettes of black-tailed godwits in their groups while redshank, lapwing, grey plover and curlews were present too.

A single avocet fed along the water in the channel while the only snipe seen was flushed off the side of the seawall. Up to fifty teal were sifting through the mud close to the seawall, which is something they don't often do so close during the milder weather. Ten meadow pipits were the only small birds noted feeding along the side of the seawall.

The reservoirs at the bottom of the Strood Hill weren't completely frozen with 100 wigeon, 20 mallard, 6 tufted duck and 20 coot all congregating around one area free of ice.

Driving onto the Island in the afternoon, a woodcock was glimpsed feeding in a snow-covered front garden between Bonners Barn and the Peldon Rose road junction.

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