Monday, 19 March 2012


It's a sign of spring when pairs of Canada geese like these pictured above, turn up on the grazing fields, checking the area out as a potential nesting site as they were on Monday 19th. They've been seen over the last few days in the area especially on the saltmarsh near the Point. Like the greylag geese which also visit the fields in the early spring, they've never stayed to breed.

On the fields during the morning high tide roost were roughly 250 wigeon, 100 teal, 55 shelduck, 100 redshank, 50 curlew, 50 black-tailed godwits, 25 golden plover, 30+ snipe along with a few lapwing, gadwall and shoveler.

The sun shone for most of the day with the park beach pictured above, empty of visitors early in the morning. Just a few brent geese and turnstones were present instead. Despite many reports of summer migrants already being seen elsewhere in Essex, none have been found on the Island yet. The first one should be a chiffchaff or maybe a firecrest but nothing found yet.

The sunshine in the morning brought at least two adders out and probably the other three seen yesterday also came out to bask.

In the evening two pipistrelle bats were noted at the park, the first ones seen here this year.

Despite the near sub-zero temperatures overnight, thirty moths were in the trap on Monday morning with 20 being the common quaker, pictured above.

Also seen were the hebrew character pictured above, small quaker, lead-coloured drab and oak beauty.

This is Ben, the new vermin control officer for the park, who has been passed the baton by Monty. This new addition is a lively little chap and will keep all of us on our toes!

The walk we did to the Point at the end of Sunday was rewarded with a view of a ringtail hen harrier crossing over the river from Colne Point, dropping briefly onto the saltmarsh near the Point before heading low over to Langenhoe. Nine red-breasted mergansers flew out of the river and 700 brent geese flew over the Pyefleet to roost.

Steve Entwistle saw a green sandpiper, 18 yellowhammers, 30 corn buntings and 20 redwings at Maydays on Sunday.

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