Sunday, 22 April 2012


In between the showers, this common lizard was seen basking on top of a wooden post in the country park on Sunday 22nd. A second lizard was nearby on another post, also enjoying the warmth as were a couple of adders at their usual spots. A group of walkers also reported seeing an adder on the seawall near the Point. Butterflies seen during the sunny spells were speckled wood, small white, large white and a peacock.

Best bird of the day found at the park today was by Ron and Jenny Harvey who found a colourful male redstart feeding briefly beside some bushes in the corner of the park around midday. Unfortunately the bird soon moved on and couldn't be relocated. Ron was lucky enough to see a redstart in his West Mersea garden last autumn, the only redstart on the Island last year.

A quick early morning walk to the Oyster Fishery building pictured above, provided views across to Langenhoe Point. A common buzzard crossed the river Colne and headed over Langenhoe passing six marsh harriers that were in the air. On the Langenhoe Point mud were a pair of avocets, while along the river were seen 3 common terns.

Along the seawall were at least a couple of common whitethroats, 2 swallows while the male wheatear was at the Point again for the third day. Singing from bushes near the hide in the park was a willow warbler, with 2 singing chiffchaffs, 2 nightingales and 2 blackcaps all adding to the spring chorus.The sand martins are still flying around the cliff although only five birds so far.

On the grazing field pools, 300 black-tailed godwits were present on the high tide roost and a pair of avocets in the evening. A water vole was seen in the dyke on Sunday and a weasel in the car park on Saturday.

Martin Cock saw a muntjac deer by the footpath to the east of Meeting Lane in East Mersea and also noted one or two blackcaps, chiffchaffs and whitethroat.

The evening walk beside the Strood Channel on Saturday evening was threatened with looming black rain clouds as in the photo above. Birds of note during a quick walk were 40+ corn buntings in a flock, 5 common terns along the channel where 70 noisy redshank were also noted. Numbers of other waders much lower along the Strood with a few black-tailed godwits, curlews, oysteratchers and grey plovers seen.

Earlier in the day at the park a yellow wagtail flew over the fields, a male marsh harrier swooped down and hovered briefly over the reeds at the park pond scaring a moorhen. A grey heron and little egret were noted here while 3 pochard and 10 tufted duck were still present. On the fields a summer plumaged dunlin fed in the pools and  five snipe were also seen.
At the Point the male wheatear perched up on the pillbox for the second day and 2 common terns were seen over the river and two whitethroats were along the seawall.

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