Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Wednesday 16th was a rain free day for a change, although still with a chill in the northerly breeze. The pools in the park fields have been well topped up with water recently although there is less open water with all the masses of dock plants colonising the area.

In the evening 6 gadwall, 6 mallard, 2 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese and a pair of shelduck were the main wildfowl to be seen. The only waders present were at least two lapwing chicks, 4 adult lapwings, 2 redshank, oystercatcher and a black-tailed godwit. The pair of kestrels were still in the oak tree at the back of the fields.

The park pond seemed quiet for ducks although the male mute swan seemed to be sitting on the nest. A little egret flew past the pond while over the fields and park were 20+ sand martins and 10+ swallows. There was no sign today of the albino sand martin that Ian Black had seen over the park last night. The marsh harrier has visited the pond today and yesterday peering down into the reeds at the pond a couple of times searching out maybe some coot or moorhen chicks.

In the park today a great spotted woodpecker nest was easy to locate along the lower path, as the young birds are constantly calling from a hole in a hawthorn tree. The two nightingales have been singing in the car park today as have a whitethroat, lesser whitethroats and a blackcap too.
An adder and an orange tip, speckled wood were noted in the park during the day.

At the end of the day a little owl perched up on a telegraph pole beside the car park calling out to a second bird in the nearby caravan site. A short while later as night fell, a tawny owl flew alongside the East Mersea road as it headed back to the big garden of the Glebe.

A marsh harrier was mobbed by crows as it flew over the field by Chapmans Lane in the afternoon while a second bird crossed east over the Strood causeway. A hobby was seen at Waldegraves chasing martins and swallows by Ray Hempstead.

Martin Cock had noted at Maydays 2 sedge warblers, 30+ bar-tailed godwits, 5 knot, whimbrel and grey plover while yesterday there had been 10 little terns at the east end of the Pyefleet.

The pied blacky in the Firs Chase garden is still feeding its young at the nest in the ivy up an oak tree.

A Tuesday evening walk along the Strood seawall produced sedge warbler, reed warbler, reed bunting, corn bunting while on the Ray Island the cuckoo called and amongst 6 greylag geese was one brent goose.

On Monday there was a cuckoo calling and feeding along the clifftop trees at the country park. A turtle dove was seen and heard by Martin Dence near North Farm on Sunday.


Revd Val. said...

I am surprised at so many Adders in the park. I never saw one as a child when i lived on Mersea. Doesn't mean there weren't any! But are there more these days?

Dougal Urquhart said...

There haven't always been adders at the park but as the area has became more suitable, adders moved in from the north of the Island. Most of the adders that have been seen during the last month have involved the same four or so individuals. More people are looking for them these days and so more sightings are being reported.