Wednesday, 6 June 2012


This little blue tit chick was a bit eager to leave the nest in the store room in the country park's toilet block. Three times during the day I had to scoop it off the floor and place it back in the nest. This chick seems to be wearing a little cap of spiders silk, having fluttered down into the cob-webs in the dark corners of the store-room.

The unexpected highlight of Wednesday 6th was seeing an osprey fly over the park during the morning. Having met up with Martin Cock at the bird hide, we spotted the osprey in the distance being mobbed by a crow as it passed over the East Mersea Point. The bird seemed to be coming out of the river Colne and following the coastline westwards.

We dashed out of the hide expecting to get a better view as it continued on its way but there was no immediate sign of it. However the local crows next to the car park were watching the bird and they rose up to chase it off. We looked up overhead and realised the osprey was passing high over the hide as it made its way over the fields towards West Mersea. If we'd stayed in the hide, we'd have missed the closer view as it passed overhead.

The purposeful westerly flight of this osprey would suggest that it was following the coast as it headed south, which certainly seems early although in some previous years I've seen ospreys flying south during June. The last osprey over the park was heading north and that was just 5 weeks ago. Although that bird seemed to linger in the Colne estuary for several days, there haven't been any osprey reports locally since the 18th May, when one was seen over the Alresford pits, to the north of here.

On the park pond the male mute swan continues to do most of the incubating, while the female carries on feeding nearby or often she has another snooze in the reeds. The eggs should be ready to hatch out next week sometime, after the 35 days of incubating is complete.

Also at the pond were 3 pochard and 6 tufted duck, although there seemed to be lots of coots everywhere feeding their youngsters. The reed warbler was singing again from the reedmace, present here for several days now.

At dusk the brown hare was seen in Bromans Lane again while earlier in the day 3 corn buntings were seen beside the East Mersea road in the Chapmans Lane and Bocking Hall farm area.

The previous day on Tuesday, a marsh harrier flew over the grazing fields putting up many of the wood pigeons feeding in the fields. Four Canada geese and 6 greylag geese were noted here along with 3 pairs of shelduck and a pair of oystercatchers. The female wigeon is still present along with 6 tatty looking gadwall and a few mallard.

Near the Point a little tern spent some time fishing at one of the big pools in the saltmarsh and the summering brent goose was seen again.

Four adders were seen enjoying the warmth out of the wind while butterflies seen included holly blue, speckled wood, orange-tip and a red admiral.

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