Tuesday, 25 September 2012


This group of golden plover were photographed on the mud at Cudmore Grove by Alan Reynolds. The sunshine shows up the golden colour on the wings and body of the birds. Flock sizes have varied in recent days on the mudflats with one group of 300 birds at the weekend being the biggest seen here so far this autumn. Alan also took the golden plover photo below.

The wind picked up during Tuesday 25th with just a couple of showers in the afternoon. Out of the wind, there was still a bit of warmth in the sunshine.
A tree pipit flew east over the car park in the morning, which was noteworthy, calling out as it passed quickly overhead. There was a bit of small bird activity amongst the tit flock near the entrance with 5 chiffchaffs, 4 blackcaps and a whitethroat seen. Up to 30 swallows passed over the park during the day.

At the park pond a male sparrowhawk glided into the tall hedge, while 6 mistle thrushes were seen heading northwards over the fields. On the water 50 mallard and a gadwall were the ducks present along with little grebes, coots and moorhens. Two tufted ducks were still on the borrowdyke.

On the pools, 8 little egrets was the biggest group here for sometime, while 50 wigeon, 100 teal, 20 snipe, 2 shoveler, 10 black-tailed godwits and 120 curlew were the main birds here. Early evening a pair of foxes were seen chasing each other around the back of the fields. The day before there had been another reasonable redshank roost at the pools with 110 birds present.

In the late Tuesday afternoon a wheatear flitted along the seawall and 30 linnets were at the Point. In the river 4 common terns flew out of the estuary, while two marsh harriers flew high up-river from Colne Point.

The day before on Monday 24th, a pair of kingfishers were seen flying fast over the pools in the fields with one bird seemingly in hot pursuit of the other as they made their way to the pond during the mid-morning. A short while later one was back on the dyke. As dusk approached at the end of the day, one kingfisher was back at the pond where it appeared to stay for the night. Through the telescope the bird was seen as it preened, to be a male with the all black bill.

The other unexpected sight from the hide by the pond at dusk, was watching a pair of muntjacs stroll along the bottom hedge for 25 metres before they tucked back into the hedge again. The male-buck with its short antlers was following closely behind the female-doe.

In the morning the first brent geese of the autumn were seen at the park with one bird seen flying west along the shore during the high tide. A little later 4 brent geese were feeding on the edge of the mud as the tide began to recede. There was a report that about a dozen brent geese have also been noted at West Mersea at their regular spot by St Peters.

Also on the first bit of uncovered mud was a flock of 18 little egrets, waiting for more of the mudflats to get exposed. Not much bird movement at sea during the morning high tide other than a few wigeon and one group of 12 shoveler.
Martin Cock saw a wheatear on Monday morning by Coopers Beach.

The first autumnal rustic of the autumn pictured above, came to the moth trap at the park during Monday night. On a windy and clear night, 40 individuals of about 12 species were noted by Tuesday morning. These included angle shades, lunar underwing, L-album wainscot, flounced rustic large yellow underwing, lesser yellow underwing, square spot rustic, setaceous hebrew character and frosted orange.

During the sunnier parts of Tuesday butterflies noted on the wing were comma and red admiral while the dragonflies noted were common darters and migrant hawkers.

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