Saturday, 29 September 2012


Several common lizards were lounging in the sunshine on the edge of West Mersea on a sunny Saturday 29th. This one pictured above was one of two seen basking on some posts near the Feldy cemetery, while a further seven were seen on the bare tops of old ant-hills on the St Peters Meadow. Five were seen together on one ant-hill top.

Also seen at St Peters were 2 chiffchaffs, 2 blackcaps and a family of goldfinches feeding with a tit flock. Two wasp spiders were seen on the edge of the meadow near the boardwalk. One large female wasp spider was reported a couple of days ago in one of the nearby Coast Road gardens.

Butterflies were keeping out of the fresh north-westerly breeze with this red admiral one of several seen near the Feldy cemetery, along with a couple of commas. A small tortoiseshell and small white were noted by the Strood seawall.

The stubble field alongside the Strood seawall proved attractive for the small birds to feed in, so worth a closer look during Saturday morning.  The biggest flock was 150 linnets along with 25 goldfinches while 10 corn buntings, 20 meadow pipits, 3 reed buntings and 5 skylarks were seen flying around at various times.
Also seen here was a kestrel hovering over the fields, 50 golden plover, 20 lapwing flying around,and 50+ swallows passing through.

The tide had covered most of the mud a couple of hours before the mid-day high tide. In the distance a common buzzard flew low past the Ray Channel as it headed south-west, followed shortly after by a marsh harrier and then a bit higher up a sparrowhawk taking the same flightpath over the Strood causeway.
There was a report of curlew sandpiper seen from the Strood causeway during Saturday.

In Firs Chase a sparrowhawk glided over the road, a Mediterranan gull circled over calling, while at least 3 goldcrests were feeding with a tit flock.

A late Saturday afternoon lap of the country park producd views of a wheatear on the beach, 10 little egrets, 250 golden plover and 2 avocets out on the mud, while 100 wigeon, 200 teal, 10 snipe were on the pools. At the park pond 7 gadwall, 5 shoveler, 2 tufted duck were amongst the 40+ mallard.
Liz Huxley reported 3 immature eiders in the Colne off the East Mersea Point.

There ws a nice sunset across the Strood Channel on Friday evening although most of the waders appeared in silhouette on the mud looking into the sun. No great variety of waders but a good scattering across the mud. Black-tailed godwits-75+, redshank-200, oystercatchers-20, golden plover-50, grey plover-50 and curlews-50 were the rough numbers seen.

Seventy wigeon flew out of the dyke and back onto the mudflats in the channel. Six little egrets gathered along the bottom of the Strood channel before flying off to the nearby Ray Island evening roost, where they were joined by at least another 4 little egrets.

Earlier in the day a siskin was seen feeding with some goldfinches ner the park entrance.

A painted lady butterfly was seen in the country park on Thursday morning.

Two grey wagtails flew over the park entrance as they headed east.

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