Wednesday, 31 October 2012


The dark clouds blew faster across the sky on Wednesday 31st as the wind picked up during the day. There was a choppy sea opposite the park by the afternoon. Ten sanderling flew along the shore as the tide receded.

On the park's grazing fields the jack snipe was discovered on the pools with relative ease as it bobbed its way along a muddy margin with some common snipe standing nearby for size comparison. This is the first sighting this winter of jack snipe although with so much marshy vegetation around, it could've been present for sometime. The first one last autumn was spotted nine days earlier than this one.

Good numbers of waders and wildfowl as usual in and around the pools especially during the high tide. Amongst the 600 dark-bellied brent geese was the pale-bellied brent, while only ten juvenile dark-bellies were found in the whole flock. Keeping very much to themselves were the two white-fronted geese, while near the pools were the 50 greylag geese.

The dense wader roost suggested 400+ black-tailed godwits and about 300 redshank, with at leat 25 snipe lurking. Usual duck numbers with about 400 teal and 500 wigeon with a few shoveler on the pools and pond. Three swallows circled several times over the fields in the morning, while 8 little egrets roosted briefly on an oak tree.

Over the park 3 redpolls flew west calling, 2 male kestrels tussled near the park entrance, while 5 fieldfares were noted just to the north of the park.

At West Mersea the dotterel was not found despite being looked for in the same place at the Strood by Martin Cock. Six ruff were found on the mud, which surprisingly is the first ruff sighting for the Island this year. Around 100 knot in the Strood was a good count too. Yesterday there was a report of a curlew sandpiper flying past the observer.

The weather was much better the previous day on Tuesday 30th with light winds and blue skies for the best part of the day. Even a red admiral butterfly fluttered past the car park late in the morning.

A lapland bunting flew east over the park calling as it headed high towards the Point. The sunny weather saw a trickle of late swallows over the park during the morning with a final tally of 20 birds noted. A dozen siskins flew over in one flock while a similar amount of redpolls passed over in twos and threes. Early in the morning 15 fieldfares flew off from the top of a tree.

The two white-fronted geese and the pale-bellied brent were in the fields along with 700 brent geese. The kingfisher perched on its usual twig at the pond in the afternoon, where there were 15 gadwall also noted.

There was a nice view of a pair of muntjac deer walking across the field next to the car park, the buck showing a keen interest in how receptive the doe might be, who was cocking her little tail up whenever he got close!

The clear sky and bright full moon meant very few moths in the trap during Tuesday night. Even this feathered thorn was discovered by chance resting upside down in the nearby grass. Four November moths were the only other moths noted.

No comments: