Sunday, 28 October 2012


There was a good number of brent geese feeding in the park's grazing fields over the weekend, the first sizeable flock of the autumn. A flock of about 700 dark-bellied brent were in the fields on Sunday afternoon, as they had been on Saturday afternoon too. A scan of the flock revealed one pale-bellied brent on both days and a thin scattering of about ten juveniles, indicating their poor breeding season.

Of more interest in the fields were two white-fronted geese first found on Saturday morning by Andy Field. They were seen switching fields and spent the rest of the weekend feeding mainly by themselves, although some of the 40 greylags wandered close-by. It has been a few years since white-fronts have visited the park's fields.

Numbers of duck in the fields especially by the pools were high too with 500+ teal and 500+ wigeon along with 20+ shoveler. Black-tailed godwits, redshank and snipe were feeding or roosting as usual too in good numbers.

From the Point on Sunday, 8 red-breasted mergansers were seen in the Colne, one or two flying past. On the mud 1000 golden plover and 1000 dunlin formed the biggest flocks, while 50 shelduck were also resting on the mud. A flock of 20 linnets and a rock pipit were also seen when they flew out of the saltmarsh.

Also on Sunday a single redpoll flew over the park pond calling and landed in the alders nearby, while on the water 8 gadwall were present with 25 mallard. Around the park 2 goldcrests and a group of 10 blackbirds were seen.

Mammals seen at the park on Sunday included a fox standing on its back legs whilst reaching up to eat blackberries at the back of the fields, a weasel on the seawall and a common seal with a fish in the Colne.

Fifteen fieldfares flew over the East Mersea road by Weir Farm, while Steve Entwistle watched a flock of 100 chaffinches at Maydays Farm.

Fitted in a walk along the Strood seawall on Sunday morning as the tide was covering the mud. Along the channel 100 black-tailed godwits, one bar-tailed godwit and an avocet were seen along with the usual numbers of redshank, dunlin, grey plover and curlew. More numbers of wigeon than the last visit here with 200 dotted along the edge of the saltings, as were 30 shelduck and about 150 brent geese.

A kingfisher whistled loudly as it headed down part of the channel from the Strood causeway, flipping up and over the seawall and then hurtling along the dyke towards West Mersea. A scan of the Peldon seawall beyond Ray Island revealed two common buzzards tussling with a female marsh harrier, while 200 golden plover headed away from the action.

In the Strood-side fields a female stonechat perched on a bush on a waste pile, 4 rock pipits were noted at various points, 50 linnets, 10 skylarks, 5 meadow pipits, one corn bunting, 3 snipe, grey heron and a kestrel.
There was the briefest and faintest calling from a possible lapland bunting as it flew west off the Island. Two fieldfares also thought about flying off the Island.

In Firs Chase the male pied blackbird was seen in the garden while a couple of goldcrests called from trees above.

No comments: