Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Through the fog over the last couple of days black redstarts have been found at three different locations in East Mersea. This one pictured above and below photographed by Andy Field, was first found by Martin Dence at Bromans Farm on Monday 22nd. It was seen around the horse paddocks and buildings, even popping briefly inside an owl box in one of the barns. Despite the foggy conditions the bird was much more recognisable than these gloomy photos suggest. The orangey-red tail was often flickered in typical redstart fashion. The hint of white feathers on the wings suggest this is a young male bird.

Amazingly for Bromans Farm, this is about the fourth or fifth black redstart to have been seen on this farm over the last twenty years.

Today, Tuesday 23rd, Martin Cock found a second black redstart near the Youth Camp seen near the seawall before flying over to the Camp buildings. Later in the morning a third black redstart was found, again by Martin, along the front of the Coopers Beach caravan site.

Other birds noted during Monday were a sparrowhawk seen a couple of times close to the black redstart at Bromans Farm and a green woodpecker too. At the park 3 bramblings flew over calling, 4 redpolls, 8 siskins by the pond and 2 redwings amongst several blackbirds and song thrushes. On the pools 12 little egrets roosted for the high tide.Martin Cock noted a wheatear along the Rewsalls seawall and a brambling called as it passed over the East Mersea shop.

Andy Field was surprised to see a red squirrel appear briefly in the middle of Church Lane, before darting back into the trees of the nearby East Mersea churchyard on Monday. Apparently one had been reported being seen in the garden opposite this churchyard, so maybe it's hanging around. Another recent sighting was in Maydays Lane, a fair distance from the initial release site.

The fog stayed around all day on Tuesday too, so not helping with views of much. The calls of grey wagtail, rock pipit and brambling passed over the park without being seen, while six redpolls were seen as they flew east. A trickle of swallows passed over during the day with 8 at the park and two seen at Rewsalls. Fifty redwings were seen at Rewsalls.

A peregrine loomed out of the fog over the park from the mudflats and headed inland over the fields scattering a flock of 400 golden plover into the air. The little egret roost by the pools was 15 birds noted in the afternoon. A flock of 1000 starlings were feeding in a field near Bromans Farm in the afternoon. A migrant hawker was chasing after insects in the afternoon at the park. At dusk at least four different little owls could be heard calling from trees close to the park.

Martin Cock located a brambling feeding with a large flock of 200+ chaffinches in a field near Chapmans Lane.

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