Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Stuart Read took these photos of the snow buntings on the beach at East Mersea Point on Monday 12th.

The number of snow buntings has been gradually increasing from a single bird ten days ago, to two birds a few days later, then three, then five on the 11th and then nine the next day on the 12th.

This group of snow buntings is currently the only flock in north Essex at the moment, although other beaches will soon have a few by mid winter.

There was no sign of any snow buntings at The Point in the morning of Tuesday 13th, although they're probably on the other side of the Colne.

Stuart also took this picture of the single pale-bellied brent goose in the flock of dark-bellied brent at the country park on the 12th. The pale-bellied was still on the fields on the 13th alongside 400 dark-bellied brent. The two jack snipe were seen on the pools in the fields amongst the many waders and wildfowl. One jack was asleep while the other bird was seen bobbing whilst walking along feeding on the mud.

Glyn took this photo of one of the four female / immature scaup seen yesterday in the Pyefleet. Martin Cock found the same scaup in the same place today but six birds were present.

This is a picture taken in Germany two years ago of a common gull chick with a coloured ring on its leg.
It was then seen again in May 2011 on the north Dutch island of Texel but wasn't seen anywhere again until  it returned to its birthplace in the gull colony in the Wismar Bay on the German Baltic coast in June 2012.
Andrew Thompson then had the pleasure of seeing the bird on the West Mersea beach at Seaview Avenue on Saturday 10th November this year. It was amongst some black-headed gulls and a Mediterranean gull coming to some bread on the beach.

Andrew noted the ring number and tracked down the bird-ringing group in north Germany who in turn sent back the details including this original picture of the bird as a chick. Thanks Andrew for passing on the details - although I don't know what kind of approval this German gull gives to your sandwiches!

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