Monday, 12 November 2012


This female common redstart was watched in the garden of Clive and Lyn Pickering on the seafront at the bottom of Lower Kingsland Road, on Monday 12th. Clive reports that the bird has been seeking refuge in his garden since Thursday, spending up to an hour in it at times. Martin Cock saw the bird first thing on the Monday morning, feeding both in the garden and also out along the back of the beach too.

The redstart was hard to find late morning despite several walks along the beach and scanning the gardens. It was only after knocking on the Pickerings door that the bird was discovered hiding in the back garden. The redstart was sitting on an old white polystyrene box amongst the garden pots as seen in my picture above. I couldn't really miss the orangey-red tail splayed out on the white box. After a couple of quick photos, the bird flew onto the roof and then disappeared back down into the front garden.
Andy Field eventually managed to see the redstart too in the early afternoon but only after knocking on the door, talking to Lyn, and finding the bird was in the back garden again. He managed to snap this photo before it flew across the bottom of Kingsland Road, disappearing into another garden.

The redstart is a summer migrant to northern Europe including the UK returning south in the autumn. Most redstart passage occurs through September and most of these birds should already be in West Africa for the winter by now. This Mersea one is very late and certainly the latest recorded on the Island. I believe the only other redstart seen on the Island this year was on the 5th September in a field hedge near East Mersea's Meeting Lane.

There wasn't much else to look at whilst walking the West Mersea beach near the bottom of Kingsland Road, despite the redstart having been seen previously feeding out on the beach at times.

Just offshore oysters were being dredged up close to the beach during the morning high tide. Close-by 23 turnstones rested on one of the swimming rafts while 27 sanderling flew past.
Three common scoter were found feeding offshore to the east of Seaview as was a distant red-throated diver and ten great crested grebes.

Andy Field and Glyn Evans noted on Monday morning during the monthly WeBS count, 9 snow buntings at the East Mersea Point, 6 common scoter in the Colne and more unusually, 4 scaup in the Pyefleet Channel.

Clive Pickering also reported seeing a badger cross Lower Kingsland road one night about three weeks previously and a late swallow on November 5th.

No comments: