Thursday, 29 November 2012


Good numbers of waders and wildfowl on the park's grazing fields were making the most of a sunny but chilly Thursday 29th. The picture above shows the view east across the pools with Brightlingsea in the background across the river Colne. Several birds of note seen during the day made the walks worth wrapping up for.

A peregrine flew over the beach and mud as it headed across the river to Point Clear. A short while later in the morning a merlin raced low past the Point and over the saltmarsh as it headed into the Pyefleet. Towards the end of the day a merlin was seen again passing overhead carrying a small bird whose wing was drooping down. It flew out over the mud in front of the park and perched on a post in the polder scheme to pluck its prey.

Also at the end of the day a male marsh harrier flew casually over the brent geese flock, sending them off in their noisy masses. The final surprise was seeing a barn owl hunting the seawall and saltmarsh near Ivy Farm shortly before dusk before rising up high to cross the river Colne towards Batemans Tower and the Brightlingsea marshes.

In the river Colne a red-throated diver, common scoter, red-breasted merganser, male goldeneye were noted in the morning. There was an interesting sighting of a family of 4 barnacle geese seen flying past the Point and up the Colne estuary. As barnacles are rarely seen on the Island especially by themselves and without greylags, it would be nice to think these were genuine wild birds newly arrived.

The grazing fields were being well used during the day with big flocks of 700+ teal, 700+ wigeon and 800+ brent geese present. Amongst the regular brent was the pale-bellied brent and the flock of 50 greylag geese were also busy feeding too.

The black-tailed godwits were spread out enjoying the flooded fields with this group pictured above part of 500 birds seen. At high tide 300 redshank roosted by the pools while 400 golden plover were roosting near the brent. Snipe numbers have surprisingly fallen since the deluge of rain fell over the previous weekend with only about 20 birds seen. The jack snipe hasn't been seen since last week.

On the park pond 18 gadwall, 12 shoveler, 70 mallard were noted with 12 stock doves flying about the trees behind the pond. Fifteen siskins flew east off the park in the morning. The snow buntings haven't been reported from the Point for a week.

On Tuesday 20th, a marsh harrier flew over the fields to the north of the Park and Andy Field saw a Slavonian grebe offshore from the park.

Wendy and Ron Green reported seeing a blackcap in their West Mersea garden recently.


MIke Grealy said...

I also had a wander round to Reeveshall Marsh along the seawall late Thursdayafternoon. I was rewarded with 12 bewick swans on the mud, 5 redbreasted mergansers in the channel and 2 male hen harriers gliding by en route to the Langenhoe roost.

Dougal Urquhart said...

Thanks for passing on your sightings Mike, it sounds like your long hike to Reeveshall was worth it!
- Dougal