Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Happy Christmas to all the followers of Mersea Wildlife.
A double rainbow appeared briefly over the park's grazing fields in the morning of Xmas Day. This first part of the morning was the best and driest part of the day, as torrential downpours soon followed. Managed to walk to the Point and back without getting soaked.

The female stonechat was seen again beside the seawall and borrowdyke. Andrew Thompson had last seen the bird along the central ditch in the fields on Friday 21st. At the Point a snow bunting was seen and appeared to fly off the beach with some of the turnstones and it climbed high into the air, gaining height before crossing eastwards over the Colne to Point Clear. A rock pipit and 5 sanderling were also seen at the Point.

There was the regular high tide roost of 400+ black-tailed godwits in the park fields, pictured above. Standing to one side was a ruff as were 50 redshank, 4 knot and even a bar-tailed godwit.

Steve Entwistle saw at least one waxwing still in the gardens beside the East Mersea road near Meeting Lane. There were five other birds seen here briefly which may've been waxwings too, or maybe something else.
Two corn buntings were on the wires by Bocking Hall, one of which was singing its jangly song for Xmas.

After such a wet Xmas, it was great to see the sun shining on Boxing Day morning. On the park's grazing fields the pale-bellied brent goose was with 500 brent geese and 40 greylag geese. The roost of 400 black-tailed godwits were in the fields well before high tide but no sign of the ruff. The female stonechat was still present crossing the borrowdyke to sit on a bramble bush on the field edge.

At the Point 4 red-breasted mergansers flew up river and five sanderling were feeding with 25 turnstone along the water's edge.

At the end of the afternoon Steve enjoyed very good views from the hide of two water rails chasing each other along the reed-edge onto the pond-field. Also here were 30 gadwall and two tufted duck amongst the mallard.

No sign of the waxwings by the East Mersea road near Meeting Lane today, although there was a report of 15 waxwings flying west over Coast Road in West Mersea early afternoon. Twenty fieldfares were seen by Bocking Hall and later by the Dog and Pheasant pub. Steve saw a merlin fly low over Chapmans Lane in the afternoon.

At West Mersea the great northern diver was located by Andy Field from St Peters beach as it fed along the channel on the far side of Cobmarsh Island. Big numbers of plovers were rising regularly into the air over Cobmarsh and Packing Shed with 3000 golden plover and 1000 lapwings being spooked either by raptors or by boats passing too near.

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