Tuesday, 29 January 2013


David Nicholls was surprised to find a flock of 26 waxwings feeding in his neighbour's garden in Queen Anne Road in West Mersea, early afternoon on Tuesday 29th.

The birds were feeding low down on some cotoneaster berries and were watched for about twenty minutes, where he was able to take one of these two photos, before they flew off and disappeared. David wasn't sure how long the birds had been present before he discovered them.

David managed to take this picture of at least twenty of the waxwings perched in a tree in Queen Anne Road.
Great birds to see and enjoy from your garden, even if they were feeding in the neighbour's garden!

There was no news yesterday on the two other waxwings seen in Firs Road although they were seen first thing on Monday morning by Adrian Kettle.

Michael Thorley took these two photos of a very bright winter plumaged male brambling seen on Saturday 26th coming to bird-food in his East Mersea garden, close to the top of Meeting Lane.

The brambling was only seen on the one day - a nice colourful addition to the garden list following the three waxwings that were seen here last month.

A single fieldfare recently visited Michael's garden for three days, his picture showing snow on the branches.
Michael reported a big flock of fieldfares feeding in a field behind his house on Tuesday with 400 birds feeding alongside 300 starlings.

He also snapped this greenfinch with an odd crossed-bill feeding in his garden, which he thought was a bill deformity, as opposed to a picture of the bills naturally crossing over whilst chewing the seeds.

At the country park on Tuesday there was the nice sight of at least 30 snow buntings flying around the beach at the East Mersea Point at 3pm. Some of this flock must be the same birds that dropped in briefly a fortnight ago, although there have been no reports of their whereabouts in the intervening period.

An army Chinook helicopter flew low over the park on Tuesday afternoon, flushing big flocks of duck into the air from the flooded grazing fields. Over 1000 wigeon and 700 teal circled around providing a better idea of how many birds were present.

A woodcock flew off the ground behind the hide, zig-zagging away towards the car park where it appeared to come down but wasn't re-found. Eight tufted ducks was an increase of late and the female pintail appeared to be roosting under a willow bush at the pond.

The day before on Monday a water rail scuttled along the ditch by the park entrance, the male and female kestrels were sitting by their tree nestbox and one female pintail was at the pond. At the end of the day a ringtail hen harrier passed over the saltmarsh at the Point as it headed to the Langenhoe roost.

Martin Dence saw the barn owl fly out of his barn at Bromans Farm near the country park on Tuesday morning. The first sighting he's had here for several months.

Martin Cock reported that during his visit to Maydays Farm on Saturday 26th, the rough set-aside corner is still attracting the birds with one brambling amongst lots of chaffinches and linnets. Also three common buzzards by the set-aside along with a ringtail hen harrier, while in the Pyefleet the four scaup were still present.

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