Sunday, 27 January 2013


It was nice to see these two female pintail on the park pond during the morning of Sunday 27th. One of the birds was still present at the end of the day, snoozing on a clump of reedmace. Despite hundreds of other ducks like wigeon and teal using the pond or nearby flooded grazing fields during the winter months, pintail are scarcely seen. One of these two females might be the same bird that was seen resting on the ice here on Friday.

The snow and ice had thawed from the fields and there were good numbers of waders and wildfowl back. Around a thousand wigeon were catching up with lost grazing time while 700+ teal were spread out across the saturated fields. Several gadwall, shoveler and mallard were also in the fields. Waders were dropping in as high tide approached with 200 black-tailed godwits, 300 dunlin, 50 redshank, 10 snipe and 10 turnstone noted.

Steve Entwistle did well to find a woodcock, as it took off from under trees beside the path near the hide. A redwing and goldcrest were also seen at the park while a water rail was seen yesterday in the ditch near the park entrance.

Its always nice to stumble across a snow bunting at the Point as happened with this bird on Sunday. It was scuttling along the beach, feeding on seeds amongst the tide-line with a few turnstones for company. As the weather improved during the morning, so the numbers of walkers to the Point increased so this snow bunting probably didn't hang around for much longer.

Also at the Point 50 bar-tailed godwits and 25 avocets were of note amongst the many other waders. In the Colne one red-breasted merganser and a pair of goldeneye were seen, while a male marsh harrier flew upriver at the end of the day.

A fox startled many waders and brent geese off the mudflats when it appeared along the edge of the saltmarsh. The day before a weasel was watched carrying a dead mouse off the beach and up onto the top of the seawall, where it ran back and forwards a few times wondering where to put it down.

There have been several reports over the last week or so, of one or two fieldfares being seen in gardens in West Mersea, such as this one photographed by Shirley Field in her garden.

The star birds to visit a West Mersea garden this Sunday were two waxwings that were seen feeding on rose-hips in a front garden in Firs Road. It was reported that these birds had been around here for several days. They may even have been the ones involved in a report by Mr Huntley of three waxwings seen perched on a birch tree and then dropping down to drink from a roadside puddle beside the Fire Station in Barfield Road on Friday 18th.

Andy Field reported that the four scaup were still in the Pyefleet Channel near Maydays during Sunday morning and were also noted here the day before by Martin Cock.
On Saturday Andy saw two kingfishers along the freshwater ditch at St Peters marsh by Coast Road and also the great northern diver behind Cobmarsh Island and a Mediterranean gull off the Espanade.

Michael Thorley saw a brambling visit their East Mersea garden near the top of Meeting Lane on Saturday 26th.

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