Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Happy New Year Greetings to everyone.

A new year and a renewed motivation to get out and about to see what was around the country park. By mid-day on a wonderfully sunny morning, 70 bird species had been noted, which seemed quite a respectable tally for four hours on one site.

The grazing fields as usual held the most interest with a good variety of waders and wildfowl such as these brent geese pictured above - some of the 500 birds present.
Birds of note on the fields included the female stonechat still near the seawall and a ruff seen flying over but was later seen back on the fields. There was a report of a jack snipe seen, presumably in the same area as 15 common snipe were hiding.

This pair of red-breasted mergansers were swimming and feeding close to the Point. Fifteen birds were seen in the estuary in the morning. Also in the estuary of note were a couple of male goldeneyes and two male pintail amongst lots of wigeon on the mudflats beside Rat Island. At the end of the day 3 marsh harriers flew up river to the Langenhoe roost.
Steve Entwistle saw a red-throated diver fly up river in the morning.

The glorious bank holiday weather brought the crowds out to the park with masses of families and their many dogs all striding out along the beach and seawall. There was less beach to walk along early afternoon with the high tide, as here at the Point above. As the crowds thinned at the end of the day, ten sanderling were feeding with turnstones on the beach at the Point.

Also seen at the park were a song thrush and mistle thrush close to the car park, goldcrest with long tailed tits and one siskin over the car park, although a small flock were reported in alders near the pond. Five tufted ducks were on the pond during the day amongst a good number of wigeon, teal, shoveler, gadwall and mallard.
Steve Entwistle saw two water rails towards dusk by the pond, earlier in the day he'd seen sparrowhawk fly past.

Crossing the East Mersea road near Meeting Lane as dawn broke was the dark silhouette of a marsh harrier heading towards the Rewsalls marshes.

The brent geese came under close scrutiny of David Low on Sunday who counted 919 dark-bellied including 38 youngsters and also two pale-bellied brent and 63 greylag geese noted too. A peregrine, red-throated diver 5 eider and 12 red-breasted mergansers were also seen while the stonechat was still by the seawall.
The water rail was seen by the park pond at dusk on Sunday.

Sadly the waxwings weren't seen after Saturday and no reports yet of any elsewhere on the Island.

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