Tuesday, 19 March 2013


This adult shag performed close enough to the Hard at West Mersea for Alan Reynolds to take these two pictures of the bird nearly a fortnight ago. The green eye and the striking crest show up well in these photos.

One of the two shags has often been seen feeding close to the jetty at the Hard during the last month. The second bird that has been seen this winter is an immature bird with a paler chest and has sometimes been seen perched on one of the buoys in the Mersea Quarters.

Several Mediterranean gulls have been frequenting the West Mersea beach since the beginning of the year. Alan has managed to take these photos of adult birds moulting into their breeding plumage beginning to get their black heads.
The Med gull I watched hawking low over the Strood fields at the weekend reminded me of a barn owl in flight with the very white wings.

This bird appears to have a paler grey head than in the first picture, while the adult Mediterranean gull pictured below could be the same bird in flight in the first picture.
Med gulls are very vocal at the moment and are often flying around in pairs calling out to each other. One flew over Firs Chase calling loudly just after daybreak this morning.

At the country park on Tuesday 19th, 2 water rails were feeding out in the open in the pond-field near the park entrance. A pochard and 4 pairs of tufted duck were on the pond. On the fields 70 redshank, 14 snipe and ten pied wagtails were noted while 25 fieldfares gathered in a nearby hedgerow at dusk. A siskin flew over the car park calling in the morning. Three adders were making the most of the weak sunshine in the early afternoon at the park. 

The most notable wildlife sighting of the day was by Tony and Pam Baldwin who luckily managed to avoid running over a bewildered red squirrel in the road as they drove along East Road in West Mersea near Fairhaven Avenue just before 10.30am. This squirrel is presumably one of the existing introduced animals that has wandered into West Mersea.

Martin Cock enjoyed watching a brambling coming to his garden feeders in Broomhills Road in West Mersea today. Offshore 3 great northern divers and 4 Slavonian grebes were noted from West Mersea by Martin. The day before Michael Thorley saw one great northern diver and 4 Slavonian grebes from the end of Kingsland Road.

Also on Monday David Smith saw a peregrine, 6 red-breasted mergansers, water rail, 10 snipe and a redwing at Cudmore Grove. Martin visited Maydays Farm on Monday and reported a common buzzard and 50 chaffinches.

Belated news from last week concerned a male wheatear seen on the country park beach in front of the cliff by John Spencer and his Writtle College students on Tuesday 12th. This is the first spring migrant seen on the Island this year. Also that Tuesday Adrian Amos informed me he'd seen 25 waxwings in West Mersea in Queen Ann Road.

No comments: