Tuesday, 12 March 2013


It was a very cold start to the day on Tuesday 12th with a strong easterly wind blowing over the snow that fell during the previous night. Fortunately the clouds cleared during the morning and the sun soon melted the blanket of snow by mid-afternoon.

The park's grazing fields were almost devoid of birdlife in the morning except for 300 wigeon along the borrow-dyke. By the end of the day all the snow had disappeared from the fields and the wigeon were back in the fields in several different places. Also present were 200 teal, 50 lapwing, 100 golden plover and 3 snipe.

In the morning a sparrowhawk flew over the mudflats scattering the many dunlin as it headed east across the river Colne. The incoming tide brought 50 knot and 10 bar-tailed godwits closer to the shore. In the river 10 red-breasted mergansers and 4 great crested grebes were seen on the choppy waters.

At the park pond 2 pochard, 20 shoveler, 20 gadwall were the main ducks present here in the morning. Late in the afternoon a water rail was feeding out on the grass in the corner of the grazing fields, seemingly pulling a worm out of the ground. Two green woodpeckers flew over the pond, while 20 stock doves were gathering for the evening.

Some snow fell during Monday 11th with one particular brief snow-fall arriving like a blizzard with white-out conditions, as seen above, looking out onto the top car park. Luckily it only lasted a couple of minutes at the most. The wind was particularly strong and very cold too during the day.

The view of the car park first thing on Monday was very white and the flurries continued during the day.
The only bird of note was a marsh harrier crossing west over the car park during the morning.

1 comment:

John Spencer said...

Students from the Countryside Management Course at Writtle were on a visit on a chilly Tuesday but were treated to a first male Wheatear of the year feeding along the strandline under the cliff.