Wednesday, 3 April 2013


The wigeon were feeding on the grass inside the park seawall on Wednesday 3rd. The picture above shows their impact where the ungrazed side of the seawall is still bright green. Some of the 250+ wigeon were probably also enjoying being out of the biting cold easterly winds by sheltering down below the seawall.

Nearby a pair of pochard and 10 tufted duck were in the dyke while 45 shelduck, 32 redshank and 10 golden plover were noted in the fields during the day. At the end of the day a marsh harrier flew north over the Point while a distant peregrine was seen stooping down from a height above Brightlingsea.

The water rail showed well in the early evening after a moorhen chased it out into the open in front of the hide where it proceeded to probe the wet ground. A female pochard was seen in the morning along with four tufted duck, while the regular curlew was still present in the small field. Two goldcrests were busy gleaning the trunks of small trees as were a pair of long-tailed tits nearby.

Just offshore 150 brent geese were feeding on algae on the mudflats while 50 bar-tailed godwits and 30 ringed plovers were of interest off the park in the morning. Not much to report on the choppy waters of the Colne.

Along the coastline to the west, Martin Cock saw a chiffchaff beside the Coopers Beach clubhouse in the morning - the only migrant noted on the Island during the day. The two great northern divers were still present near Cobmarsh Island.

The sun brightened things up during Tuesday 2nd but there was still a strong cold easterly blowing. The appearance of the sun brought the four regular adders out to bask in their usual spots at the park. A brief search elsewhere in the park for more adders in likely spots drew a blank.

On Tuesday evening a barn owl was quartering the long grass strip in the field beside the East Mersea road opposite Meeting Lane.

Walked along the footpath between Meeting Lane and Weir Farm on Monday 1st to look at various birds feeding in the fields. The flock of 250 fieldfares was back in these same fields where they'd been a fortnight earlier. Also with them were at least five redwing while a scan of 50+ chaffinches couldn't reveal any bramblings. Seventy starlings and 100 woodpigeons were also busy feeding and a couple of skylarks were singing over the fields. A chiffchaff was heard calling along one of the hedgerows.

A well-marked male marsh harrier hunted low over a strip of long grass near Gyants Marsh late morning while Martin Cock reported a common buzzard in the same area later in the afternoon.

Steve Entwistle watched an eider and a Sandwich tern fly past Coopers Beach on Easter Monday. He also heard that 25 waxwings were seen in Willoughby car park in West Mersea the day before on Sunday 31st. Steve reported seeing one of the adders at the park on Monday.

Two birds of prey seen close to Mersea airspace on Friday 29th were an osprey watched by Terry Canham from Fingringhoe as it headed down the Colne towards Mersea Stone and then a merlin seen by Hugh Owen flying along the Pyefleet towards Langenhoe Marsh.

Ian Black reported his neighbours seeing a blackcap in their Mersea Avenue garden in the last week of March, presumably a wintering bird if it's still coming to feeders.

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