Saturday, 13 April 2013


 Andy Field's visit to the Rewsalls marshes on Saturday 13th was rewarded with the discovery of a little gem of a firecrest close to the Youth Camp entrance. After I joined him to watch the bird later in the morning, we realised there were two firecrests together. Andy dashed back home and fetched his camera to take these two pictures. In typical "crest" fashion, the birds were constantly on the move amongst the bushes and tricky to photograph.

Feeding with the firecrests were two goldcrests which seemed rather dull in comparison with the brightly coloured firecrests. The faint song of the firecrest was heard at one point but generally it only called a few times, whereas the goldcrest was heard singing several times. Also heard singing was a willow warbler in the same bush along with at least a couple of chiffchaffs.
Other migrants seen was a male wheatear at the front of the Youth Camp and a fine male swallow flying low across the marshes on its way north-eastwards.

A male marsh harrier flew over the Rewsalls marshes putting up the forty brent geese as it headed towards the beach. Andy had seen a sparrowhawk and the little owl by the Youth Camp earlier in the morning. A pair of green woodpeckers, a singing mistle thrush and a few redwings were also near the Youth Camp.

Two adult Mediterranean gulls flew over Coopers Beach caravan site calling, fifty golden plover flew off the mud, a male reed bunting was singing from the marshes as were one or two skylarks.

Newly emerged yellow flowers of lesser celandines added to the feeling of spring beside a pond at the back of the Rewsalls marshes.

A look at the Rewsalls marshes the day before on Friday 12th morning wasn't as sunny as Saturday. The only migrant noted was a wheatear perched on one of the big round bales. On the wet pasture amongst the big bales were 70 brent geese, 20 teal, a pair of shoveler and a pair of redshank. Some of the 50 curlew flew onto the field behind and also noted was a little egret and a snipe on the Coopers football pitch.

As I walked along the seawall there was a confiding group of sixty turnstone roosting close-by on the high water line. A pair of adult Mediterranean gulls flew along the shore but nothing else of interest offshore.
By the East Mersea vineyard ten redwings were noted in the alders.

At the beginning of Friday Steve Entwistle saw a red-legged partridge at Bocking Hall farm and also corn bunting by the road too. The flock of 150 fieldfares were still feeding in the field near Meeting Lane mid-morning.

The regular water rail showed itself at the end of the afternoon on Thursday 11th at the country park pond. Whilst the bird was probing the wet grass for small worms, it provided an opportunity for this digi-binned image. The chiffchaff that had been singing the day before, was heard calling on Thursday. Amongst some alders near the pond were 20 redwing and the regular curlew was feeding in the field.

There was the rare sight of an East Mersea hedgehog late on Thursday night crossing the East Mersea road near Bromans Lane. I stopped the car and made sure it trundled safely into the nearby verge and away from any passing traffic. It's been several years since I've seen a hedgehog at the east end of the Island.

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