Tuesday, 10 September 2013


The heavens opened for several minutes in the afternoon of Sunday 8th. This was the view of the pond taken whilst sheltering from the rain in the hide, as it hammered down on the water. The white shapes of three little egrets are in the top left of the picture.

Just before the rains came down, a pied flycatcher was unexpectedly discovered feeding in this hawthorn tree in the pond-field. In typical flycatcher fashion it would fly out from its perch low down in the bush to catch an insect before returning to either the same branch or another one nearby. The bird had the very distinctive white wing panel and very clean underparts too with a very rounded and darkish head.

The bird flew to the hedge at the bottom for a minute or so before coming back to the hawthorn where it seemed to enjoy the company of long-tailed tits, great tits, blue tits, lesser whitethroats, common whitethroats, blackcaps and even a great spotted woodpecker flew in.

All the birds cleared off when the rain pelted down for ten minutes. Joining in the search for the pied-fly were Martin, Steve and Andy and after another ten minutes we were surprised to find a spotted flycatcher along a nearby hedge. This is the first one seen on the Island this year.
The spotted flycatcher was still present along the same hedgeline near the bird hide the following day on Monday 9th along with five willow / chiffs, 4 blackcaps and lesser whitethroats and  whitethroats too.

The little egret roost in the trees near the pond was about 65 birds on Sunday. On the pond were 40 mallard and a gadwall too. On the pools in the fields 200 teal, 12 wigeon, 50 redshank and 30 black-tailed godwits with 5 snipe. Five wheatears were reported at the Point on Sunday.

Martin Cock had a common buzzard perched in a tree near Meeting Lane on Sunday morning.

There was good light late in the afternoon on Monday 9th with a clear view across the mudflats from the park. The tide was on its way out and lots of waders were arriving to feed. Of interest amongst them were 3 greenshank, whimbrel, sanderling, 25 knot, 100 dunlin, 100 black-tailed godwit, 10 bar-tailed godwit, 50 golden plover and 100 ringed plover. Offshore four common terns were fishing.

A male marsh harrier flew up river to the evening roost at Langenhoe. Earlier a juvenile marsh harrier circled over the pond and nearby pools scattering all the birds including 14 little egrets from the trees. A sparrowhawk also flew past the pools upsetting some of the birds as it sped by. In the fields 20 yellow wagtails were feeding beside the cattle. A Mediterranean gull flew over the park in the morning.

At the Point 4 wheatears were feeding on the grass and also on the beach and twenty linnets were noted. Offshore two common seals were watched heading upriver in the morning. One great crested grebe was offshore from the park.

Three of these feathered gothics were of interest in the moth trap after Monday night's session. This individual was one of 50 moths of 15 species, after a much colder night and a drop in moth numbers. Some of the other moths noted included white-point, rosy rustic, square spot rustic, flounced rustic, setaceous hebrew character and large yellow underwing.

The only butterflies noted on Sunday were several speckled woods, small heath and a small white.

A badger was seen dead on the East Mersea road early in the morning near Haycocks riding stables.

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