Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Andy Field took these two photos of the spotted flycatcher that was seen at the country park on the 11th September.

This bird was one of four spotted flycatchers this autumn at the park. The only other autumn sighting elsewhere was at Coopers Beach.

David Nicholls passed these two photos he took on Sunday 6th of a barn owl on Ray Island late morning.

Always nice to watch a barn owl in the daytime - and even better if there's a camera handy to capture the moment!

There's been a nice run of sunny days recently providing clear views across the Colne estuary. There was a good variety of waders on the mud as the tide went out late on Tuesday 8th with a handful of knot amongst the 300 dunlin, 200 redshank, 50 black-tailed godwits, 50 ringed plover along with turnstones, grey plovers, curlews, oystercatchers and golden plovers.

A marsh harrier crossed over the park on Tuesday and two swallows were noted flying over the car park that day too. A kingfisher was seen at the Oyster Fishery in East Mersea by Martin Cock earlier that morning along with 3 chiffchaffs, blackcap and whitethroat.

Two blackcaps, chiffchaff and swallow were at the park on Monday 7th along with 10 meadow pipits, while greenshank called from the mudflats. A sandwich tern was seen off West Mersea on Monday by Martin.

A sandwich tern flew past the country park calling out loudly as it headed back into the Colne on a bright sunny Sunday morning. A distant common buzzard soared on the east side of the river while four marsh harriers circled high over Langenhoe Point. Also noted were a rock pipit, 63 little egrets roosting in the trees and the ruff was still on the pools along with 200 redshank, 15 snipe, 250 teal, 500 wigeon with 100 brent geese in the fields.

The wind had calmed down on Saturday morning after a very blustery Friday. There was a lot of small bird activity around the car park with 12 chiffchaffs, goldcrest, whitethroat and three blackcaps foraging with a big tit flock. Two yellowhammers and 6 mistle thushes and 10 blackbirds were seen by the park entrance. A ruff was on the grazing fields and a Mediterranean gull flew over in the morning.

The sunshine has kept a few butterflies on the wing with this comma photographed by Andy at the park on the 6th. One late flowering buddleia bush at the park on Tuesday  had two red admirals, two commas and a small white on it. On the sunny Tuesday a clouded yellow flew low across the car park at the park. Two clouded yellows were also seen on the Shop Lane seawall earlier in the day by Martin. A red admiral was seen flying fast westwards over the park on its autumn migration on Wednesday morning.

This green shield bug posed nicely for Andy in his West Mersea garden.

Other creatures seen recently included a common seal swimming past the park on Saturday morning and also a road-kill badger on the East Mersea road near Fen Farm.

There's the unusual autumnal sight of a hawthorn bush at the park currently producing blossom following the recent warm weather. The bush still has a good crop of berries from the spring flush of blossom.

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