Saturday, 5 October 2013


Up to 500 wigeon are feeding in the park's grazing fields with this group pictured above on the pools, along with 300 teal, 38 greylag geese and 100 brent geese also in the area. Fifteen shoveler were present on Thursday 3rd on the pools and pond along with a pair of gadwall and 50 mallard.

This group of redshank were on high alert after surviving a couple of menacing swoops by a peregrine on Thursday. The peregrine circled casually over the fields, along the middle ditch before launching itself into the waders and wildfowl around the pools. Amazingly all the birds flew into the middle of the water for safety, rather than fly off and risk being caught in the air. A quick count of the redshank revealed 350 birds still present.
 The birds were also nervous about a female sparrowhawk perched on a nearby fencepost while later in the day a male sparrowhawk flew low over the fields.
Also on the pools were 20 black-tailed godwit and at least 10 snipe, while on the fields were 120 curlew.
On Friday 4th a ruff was present all day feeding around the muddy margins of the pools.

This little egret roost during the morning high tide on Thursday totalled 56 birds - a fair proportion of them pictured above beside the park pond. In the evenings the little egrets head north from East Mersea to roost somewhere up the Colne.
Five song thrushes have been enjoying the rowan berries in the hedge near the park pond over the last few days.

Passage migration has been thin on the ground in recent days with ten swallows noted on Friday 4th, six on Thursday and eight on Wednesday. Blackcap was seen on both Wednesday and Thursday while a wheatear was on the seawall on Wednesday. In the estuary two common terns were seen from the Point on Wednesday and a rock pipit flew along the beach.

Andy Field and Martin Cock watched an immature little gull feeding in the mouth of the Colne on Tuesday 1st, before it drifted slowly out of the estuary. Also noted were 1000 golden plover on the nearby mud.
A peregrine was seen early on Tuesday morning in a field at Bocking Hall feeding on a wood pigeon.

On Tuesday evening a badger was seen in the car headlights trotting along Bromans Lane before it dived into the verge.


Kate Jackson said...

Hi Dougal
I enjoy your blog very much. I was wondering if you were aware if there are any wasp spiders on the island. I do have a picture of one that I took just the other side of the Strood on the day of the Round the Island race this year and can send it to you if you are interested.

Dougal Urquhart said...

Thanks Kate, the wasp spiders are widespread on the Island in any area of long grass. I did post a picture of one at the park back in the summer.
It would be interesting to see your wasp spider photo. You can send it to;