Thursday, 7 November 2013


This male shoveler was amongst a dozen others on the park pond on Thursday 7th, as were 30 mallard, six gadwall and a tufted duck. The grey heron was standing at the back of the pond on a clump of reedmace.

Towards the end of the afternoon a male sparrowhawk flew over the pond heading west while a second sparrowhawk was seen soon after chasing down a small bird over the grazing fields. Eleven stock doves roosted in the trees behind the pond.

The sun shone briefly during the morning, the view above shows the flooded corner of the grazing fields with Brightlingsea in the background. Five hundred black-tailed godwits and about 500 teal were the main flocks of birds here during the high tide. Also on the fields were 400 wigeon, eighty lapwing were also noted here while snipe numbers were low with only five seen.

On the mudflats near the Point were 700+ golden plover and fifty avocets, with rock pipit and 2 reed buntings seen near the saltmarsh. Shelduck numbers seem to be picking slowly up with fifty birds seen on the mud. At the end of Thursday a male marsh harrier headed north over the Point towards the Langenhoe roost.

In the car park over the last few days, the ripe berries on the rowan trees have been attracting a variety of birds with fieldfare, 5 redwings, 10 chaffinches, 3 mistle thrushes, song thrush and up to ten blackbirds.
A male blackcap was seen in a hedge by the pond on Wednesday morning.

The biggest wildlife sighting of the week at the country park was a red squirrel seen dashing across the grass as it crossed a path between two clumps of bushes. My wife Nolly was very lucky to witness the squirrel from the park office having dropped briefly in to see me. The squirrel-dash was also seen by a couple of others at the same time. Sadly I wasn't looking in that direction and missed the excitement. I went outside to see if the squirrel could be seen again in the bushes but it had disappeared without trace.
This is the first record of red squirrel at the park since four were released into East Mersea just over a year ago. It may also be the first sighting of a red for several months on the Island.

There was the unwelcome news of a grey squirrel being seen by Liz Harrison in Waldegraves Lane the following day.

The colour-ringed sanderling that was shown in the photograph in the previous post last Sunday, has been found to have been ringed in Iceland in spring 2009. It was seen back in Iceland in the next two springs with the only other sighting being at Borth on the mid Wales coast in March 2011.

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