Monday, 25 November 2013


There were small numbers of brent geese along the Strood Channel on Monday 25th although the main flock were feeding on a field on the Peldon side. Around 700 geese rose off the fields noisily into the air and then settled down in the nearby Ray Channel.

The most notable duck along the Channel was the long-tailed duck seen for the third day running just up-channel from the Dabchicks sailing club amongst the moorings. At times it disappears from view behind the boats. Other than the 26 little grebes mainly around the end of the moorings, it's the only bird in the water along that stretch. At times it would give its wings a good flapping in between some of the dives.

Other wildfowl along the channel at low tide were big gatherings of wigeon and teal with about 500+ birds and 35 shelduck. The usual mix of waders were noted with 30 knot and a couple of bar-tailed godwits of interest. The big plover flock was seen over the Feldy fields with 1000 golden plover and 300+ lapwing in the air.

A pair of stonechat was watched feeding in the field alongside the edge of the borrowdyke. Both birds perched up on the stalks with the male showing off its orangey chest in the winter sunshine. The only other small birds of note were 3 rock pipits, a handful of skylarks and a couple of meadow pipits.

The previous day Sunday 24th along the Strood, the other birds of note other than the long-tailed duck were two peregrines together in the air calling out as they tussled briefly and a male marsh harrier flew over Ray Island.

Daryl Rhymes visited West Mersea on Sunday morning and noted 4 common scoter, 24 red-breasted mergansers, 25 great crested grebes, a shag from the Hard and 2 distant short-eared owls flying high over Tollesbury Wick.

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