Thursday, 2 January 2014


A Happy New Year to everyone.
It would be nice to think the new year will bring lots of blue skies and less of the rain clouds!
There was some brief respite from recent wet and windy weather on Thursday 2nd, when the sun shone all day. It made a change being able to enjoy the walk along the park seawall without being blown off it, or getting drenched in rain.

New Year's Day at the country park was windy all day with rain arriving for the afternoon. The picture above shows the rough sea in the middle of the day thumping against the park cliff.

The park seawall path was not a place to walk along if you wanted to stay dry, as waves crashed against the side.

The brent geese were feeding along the edge of the saltmarsh at high tide on Wednesday with 200 birds noted here. Earlier 400 brent had flown off the wheat field at North Farm. Roosting on one of the saltmarsh pools near the Golfhouse was a small flock of grey plover, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit and turnstone. Thirty sanderling were with 25 turnstones on the beach at the Point.

A kingfisher perched on various posts near the Oyster Fishery before flying back towards Ivy Dock. In the Colne four red-breasted mergansers were the only birds noted in the river. A marsh harrier was flying around Langenhoe and 100 avocets crossed the Pyefleet to roost.

On the grazing fields waders were gathering for high tide with 2 bar-tailed godwits of note amongst the 400 black-tailed godwits. Also 100 redshank, 200 dunlin, grey plover, 5 snipe, 100 teal and 700 wigeon.
At the park pond a sparrowhawk flew low in front of the hide and perched in a nearby tree. On the water 9 tufted duck were present along with the usual mallard, shoveler and gadwall.

The strong wind on New Years Day kept many small birds hidden although rock pipit, 4 meadow pipits, pair of pied wagtails, 5 goldfinches and a goldcrest with the long-tailed tit flock being the main ones of interest.

There was a welcome improvement in the weather on Thursday 2nd although there was little change in the birds around the park. There was the impressive collection of waders and wildfowl on the fields again for the high tide. Something spooked the birds and the sky was soon filled with flocks of wigeon circling around, godwits flying back and forwards, teal heading this way, plovers going another way while the brent geese provided the noisy soundtrack!

The pair of mute swans returned, 400 starlings fed with the wigeon, 3 skylarks, great spotted woodpecker by the pond were a few of the birds that hadn't been seen the previous day.

Alan Reynolds sent me these photos he took of a Mediterranean gull seen on 29th December at the Seaview Avenue car park.

Alan's pictures shows a bird in its third winter plumage, apparently a stage often skipped by Mediterranean gulls on their way to adulthood.

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