Tuesday, 21 January 2014


This nice group of red-breasted mergansers were seen by Glyn Evans during his Webs count along the north side of the Island on Monday 20th. These birds may've been some of the ten birds seen at the entrance to the Pyefleet Channel by Simon Cox also on Monday. Simon also noted a kingfisher crossing from East Mersea to Langenhoe and a peregrine on Langenhoe.

Some of the brent geese pictured above, seen during Glyn's walk, where the only other main species of note were two spotted redshanks on Pewit Island in the Pyefleet.

Offshore from West Mersea on Monday 20th were a common scoter, 2 red-breasted mergansers, 2 black-throated divers, great northern diver, shag and a guillemot, seen by Stewart Bellfield.

There was a good variety of birds in the Blackwater estuary over the weekend, some seen by boat and some visible from the shore.
Daryl Rhymes noted from West Mersea on Sunday morning 2 common scoter, 80 red-throated divers, 2 black-throated divers, great northern diver, 60 great crested grebes, 4 Slavonian grebes and a guillemot. Viv Connett reported a similar variety of birds as well as a shag too.

Andy Field and Martin Cock organised a boat trip with Ray Hempstead on his Sorcerer boat from West Mersea with six others during the middle part of Sunday 19th. Travelling up the Blackwater as far as Osea Island as well as visiting Salcott and Tollesbury Channels, birds noted during the four hours included 3 great northern divers, 2 black-throated divers, long-tailed duck, 2 smew, 3 eider, 2 Slavonian grebes, 8 common scoter, 40 red-breasted mergansers, the summer plumaged bar-tailed godwit and a Bradwell peregrine. Huge flocks of plovers were noted in the air with 5000+ golden plover and 3000+ lapwing.

At East Mersea Paul Jeffries saw a snow bunting on the beach at the Point on Sunday.

Graham Ekins noted from West Mersea on Saturday 18th four common scoter, 15 red-throated divers, black-throated diver, great northern diver, 125 great crested grebes, 5 Slavonian grebe and a guillemot.

Steve Grimwade passed this picture of a kittiwake seen during his recent Swallow Birding boat trip into the Blackwater. Sightings of kittiwakes have become much scarcer from West Mersea in recent years.

Steve also reported that the colour-ringed shag seen recently in West Mersea was ringed as a chick on the Isle of May in July 2012 and was also seen at Hunstanton on Norfolk in November 2012.
A colour-ringed herring gull seen by Steve recently at West Mersea was ringed as a chick at Havergate Island in Suffolk in July 2008. It has since been seen half a dozen times since 2008 covering several sites in the Thames, Essex and back on the Suffolk coast.

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