Sunday, 12 January 2014


Not sure what the old shepherd's warning was for on Sunday 12th, as the sky lit up red early in the morning, looking from the park towards the two wind-farms beyond Colne Point. The day stayed sunny but there was a very chilly wind that blew - perhaps I was being warned about the chill factor.

Members of the Colchester Natural History Society wrapped up warm for their visit to the park on Sunday.
The highlight was a water rail seen from this vantage point where the bird was seen nervously crossing the corner of the grazing field from the ditch to the pond. It was a typically fleeting view but its indecision kept it in the open for a few more seconds.

Other birds seen at the pond were tufted ducks, shoveler, gadwall, and mallard, while 6 stock doves perched in a nearby tree.

On the fields 400 wigeon, 200 brent geese, 100 teal,100 lapwing and 50 golden plover were the main flocks while other birds present in smaller numbers included curlew, redshank, black-tailed godwit, dunlin and turnstone.
Little egret and rock pipit were on the saltmarsh near the Point while the main waders gathering on the mud to feed were 1000 dunlin, 20 ringed plover, 25 sanderling, 50 knot, 50 grey plover as well as small numbers of the other regulars too.

In the river 5+ red-breasted mergansers, goldeneye, 2 great crested grebes were seen and at least two marsh harriers were flying over Langenhoe Point. A group of 200+ gulls took a keen interest in the river near the East Mersea Point where a small shoal of fish may've been the attraction.

The first moth noted at the park this year was this aptly named Early moth, which spent the whole of Sunday resting on an inside wall in the park's toilet building.

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