Sunday, 26 January 2014


 Conditions on the country park continue to get wetter and better for ducks following more recent rainfall on Sunday 26th. Here the first pochard of the winter has been at the park pond for its third day. The female was enjoying standing on the tuft of reeds to do a spot of preening, while a female gadwall and female tufted duck swam nearby.

Numbers of tufted duck have also increased in the last few days with 17 birds now present while 20 gadwall here is also a slight increase too. A number of mallard, shoveler and teal were also present with many hiding amongst the reeds round the edge. A female sparrowhawk crossed low over the pond-field on Saturday morning, alarming some of the local small birds. A redwing flew over the car park calling and two song thrushes have been in full song at times recently.

In the grazing fields 150 golden plover and 10 greylag geese were amongst the many of the regular wigeon, teal and lapwing.

Close to the shore in the morning as the tide began to turn, 30 sanderling and 20 bar-tailed godwit were seen.

Viewing conditions got a bit gloomy in the morning of Saturday 25th although it did brighten up in the afternoon. The very wet grazing fields had a mix of 1000 wigeon, 320 teal, 20 shoveler, 250 dunlin, 100 redshank, 150 lapwing, 50 curlew and 100 black-tailed godwits. Three snipe made a reappearance after an absence of about 10 days. Also here were 20 meadow pipits, 10 pied wagtails, 300 starlings, 4 skylarks while at the end of the day 30 greenfinches gathered to roost.
The male sparrowhawk was seen hunting low amongst the bushes in the car park in the morning and nearby two goldcrests were feeding with a mixed tit flock.

On Friday offshore from the park 5 Slavonian grebes, 180 great crested grebes and a common scoter were seen. In the late afternoon the barn owl made another appearance, crossing from the long grass field to the west of the park, and then hunting over the main park as the last of the visitors were heading home. The barn owl had also provided a good display over the last hour of daylight of Thursday, quartering the park back and forwards a few times.

On Thursday 23rd a marsh harrier was seen passing over the Point late in the day followed by a peregrine which in turn was followed by another marsh harrier- all heading back to Langenhoe Point. Two red-throated divers were just offshore and twelve red-breasted mergansers flew out of the river at dusk.

Four woodcock were flushed on Saturday from copses during the East Mersea pheasant shoot with two near North Farm, one at Gyants Marsh and a fourth from Maydays farm. A yellowhammer flew over the East Mersea shop early in the morning.

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