Thursday, 20 February 2014


The first frog report of the spring was this one photographed by David Nicholls in his West Mersea garden on Saturday 15th. Mid to late February seems to be the usual time on Mersea to see frogs and toads heading for the ponds. None seen so far along Firs Chase.

David also found this very poorly badger on the Bonner's saltings near Ray Island on Saturday 15th. It was suffering from extreme hypothermia and was taken into care the by the North East Essex Badger Group. Not heard whether it survived.

Another sign of spring at the country park are the emerging pussy willow catkins bursting into flower. These ones enjoyed the sunshine and blue skies on Wednesday 19th.

A water rail came out from the hedge at the back of the grazing fields for several minutes on Wednesday morning, providing a rare view this winter. Waders were gathering on the pools to roost with 150 redshank, 100 turnstone, 50+ black-tailed godwits with others still arriving and 12 snipe were nice to see.

At the park pond two drake and a female pochard were seen along with 16 tufted duck and a pair of little grebe.A grey heron and two little egrets were also by the pond. In the distance a sparrowhawk glided to the north of the park while the female kestrel was perched on the tree behind the grazing fields.

At West Mersea a black-throated diver, Slavonian grebe and a Mediterranean gull were seen by Andy Field.

No pots of gold at the end of this rainbow over the country park on Tuesday 18th during a day of sunshine and showers.
Andy Field and Martin Cock reported a merlin and the pair of stonechats by the Strood seawall on Tuesday morning. Later a common buzzard was seen at Gyants Marsh but little else there.

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