Saturday, 15 February 2014


 A real stormy sea battered the Mersea coastline again around the middle of the day on Friday 14th. The footpath on the Rewsalls' seawall pictured above, has remained closed since last week because it has become unsafe. All the way along the seawall waves were continuously being thrown up into the air as they crashed onto the side of the wall.

Lots of mini-waterfalls of seawater were pouring down the inside of the wall and then flowing into the dyke. Staying well off the seawall, the short section I walked below and alongside the dyke was a wet experience as waves of spray kept flying up and over.

Along with the spray from the waves, there was the rain being blown in on the strong winds. The small beach by the Youth Camp has got a lot smaller this winter and the sea has scoured so much away that there's now a little four foot cliff along the beach.

Birds seen on the very wet Rewsalls marshes were 300 brent geese which were dividing their time between the nearby wheat field and the flooded grassland. Also 40 curlew, bar-tailed godwit, 5 redshank, 30 mallard and a reed bunting in the reeds.

This last week the wet grazing fields at the country park have continued to have good numbers of birds on them especially at high tide with the wigeon and black-tailed godwits. For the second time this week there was a big roost of 1000+ black-tailed godwits roosting here on Thursday 13th. Other waders here have been 50 turnstone, 50 curlew, 100 lapwing, 200 golden plover, 5 snipe, 300 dunlin and 200 redshank.
There was the unusual sight of a spotted redshank in the fields on Monday 10th, the first one seen here this winter.

At times there have been 1000+ wigeon on the grazing fields along with 400 teal, 25 shoveler, 10 gadwall, 25 shelduck during high tide and six greylag geese. The main brent geese flock have been feeding recently at nearby Ivy Farm. Up to 16 tufted duck have been noted either on the pond or on the dyke in recent days while the female pochard was present up until Tuesday 11th.

The barn owl provided great views on Wednesday late afternoon as it criss-crossed the park a few times as well as some neighbouring fields too. It was also seen on the previous afternoon as well.

In the Colne a red-throated diver was seen in the outer reaches on Wednesday 12th along with lots of black-headed gulls. Five great crested grebes were the only other birds seen in the river.

Recent sightings reported to me at the park were a harbour porpoise in the river from the Point on Saturday 8th and a kingfisher seen at the park pond on Monday 3rd.

At Weir Farm a common buzzard was perched on a tree on Monday 10th while Martin Cock braved the windy weather at Coopers Beach on Wednesday 12th to see a marsh harrier battling into the elements as it headed west across the sea to Bradwell. At West Mersea Martin saw a guillemot amongst the boats at the Hard on Tuesday 11th.

The muddy path along from the hide showed these signs of a muntjac deer walking along it recently. There have been no sightings of it in the park for a few months although there have been several occasions when their footprints have been noted.

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