Saturday, 1 March 2014


 The late morning high tide seemed much higher than was forecast on Friday 28th. This sign by the Firs Chase caravan site seemed to sum up the conditions.

The sea was across the end of Coast Road in West Mersea and you could only walk along in places with wellington boots on. The waterfront seemed very quiet presumably due to the continuous light rain all morning as well as the very high tide. Traffic could be seen motionless in the distance by the Strood causeway with long queues at either end.

The brent geese seemed to enjoy the high water levels with lots of small groups dotted along the Strood Channel. A Canada goose was seen flying along the Ray Channel.

All the saltmarshes were completely covered at high tide and brent geese were the most obvious birds seen.
Flocks of waders were flying around as their normal roost sites went under water, with black-tailed godwit, oystercatcher, curlew, redshank, dunlin, golden plover and turnstone all noted. In the Strood Channel 10 little grebe, 25 shelduck and 50 wigeon were seen too.

In the fields and bushes along from the caravan site, 20 goldfinches, 10 blackbirds, 2 stock doves, rock pipit, reed bunting and 4 skylarks were some of the birds seen here.

On Thursday 27th at the country park, there was an unfortunate end to a water rail near the park pond when a male sparrowhawk caught it on the ground. The rail had been feeding on the grass out from the hedge at the back of the grazing fields and was sadly caught too exposed and unawares. The bird put up a struggle and dragged itself back to the hedge but to no avail. The brightly marked male sparrowhawk with its orangey chest, spent ten minutes feeding on the bird inside the hedge before carrying it over to the copse.

Earlier in the day a dead badger was reported beside the road on Strood Hill, West Mersea.

On Tuesday 25th Steve Grimwade noted from West Mersea great northern diver, red-throated diver, 35 sanderling, Mediterranean gull and 20 great crested grebes. At East Mersea the snow bunting was seen at the Point by Martin Cock on Tuesday 25th.

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