Friday, 14 March 2014


Enjoyed a late afternoon along the Reeveshall seawall on Friday 14th with the sun weakly shining onto the water inside the seawall. A barn owl was hunting the fields near the Oyster Fishery, a green sandpiper dropped down beside the dyke here while a yellowhammer having perched briefly on a bush, then flew high and fast north-east across the river Colne.

Seemed like all the brent geese in the whole estuary had gathered together on a grass field at Reeveshall with about 2000 birds spread out as the evening mist began to creep back in again. As the light faded a marsh harrier flew over the flock and all the geese rose into the air in a great roar of noise. The sound of the geese flying off the fields and into the Pyefleet, seemed to carry for miles around and brought these bleak and misty marshes to life.

Also on Reeveshall were 40 greylag geese, 20 coots, little egret and 2 grey herons as well as a brown hare.

On Langenhoe at least 16 marsh harriers were seen gathering for their roost with one last fly around involving ten birds seen in the air together before they dropped into the reedbed.
Although it was low tide along the Pyefleet channel with plenty of mud, not much of note on the wader front other than the regular ones. There did seem more shelduck present with 250+ birds along the channel.

This dead woodcock was brought into the house of Charles and Lyn Williams in Queen Ann Road by the cat on Thursday 13th. There was no sign of any wound or injury to the bird and it is possible the cat may not have killed it. They have been seen in West Mersea in previous years but it is a rare visitor to gardens here. As far as I've heard the only woodcocks seen this winter have been during one of the East Mersea pheasant shoots.

Most of the coots at the park pond have been nibbling the grass alongside the moorhens on the adjacent field with eight birds seen on Thursday 13th. Three pairs of pochard and a couple of noisy little grebes were also noted here.
The second chiffchaff of the spring was heard singing from the hedge along from the back of the park pond.

A marsh harrier passed over the fields in the afternoon and sent all the 500 wigeon into the air along with lots of other waders and wildfowl including 200 teal, 50 curlew, 2 snipe and 20 shoveler.

The foggy start to the day left lots of water droplets on all the spiders webs.

On Thursday at the park small tortoiseshell and peacock were the butterflies seen while 2 adders and 2 grass-snakes were enjoying the sun too.


Linda said...

I always find it sad when I see a dead animal. Great photos, and your first photo is captivating.

Dougal Urquhart said...

Glad you like the photos. - Dougal