Friday, 25 April 2014


Many of the Island's swallows have returned to their traditional nesting sites including this pair behind the Dabchicks Sailing Club at West Mersea. These two were seen perching at the entrance to their shed on Friday 25th.

One of the swallows seemed to get very excited when its mate flew in to join it, squawking briefly at it. Also in the area were another half dozen swallows.

A couple of walks along the Strood seawall during Friday were the first visit to the area for almost six weeks. A male wheatear flew off the seawall and landed on the brushwood breakwaters on the mud - the first wheatear sighting on the Island this spring. Also noted were a singing reed warbler, 3 singing reed buntings, 2 lesser whitethroats, a common whitethroat, five linnets and a corn bunting.

In the Strood Channel 6 common terns hunted up and down with some visiting the Ray Channel too. Also 3 avocets, 10 black-tailed godwits, 4 grey plover, 4 whimbrel, 20 dunlin, 20 redshank, 10 oystercatchers and 5 turnstone. A pair of gadwall in the channel were unusual for here with shelduck numbers down to six birds. Two little egrets flew out of the borrowdyke.

There was a report from Colin Mackenzie-Grieve at the nearby Old Hall RSPB who had seen ten little gulls fly past Old Hall towards the West Mersea esplanade beach area on Friday morning.
A lesser whitethroat was singing from gardens near Firs Chase on Friday.

Last week's high spring tide-line has left hundreds of thousands of moulted shore crab shells littered along the shore.

The annual spring moult coincides with a high spring tide with some areas thick with empty crab shells.

All along the bottom of the whole seawall were these shell remains wherever you looked.

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