Friday, 10 October 2014


The driest September on record now seems a distant memory following some torrential downpours recently.
The car park at Cudmore Grove pictured above, was not surprisingly, very empty during a very wet Wednesday 8th.

 The one bit of wildlife interest seen from this office window was the sight of a brown rat scuttling over the car park several times to grab some fallen sweet chestnuts and then running back to cover carrying each one in its mouth.

It stayed dry and sunny for most of Thursday but it was much windier, which whipped the very high tide onto the beach and against the country park cliff. The Environment Agency have only just got round to repairing the two collapses in the seawall from last winter and so far the repair works seem to have held.

This wheatear has stayed put on the beach at East Mersea Point during the wet and windy weather of the last three days. First seen on Wednesday evening it was still present on Friday morning.
In the Colne a common tern was flying about and a house martin looked like it wanted to cross the river to Point Clear.

A rock pipit called as it flew along the beach and 30 linnets were also seen feeding around the saltmarsh at the Point. Brent geese numbers in the mouth of the Colne are still about 200 although dispersed in several smaller groups. One group of fifty brent near Ivy Dock were seen late morning and the first group of four were seen feeding in one of the park's grazing field. 

There was the interesting sight amongst the 1500 starlings feeding around the seawall/ beach/ fields area of a very pale leucistic starling showing a sandy body but with cream-white wings. Certainly easy to pick out when flying in the flock.

The early afternoon high tides in the last few days have brought big numbers of birds onto the park's grazing fields with this picture showing some of the 1000 black-tailed godwits. There was a big gathering on Wednesday afternoon after the mornings downpour had softened up the fields with nearly 2000 godwits roosting.

Also in the fields were 500+ teal, 500+ wigeon, 130 curlew, 90 greylags, 200 redshank and 50 lapwing. One bar-tailed godwit was amongst the black-tails as were a few dunlin on Wednesday. A greenshank was seen flying off the fields when the birds were disturbed.

Little egrets have had to hold on tight to the branches during the windy periods when they roosted at high tide. At least seventy birds were seen on Friday with half at the pond and the other half standing in the nearby pools in the grazing field. Three grey herons also joined the roost on Thursday.

The three swan cygnets appear close to fledging and making their first flight, probably being egged on by their parents who seem to be flying about a lot recently. They have done well to get to this stage after the loss of their other three siblings early on. The right hand bird in the photo is the cygnet with the white plumage of an adult.

After a couple of days of silence in the windy weather, the loud song of the Cetti's warbler was heard again from the hedge behind the park pond on Friday morning. It has now been present for its eleventh day and maybe its companion is still around too.

On the pond 24 shoveler, 6 gadwall, 50+ mallard and a tufted duck but no sign of the female pintail that flew over the pools and the pond on Wednesday 8th.

A marsh harrier flew over the car park on Wednesday and at the end of the day there has been at least one flying up river to the Langenhoe roost over the last three evenings. A sparrowhawk flew over the car park on Wednesday while the two kestrels have been seen by their oak tree recently.
A little owl called at dusk from an oak tree just inside the park and was seen flying out much to the surprise of a wood pigeon also in the tree.

Two swallows flew west over the park on Thursday, two goldcrests were with the tit flock and 30 greenfinches gathered to roost each evening at the park.

Martin Cock watched a little gull fly east past Coopers Beach towards the mouth of the river Colne on a windy Wednesday afternoon.

There was the eyecatching sight in the sunshine of a clouded yellow butterfly fly across the car park just after midday on Friday 10th. Also in the sun this day were a couple of red admirals and a common lizard.

There was a report a red squirrel being found dead this week, in a garden situated near the end of the East Mersea road.
A muntjac deer was seen at dusk in the grass field behind the park pond on Wednesday evening.

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