Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Numbers of black-tailed godwits roosting in the country park fields appeared to have increased on Tuesday 7th. At least 300 were packed together along with 150+ redshank with more birds arriving during the mid-morning period. At the end of the day the wigeon flock had also swollen to around 600 birds.

A pair of stonechats along the dyke - the male not having been seen here this autumn before, so possibly a new pair just arrived. Offshore 100 brent geese noted and four pintail flew out of the estuary.

The strong wind over the last couple of days has forced the little egrets to roost close to the water's edge with 28 birds noted, some pictured above.
The Cetti's warbler was still singing from the hedge behind the pond on Tuesday morning, now present for a week. On the water 6 gadwall, 40 mallard, 24 shoveler and a tufted duck.

One swallow flew west over the park in the morning and 2 goldcrests were still with the tit flock.

Very little noted during a wet and windy Monday 6th although the Cetti's warbler did utter a few songs at either end of the day by the pond. A sparrowhawk flew over the car park and at dusk 20 stock doves were settling down in the copse by the pond.

This grey heron struck an unusual pose on the tree by the park pond, catching the sun's rays with the underside of its wings on Sunday 5th. Maybe it knew the weather was turning away from summer and this was the last warm sunny day.

At least two bearded tits were seen at the pond briefly in the morning by Andy Field. They were pinging loudly to begin with and then they popped up amongst the reedmace stems where one bird was certainly a male with the grey head. Despite lots more scanning of the reedmace around the pond, the beardies were not seen again. This is the third record of bearded tits for the pond, all of them just one-day visitors.

The sunny weather also saw a passage of common buzzards fly over the park with 15 counted in the first half of the afternoon. Three were first seen circling high together over the park entrance at midday, followed by a steady trickle over the next four hours, all following the same westward path just to the north of the park, and all about the same height. This is certainly the highest day count made at the park but surprisingly no other raptors seen on the move.
Martin Cock had also seen one common buzzard flying west near West Mersea on Sunday too.

Whilst watching the first group of buzzards at midday, five Mediterranean gulls suddenly appeared with some black-headed gulls overhead that seemed to be catching insects in the air. Some spiders gossamer was floating in the sky nearby.

The female kingfisher performed well at the pond, perching on various stalks and twigs around the place, calling out loudly as it flew. It was also seen mid-morning perched alongside the park dyke.The water rail was heard calling from the ditch behind the pond, the first individual returning for the winter. The Cetti's warbler showed well by the pond just after midday for Steve Entwistle.

At least two wheatears were seen on the beach, one of them seen on a bush in the park fields and a rock pipit flew along the beach calling. A chiffchaff was seen in the car park by Helen.

Other wildlife seen around the park on the sunny Sunday included a water vole seen by Mat Larkin, common lizard, small white, red admiral, speckled wood butterflies and common darter and migrant hawker dragonflies.

Martin Cock saw 6 greenshank, common buzzard, peregrine and clouded yellow butterfly at Maydays in the afternoon and a kingfisher was by the West Mersea Hard in the morning.

The near-full moon cast its beam across the mudflats beside the park on Tuesday evening. Twenty little egrets flew north over the park to roost further up the Colne. A pipistrelle bat flew around the park entrance as night fell.

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