Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Excitement at East Mersea early on Tuesday 14th when six ring ouzels were found beside the country park. This well-marked male photographed by Andy Field as it sat on a distant hedge, still showed the big white chest band and a very white wing-panel. The other ring ouzels were female / immature types and all very wary.

The first sign of a ring ouzel at the park was hearing the loud chacking call of a bird in the car park first thing on Tuesday morning. Summoning Andy and Martin Cock pictured above along with Wilma, the bird and a handful of others were found in this hedgerow just to the north of the park entrance. Some of the ouzels seemed quite settled but at other times they flew round flying high and fast.

This is the second autumn in a row that a group of ring ouzels have stopped off at the park and the views this time were much better. Hearing reports from elsewhere on the Essex coast, it appeared that lots of ring ouzels had made land-fall such as at the Naze, Frinton, Colne Point, St Oysth and also at Wivenhoe.

Also arriving across the North Sea this morning at the park were the first redwings with 20 noted, as well as 25 blackbirds and 5 song thrushes. By late morning most of these thrushes and the ring ouzels had moved on. A brambling called in flight in the morning and another bird in the afternoon, and 25 swallows passed over the park too.

An early bird over the car park on Tuesday was a merlin going against the flow of the thrushes, this one hurtled its way east towards the grazing fields.

There was little new influx of thrushes on Wednesday morning although two small flocks of five redwings in each, flew from trees. Two song thrushes were seen near the park pond where the Cetti's warbler was also singing loudly and showed for Tim Mendham. At least twenty swallows passed over the park during the day.

A female marsh harrier emerged out of the early morning fog scattering all the teal and wigeon on the pools in the fields, before it dropped down for a few minutes. The wildfowl soon settled back down when the harrier flew off. In the afternoon a sparrowhawk caused some chaos when it flew amongst the waders and wildfowl.

The kingfisher flew from the pond where it had been as noisy as usual in the afternoon, flying low over the pools towards the seawall. Andy saw at least two wheatears at the Point today, possibly another two birds also present. On the nearby mudflats 700 golden plover were resting late morning.
The previous day Andy counted 1500 black-tailed godwits in the grazing fields and 23 knot on the nearby mud.

The little egret roost behind the park pond was counted at 75 birds on Tuesday with about fifty of them pictured above. The Cetti's warbler was still singing by the park pond but not on show.

Martin Cock saw a stonechat and a Mediterranean gull at Coopers Beach on Tuesday morning.

Several common darters are still to be seen at the country park, basking on any piece of wood they can find, such as this male pictured above on a picnic table in the car park.

A small copper was seen again near the car park in the early afternoon of Tuesday when the sun came out and a  couple of red admirals were seen too. A clouded yellow was photographed near the Point by a visitor in the afternoon. A clouded yellow was also seen by Andy Field along the seawall on Wednesday.

An adder was basking in the usual spot near the car park on Tuesday early afternoon. Martin Cock also reported seeing an adder on the seawall at Maydays on Sunday.

A muntjac deer was seen twice on Wednesday near Manwood Grove, near the East Mersea pub, once in the field early morning and then again just after dark crossing the East Mersea road seen in the headlights.
The water vole was showing itself in the ditch near the park's seawall on Wednesday.

The moth trap went out on a seemingly dry Tuesday night, collecting thirty moths by the next morning.There were three of this micro-moth pictured above, the rusty dot pearl, which were of interest as these are usually regarded as migrants mainly coming in during the autumn period. The tiny diamond-back moth was also noted.

The resident feathered thorn is a regular visitor to the trap in October. One or two of them are happy to settle in the grass beside the trap and then spend the whole of the next day motionless.

This dark chestnut usually turns up in small numbers in the autumn.

A handful of November sps. moths were in the trap although this individual was resting on the side of the nearby wall of the house.

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