Sunday, 12 October 2014


This confiding wheatear stayed at East Mersea Point for four days, posing for this photo by Andy Field on Saturday 11th.

It seemed to enjoy its temporary home on the Essex coast, checking out this old wartime pillbox for a bit of shelter.

This wheatear picture above of mine, was taken in the fading light at the end of Saturday. The bird had a short stump of a tail and looked a bit strange when seen in flight.
There was no sign of this bird on Sunday although a different wheatear with a full-length tail had turned up instead.

A female stonechat was seen in the grazing fields and the Point on Saturday while on Sunday a male stonechat was in the fields.

A dozen meadow pipits, one pictured above, were feeding along the beach and in the nearby fields on Saturday. A rock pipit was also feeding on the saltmarsh by the Point on Saturday and Sunday. Thirty linnets and 4 reed buntings were also feeding near the Point.

A flock of seventy house martins and a handful of swallows were feeding up over the fields and seawall on Saturday morning. A similar sized flock was also seen later at West Mersea by Martin Cock, which could've been the same birds. Three swallows passed over the park later on Saturday afternoon heading west.

The black-tailed godwit roost in the park's grazing fields on Saturday was estimated to number 1400 birds, along with 200 redshank and a greenshank at the roost too. Rough wildfowl numbers included 300 teal, 300 wigeon and 100 greylag geese. Greenshank was also heard calling over the park on Sunday.

The Cetti's warbler was singing on both weekend days by the pond and managed to show itself on Sunday. The little egret roost numbered forty birds on the Saturday with a similar number on Sunday too.
Three blackcaps were in bushes by the pond while 4 goldcrests and a couple of chiffchaffs were with the tit flocks around the park. A dozen continental blackbirds were in bushes by the park entrance on Saturday morning. A male yellowhammer perched briefly on a bush at the park.

A common buzzard was seen twice during Saturday with one bird being noisily joined by a grey heron and it was difficult to say whether they were enjoying each other's company. The local crows liked neither.
A sparrowhawk flew low over the mud near the Point as it headed east across the Colne. The pair of kestrels were perched in their oak tree at the back of the fields on Saturday.

On the mud 15 knot and 600 golden plover were of note amongst lots of waders on Saturday evening while 200 avocets flew back upriver past the Point on Sunday morning. Twenty-five snipe were flushed from the saltmarsh lagoons near the Point on Sunday morning. The kingfisher was seen along the dyke on Saturday by Andy Field and was also seen flying near the Golfhouse dyke on Sunday morning.

An osprey was reported on Saturday in the Colne estuary on the Geedon Marsh by a birdwatching group on a barge trip. The bird was still present in the area the next day and was seen by Martin Cock viewing from the Maydays seawall early afternoon. There was no further sign of it from East Mersea later in the afternoon.

Martin also reported a merlin, a pair of stonechats, green sandpiper and greenshank at Maydays on Sunday, while Steve Entwistle watched a kingfisher perch on a pontoon in the Pyefleet and a common buzzard by Bocking Hall on Sunday.

Two eider were seen briefly offshore from West Mersea by Martin on Sunday morning before they were disturbed by a boat, also three common terns here.

Only three butterflies were seen flying at the country park during the middle part of Sunday, including this small copper. It was found basking on some bare ground whilst looking to see if any adders were still out - none were. Two red admirals were the other butterflies seen on Sunday, as well as common darter and migrant hawker.

A common seal was seen in the river Colne on Sunday morning and a muntjac deer was seen behind the park pond by Andy on Saturday.

The moth trap was put back out at the country park on a cool Saturday night, after a break of a few nights while the moon was at its brightest. A small catch of 18 moths was not unexpected due to the cool and clear night sky.
This common green-brindled crescent pictured above showing its green sheen, was one of a couple found in the trap by daybreak on Sunday morning.

The large wainscot is a regular to the trap each autumn at the park. It's preferred habitat is close to watercourses where the caterpillar's foodplant is the common reed.

Other moths noted included red-green carpet, mallow, large yellow underwing, feathered ranunculus, beaded chestnut, lunar underwing, sallow, barred sallow and one of the November moth species.

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