Tuesday, 4 November 2014


This red squirrel hung upside down motionless from the roof of its pen for several minutes while preparations were being made to open the flap to let them free in East Mersea on Tuesday 4th. Only two squirrels out of the four were on show, the others stayed hidden inside their boxes.

This other red squirrel stayed tucked into this top corner of the pen watching what was going on. More food was laid out for them inside the pen as well as outside the pen. The flap was then opened up although there was no dash for the exit. They were left to discover their way out later in the day.

These four red squirrels were released from Ivy Lane with the other four set free from Shop Lane today too, while the West Mersea four were released yesterday near Victory Road. These twelve squirrels were brought onto the Island a week ago from the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey.

One of the earlier red squirrels released in West Mersea was seen on three different occasions in neighbouring gardens during Sunday and Monday in the Firs Chase area  One was in our garden seen by my wife Nolly, also the Marshalls reported it and finally the Daniels watched it take a bathe in their bird bath today.

The flat calm sea made it easier to watch this harbour porpoise swim into the river Colne past the East Mersea Point early on Tuesday 4th. The porpoise swam around a few times at a relaxed pace, surfacing two or three times before going deeper down and disappearing for a longer period. This is the first sighting from the park this year.

Other mammals seen today included a common seal well offshore in the afternoon and a weasel hunting along the seawall presumably looking for young rats. Yesterday there was the interesting sight of a muntjac deer seen sprinting across the full length of the grazing fields mid morning. Something must have disturbed it from cover and it made a dash for it, spooking many of the ducks and waders on the fields as it ran past.

It was nice to see the big flock of 700+ dark-bellied brent geese spread across one of the park's grazing fields. This is the first time this autumn there's been a big flock of geese here. A quick scan also revealed a pale-bellied brent goose amongst them.

Also on the fields were 500 wigeon, 300 teal, 100 curlew, 200 redshank and 300 black-tailed godwits.
The kingfisher was seen flying along the dyke in the afternoon and there was a report of a second bird being seen near here too. The Cetti's warbler was singing on the pond-edge beside the grazing fields.

The fine weather on Tuesday saw a single swallow flash across the car park in the morning heading westwards. Probably the last swallow of the year although in the past we've logged late swallows in mid November.

Two red admirals were seen on the park on Tuesday.

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