Monday, 8 December 2014


Four sanderling were feeding at high tide along the St Peters beach at West Mersea on Monday 8th. Despite the regular disturbance by dog-walkers, the birds seemed quite confiding and happy to keep switching sections of beach to forage along, sprinting away when the next hazard got too near. A similar size group of turnstones flew over to Cobmarsh away from the walkers.

Two little egrets squabbled over territory on the St Peters saltmarsh, chasing each other away from small pools and little creeks as the tide came in. Two rock pipits and a redshank were the only other birds noted here.

A great crested grebe was just offshore from the beach while on Cobmarsh 40 cormorants stood on one of the sand-spits until the tide pushed them off. Fifty oystercatchers were also resting here for the high tide.

Also seen from West Mersea on Monday by Martin Peers were a common scoter, two red-breasted mergansers, 130 cormorants, female merlin heading towards Old Hall and a high tide roost of 120 oystercatchers.

Across the Strood Channel over the weekend, three whooper swans were seen feeding in a field on Feldy marshes. First found by Andy Field on Saturday, they were very distant when watched from the Island. They were still there on Sunday. This is the first whooper swan record for the Island since 2002.

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