Friday, 12 December 2014


The female stonechat was very tame when I walked to the East Mersea Point on Wednesday 10th. It flew across and landed just a few metres in front of me, happily perching on various bush-tops whilst looking for food. Later in the day it was seen feeding along the seawall.

Scurrying along the tideline at the Point during the high tide were eighteen sanderling, some of them pictured above.
Along the edge of the mud on the outer part of the estuary 300 avocets were feeding during low tide and 500 golden plover rested nearby on the mud.

Up to 400 wigeon were feeding in the fields and at times some of them resting on the water in the dyke, as in this picture.
Also in the fields were 250 brent geese, 300 teal, 200 black-tailed godwits, 100 redshank and fifty lapwing.

In the morning a large female peregrine came over the river from the Colne Point direction, flew low over the fields upsetting many of the birds, before doing a full circuit of the fields, flushing everything off the pools. Watching the distant action unfold from the hide, the peregrine then flew even closer to the hide swooping  low over the pond that even the Cetti's warbler could be heard letting out an alarm call!

Many of the ducks on the pond had already been on high alert after a sparrowhawk passed overhead a short while earlier as it headed into the copse. Nearby the resident pair of kestrels were sitting on their usual oak tree in the morning.

Making the most of the sunshine on Wednesday morning was this fox, snoozing near the back of the park pond.A short distance away a water rail looked flustered and took to the air to fly the short distance back to the thick cover of the pond.

The afternoon seemed longer and brighter, finishing with a orangey sunset at the end of Wednesday. The kingfisher arrived back at the pond as the light faded and may've roosted in a nearby bush. The little owl was seen perched on the hedge at the back of the pond, while its partner called a bit further to the north.

On the pond 105 mallard, 14 gadwall, 18 shoveler and one little egret were noted. A pair of pintail were seen briefly on the pond in the morning by Martin Cock, who also noted a redwing at the Golfhouse.

Around the main part of the park up to 20 blackbirds have been feeding in three main flocks while at least two goldcrests were with the tit flocks.

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