Monday, 29 December 2014


It was a frosty start to Monday 29th which froze over part of the park pond with a thin layer of ice. Many of the ducks seemed content to preen and have a snooze on the ice. Most ducks were the 110 mallard with 12 gadwall, a few shoveler and one little grebe.

A kingfisher late morning flashed across the pond without pausing, it appeared to come from the beach / car park direction, flash past the hide, over the pond and then over the grazing fields. Two little egrets arrived at dusk to roost for the night and the Cetti's warbler let out a burst of song as the light faded.

A little owl sunned itself early afternoon in the Leylandii hedge in the garden to the north of the hide. At dusk some of the small birds calling anxiously near the hide seemed to disturb another little owl out of the trees close-by.

Out of the chilly wind, there was a bit of warmth to be felt in the sunshine, although the water in the park's grazing fields stayed frozen all day. Birds noted here during the day were 300 brent geese, 500 wigeon and 100 golden plover. A small flock of 20 meadow pipits foraged in the grass and 3 common snipe were also seen.

A jack snipe was discovered by Andy Field on the saltmarsh pool near the Golfhouse, the first park record this year. It provided a brief view early afternoon before disappearing into the vegetation. It did appear later in the afternoon as it fed along the water's edge, bobbing up and down and providing a nice side on view briefly.

From the Point 4 red-breasted mergansers and 4 great crested grebes were seen in the river, while 1000 knot and 4 sanderling were of note on the mud. Four common buzzards soared in the warm mid-day air over Brightlingsea church while two marsh harriers flew up river at the end of the afternoon.
A barnacle goose flying west along the coastline with 3 greylag geese was seen from the park by Andy.

A barn owl was seen sitting on a roadside footpath post near Cosways by Andy mid afternoon and also two little owls at Bromans Farm late morning. Twenty fieldfares fed in a field near Bocking Hall.

Amongst the 270 dark-bellied brent geese feeding near Ivy Farm on Sunday 28th was this pale-bellied brent goose. Also 25 lapwings in the fields while nearby 10 skylarks and 24 moorhens fed in the muddy field by the Golfhouse.

Trying to stay warm and out of the cold was this pair of stock doves snuggled up at the nestbox near the park pond. This pair have been going in and out of the box for the last couple of months although no sign of nesting.

The Cetti's warbler from the park pond seemed to go on a bit of a walkabout early on Sunday morning when it was discovered in bushes by the overflow car park, well away from water and ditches. Normally a skulking bird, this one was calling repeatedly, flitting through the branches, loosely associating with one or two tits, and providing some nice close views.

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