Thursday, 18 December 2014


The morning light on Wednesday 17th shone down onto the big expanse of mudflats off the country park, highlighting the maze of little channels and rills amongst the raised banks of soft mud. Thousands of waders of various kinds were spread across the mud feeding frantically as the tide receded.

One of the biggest wader flocks feeding on the mud was the very grey looking flock of a thousand knot, some pictured above. Numbers seem to have increased a lot just recently off the park, one of their favourite feeding grounds.
Flying over the mud on Wednesday morning were 500 golden plover.

Offshore from the park at the end of the afternoon 13 red-breasted mergansers, while the previous day 10 mergansers and a Slavonian grebe were seen.

The barn owl provided a great close up view as it hunted low over the long grass of the park, passing only 15 metres away from me at the end of Wednesday. A barn owl was also seen and heard calling at dusk the previous day as it flew across the nearby field to Bromans Farm.

The little owl was seen from the hide by the pond, as it sat on a garden fence just to the north of the park at dusk on Tuesday. The water rail called a few times from the pond but didn't show.

Up to 800 wigeon have been grazing the park fields in the last few days, occasionally fleeing away to the sanctuary of the open mudflats or nearby sea. Birds soon return to carry on grazing, while nearby 200+ teal and 20+ shoveler gather around the pools.

There's always a family of carrion crows perched up somewhere at the country park, watching over proceedings, this one near the pond.

On Monday 15th the Cetti's warbler from the park pond seemed to go on a very noisy tour of local hedgerows, foraging almost to the park entrance, repeatedly calling out anxiously as it flitted through the bushes. It provided some of my best ever views in the open and at one point got as close as just a couple of metres from me as it passed by.

The female stonechat was still along the seawall on Monday afternoon and a male sparrowhawk flew across a nearby field in the morning.

At least two pipistrelle bats were hunting over the park at dusk on Wednesday.

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