Sunday, 14 December 2014


After a chilly night, the sun rose up over the sea at about 8am on Sunday 14th with sunny periods for most of the day. The sun shone across the mudflats in front of the country park as the tide went out.

A handful of blackbirds were tucking into the cotoneaster berries on the tall bushes beside the park toilet building. These berries seem to be the last on offer around the park for the birds to eat, but they're not holding back now, gulping them down one by one.

Elsewhere around the park, two little owls were seen again by the park pond during Sunday. One bird perched in a Leylandii hedge in a garden to the north of the park, soaking up some sun's rays in the morning. At dusk the other little owl appeared from the hedge by the pond and perched up ready for the night-time activity.

A barn owl provided some nice views for the McDonoughs on Sunday afternoon in Shop Lane.

A brightly marked male sparrowhawk with a deep peach-coloured chest, flew low over the field to the north of the park on Sunday morning. In the grazing fields 200 brent geese were still feeding up till the end of the afternoon. Offshore 13 red-breasted mergansers flew out of the Colne to feed offshore just before the high tide.

There was a nice end to a sunny but chilly Saturday with the sun seen setting across the sea.
The picture below shows the sun dropping down behind the twin reactors of Bradwell's decommissioned nuclear power station.

The calm sea at high tide at the end of Saturday made it a bit easier seeing birds offshore with 3 Slavonian grebes, 26 red-breasted mergansers and 30 great crested grebes being most noteworthy.

The little owl showed again by the pond during the day both in the morning and at dusk on Saturday.

At West Mersea a male blackcap was seen by Adrian Amos in his East Road garden on both Saturday and Sunday. Along the Strood the black brant was seen on Saturday by Sean Nixon.

On Friday a flock of 20 redwings were in Bromans Lane, flying away from some of the hedgerow bushes.
In the park's grazing fields on Friday, Andy Field watched a water rail feed beside the central ditch, also 700 wigeon, 300 teal while on the mudflats 200 knot and 23 sanderling.

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