Tuesday, 10 February 2015


There was no wind during Tuesday 10th, so the big wind-turbines seemingly towering over the entrance to the river Blackwater, were idle for the day. The sea was like a mill-pond especially in the morning.

A quick glance out south-westwards from the park early afternoon just ahead of the high tide, revealed lots of grebes offshore. Aided by a little click-counter in my hand, at least 450 great crested grebes were counted with possibly more further into the distance appearing as tiny specks at the mouth of the Blackwater. Also 8 Slavonian grebes a little bit closer, offshore from Coopers Beach. One common seal swimming about too.

On Sunday 8th there were 11 Slavonian grebes, 300+ great crested grebes and 22 red-breasted mergansers seen offshore from the park at the end of the day.

Other birds noted at the park on Tuesday 10th included a peregrine flying over the car park in the morning, the male house sparrow chirping away for the third day in the car park, Cetti's warbler and water rail both calling from the park pond and 2000 golden plover circling over the grazing fields late afternoon.

Nine redwing perched in a tall tree in the car park on Monday 9th while ten song thrushes were feeding in the nearby field. The previous evening these song thrushes had been seen heading to roost in the copse by the pond.

On the pond the family of four swans, pair of little grebes, 8 tufted ducks and 12 gadwall were the main birds here.

On Monday 9th Andy Field walked the north side of the Island and noted a pair of stonechats, peregrine, 2000 golden plover and 2000+ brent geese on Reeveshall.

A badger trotted along the road just inside the park entrance an hour after dark on Monday night, while the next day one of the red squirrels was seen from Shop Lane by Martin Cock.( I gather the Mersea red squirrels featured on Radio 4 early this morning!).

This female kingfisher perched up on a bush in the morning sunshine on Sunday 8th near Ivy Farm. Although a bit distant for the small camera, the colours of the bird really stood out in the bright light, especially the very orange bill. The bird flew along the dyke towards the Oyster Fishery.

On the dyke by the Golfhouse was this male gadwall, not usually a section of water where gadwalls are seen.

Three marsh harriers were flying around Langenhoe Point, 20 red-breasted mergansers were in the Colne and a pair of Canada geese flew across the river in the morning, as did a mistle thrush from Ivy Farm.
The stonechat was photographed by the park seawall on Sunday by Matt Larkin.

At Maydays on Sunday a ringtail hen harrier flew over the fields, and  a peregrine, pair of common buzzards, pair of stonechat and a green sandpiper were all seen by Martin Cock.

At times there have been big flocks of wigeon in the park's grazing fields, although some head out to rest on the sea. This pair were photographed by Alan Reynolds on the frozen dyke on 23rd January.

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