Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Walked the length of the Strood seawall with Andy Field on Monday 16th.
The most obvious birds were the large numbers of brent geese feeding in the fields. Here  the flock of 2000 geese seemed to have stripped the field down to hardly any crop at all. The bird scaring gas-gun in the background hasn't been working recently and the geese have almost eaten the winter wheat underneath the scarer itself.

Amongst the brent geese was one of the black brants, just visible in the photo above on the left hand side facing left and showing a whiter flank.

Earlier in the walk the geese were spooked off the fields by a passing sparrowhawk which drifted over the flock having crossed the channel from Ray Island. The black brant had been found in the flock and then again picked out on the Strood channel, pictured here on the left alongside a dark-bellied brent goose on the right.
Also seen in the flock was a brent goose with lots of white in the wings, very easy to pick out in flight and there was also a goose with a speckled grey head.

The female kingfisher was back on the section of dyke where it was seen on Friday, both at the start of the today's walk and despite flying to the far side of the field, was back here an hour later. It stayed around long enough for a few pictures to be taken of it before it flew over the seawall and sped low along the Strood channel.

The only waders of interest along the main channel were 50+ knot, 30 black-tailed godwit with 5 bar-tailed godwits near the Dabchicks. A spotted redshank called briefly but couldn't be located along the channel. A red-breasted merganser was seen flying amongst the moorings from the Hard.

Later on Monday a green sandpiper and a Mediterranean gull were seen at Coopers Beach by Andy.

On a cold Sunday 15th I joined Andy on the seawall near Shop Lane to help carry out the monthly harrier roost count for Langenhoe. We watched eleven marsh harriers gather at Langenhoe Point at dusk but there was no sign of any hen harrier coming to roost.

There was the nice sight for Andy of a short-eared owl seen hunting over Langenhoe mid afternoon, the first one reported here for about three months. Also seen were ten red-breasted mergansers along the Pyefleet and 2000 brent geese heading off Reeveshall at dusk.

1 comment:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Very interesting blog Dougal. I was on Mersea this last week and twice spotted a large flock of brent geese feeding in the field that lies between East Mersea car park and Mersea Stone. Something spooked them on the first day and they all flew off. Tell me, do brent geese ever fly in a V-shaped skein as I think I saw a flock of them flying over West Mersea Beach on Wednesday evening though it could I suppose have been a different type of goose.