Sunday, 22 March 2015


After the grey skies of recent days, it was nice to finally see the sun for the last part of Sunday 22nd. The last hour of daylight was spent on the Reeveshall seawall with the sun slowly dropping down to the horizon.

Half an hour after the sun had disappeared, there was a nice pink hue to the sky.
Bird-wise it was worth the hour spent here, joining Steve Entwistle in seeing what was about. Just as this photo was being snapped a small snipe flew low from the nearside margin without calling and soon dropped back down further alongside the pool - typical of a jack snipe.

A ringtail hen harrier was the main bird of note, watched crossing over the big field at Reeveshall in a very determined flight across the Pyefleet channel and onto the Langenhoe Point where it soon dropped down to roost at 6.20pm. Also around the Langenhoe point were at least six marsh harriers while a peregrine sat on a post on the Geedons and a barn owl seen hunting.

On Reeveshall 2500 brent geese were feeding on the big grass field as was a pale-bellied brent although no black brants could be seen. A dozen greylag geese and at least six Canada geese were also on Reeveshall.At least four red-breasted mergansers were in the Pyefleet along with many of the usual waders and duck.

A barn owl was hunting the field near the Oyster Fishery, a yellowhammer was singing, chiffchaff called from near the wood while 6 brown hares became active at dusk on Reeveshall.

Earlier in the day the pale-bellied brent was seen on the saltmarsh by the Golfhouse along with about 200 other brent geese. It was also seen the previous day near here on the mud by the Point.
A marsh harrier flew along the seawall near Ivy Dock and then crossed the Colne to Brightlingsea marsh.

In the river Colne were six red-breasted mergansers and five great crested grebes and a common seal too.

Numbers of wildfowl and waders have been gradually dropping on the park's grazing fields with 400 wigeon, 150 teal, 400 brent geese and 50 golden plover the main flocks on Sunday morning. Up to 12 tufted duck have been in the dyke while up to 20 shoveler were noted on Friday. One snipe was seen on Sunday with three flying around the day before.

Chiffchaffs have been noted each day at the park for the last five days, one today at the east end of the main park, while the others have been near the pond, either calling, singing or seen flitting amongst the sallows. The first chiffchaff song of the new season was heard on Wednesday morning by the pond.

There was the nice surprise of a firecrest feeding in a sallow amongst the catkins, along the hedge from the pond. It was seen in two different parts of the hedge during Friday morning but was not seen after this.
The Cetti's warbler was also heard singing from the back hedge on the east side of the pond while a goldcrest was seen on Saturday.

Twelve fieldfares were heard calling from the top of a tree to the north of the park, while a passage flock was also seen the day before in the same place with 60 fieldfares seen flying north-east.
A pair of red-legged partridge was watched by Steve in the big ploughed field to the west of the park on Sunday.

At least one Mediterranean gull was feeding in the ploughed fields next to Bromans Lane on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th. The pair of kestrels were on their tree on Saturday 21st and a sparrowhawk later on flew over the grazing fields and into the copse at the back. A female pochard was on the pond on Saturday 21st. A barn owl was hunting alongside the East Mersea road near the pub early in the morning of Wednesday 18th.

From Coopers Beach on Sunday, a red-throated diver, two common scoter and a Slavonian grebe were seen by Steve Entwistle and earlier a common buzzard at Maydays.
A red-throated diver was seen flying into the Colne on Saturday by Martin Cock.
The Strood kingfisher was seen beside the dyke by Mat Larkin on Thursday 19th.

The moth trap has been out a couple of recent nights with nearly fifty moths noted after Thursday night. This clouded drab pictured above certainly didn't seem as drab as the name suggests, although they do vary a lot.

The shoulder stripe is another early spring visitor to the trap although usually just the one or two individuals noted.

There are usually two or three twin-spotted quakers noted in the early spring too, here the pair of black spots particularly prominent.
Other moths noted were common quaker, small quaker, hebrew character and March moth.

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