Thursday, 16 April 2015


There's always the hope that spring migration might throw in a few surprises - and it duly happened! The very nice sight of two male ring ouzels were discovered just north of the country park by Martin Cock on Wednesday 15th. The birds hopped around the grass beside one or two blackbirds, song thrush and a green woodpecker for company. Photos by Andy Field.

Although a small group of ring ouzels stopped off near here last autumn for the second year running, spring sightings on the Island are very rare. These two stayed all day, feeding up before continuing their journey northwards to the mountain tops of somewhere like Scotland or maybe Scandinavia.
A pair of red-legged partridge was in a neighbouring field.

The fine weather seemed to have brought several other migrant birds to the park during the night with the first cuckoo being seen calling along the back of the park's grazing fields. Also a willow warbler sang briefly from a garden to the north of the park.

In the park the first lesser whitethroat was singing near the entrance, two or three common whitethroats were also in song while the sedge warbler showed occasionally whilst singing beside the pond and nearby ditch for the second day running. There seemed to be a handful of male blackcaps singing louldy about the park on Wednesday morning. Even the Cetti's warbler was joining in the spring chorus and being glimpsed a couple of times too around the pond.

At West Mersea several swallows are being seen in a number of places and a blackcap was seen in an East Road garden by Adrian Amos.

This male shelduck posed close to the hide at the park on Tuesday 14th with the female close by the edge of the pond. Several pairs of shelduck have been seen recently in the fields checking out rabbit burrows for nesting.

A close look at the large red-bill of the male shelduck - looks like a bit of red plastic!

A mixed group of just under 90+ black-tailed godwits and redshank were roosting in the park fields on Tuesday morning. A whimbrel was seen along the Colne as was a common tern by Martin Cock on Tuesday.
Three sparrowhawks and a male wheatear were seen just north of the park while 2 whitethroats were by the Oyster Fishery that same day.

The sunshine brought out a grass-snake and at least two adders at the park on Tuesday while butterflies noted that day were brimstone large white, small white, peacock and small tortoiseshell.

Jo and Libby Watkins were thrilled to see a red squirrel scamper across the path in front of them and up a nearby tree, as they walked alongside the conifer wood at the north end of Shop Lane on Monday 13th.

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