Sunday, 10 May 2015


Walked along the Strood seawall a couple of times in recent days, where one of the birds on show on Friday 8th was this common whitethroat. Perched on a bramble bush it was singing its scratchy-type song loudly and then flying up into the air as it continued to sing before dropping back down to another bush.
One lesser whitethroat was also heard singing its rattle-type song near the caravan site.

No sign of any sedge warbler on the Friday walk but this one pictured above did show briefly on Sunday 10th. Another pair of sedge warblers was seen further along the Strood dyke going into a bush as if nest-building.
At least four reed warblers were singing from the reeds and three male reed buntings were singing from bushes alongside the dyke too.

Two cuckoos were watched on Friday as one followed the other back onto the Island, having crossed the Strood Channel and then heading towards Strood Hill. One of the birds may've been one heard calling a short while earlier from tree-tops near Strood Hill and then flown to the Channel to meet up with this other bird.
Later on Sunday a cuckoo was also seen by Steve Entwistle flying along the Strood dyke.

At least fifteen swifts were flying high above the houses near the water tower on Friday while down by the Dabchicks half a dozen swallows were flying around.
One male yellow wagtail and a grey heron were seen beside the pond at the back of the Strood fields on Friday.

Also on Friday a marsh harrier could be seen flying west high over the West Mersea houses, a sparrowhawk flew over Ray Island, a kestrel hovered near Strood Hill and two common buzzards were seen in the distance over Copt Hall Grove.

A pair of common terns was hawking up and down the Channel on both Friday and Sunday mornings, this one here perching on top of a marker post out on the mud. A second pair of common terns was also noted amongst the moorings on Sunday.

At least three Mediterranean gulls flew along the Strood Channel, calling out as they headed to and from the Pyefleet Channel on Friday. On the mud and on the nearby saltmarsh were six whimbrel on Friday with three being seen on Sunday. Most of the mudflats were devoid of any other waders other than a grey plover, one or two redshank and a few oystercatchers.

Two turtle doves were seen perched up in a tree in Willoughby car park on Sunday early evening by Steve Entwistle. They have only just recently been seen back at their usual garden by the Walls family. Great news to know they've made it back, they've become much scarcer elsewhere in the county this spring.

The morning sunshine on Friday 8th brought a few butterflies out, such as this holly blue near the Feldy View field. Also orange-tip, peacock, speckled wood, large white and small white were seen too, on or near the walk to the Strood seawall.

Not all the sections of seawall have been colonised by the pernicious Alexanders plants. Here a patch of the original hoary cress is holding on, however no doubt soon to be swallowed up by the relentless spread of the bigger Alexanders, already growing in the background here.

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