Sunday, 26 July 2015


At the third time of trying this breeding season, a pair of ringed plovers have finally managed to produce some young. Thanks to Rick and Elis Simpson of Waderquest, a nest with eggs was found on the beach at East Mersea Point a fortnight ago. Two chicks were first seen on Wednesday 22nd by Andy Field and by Saturday the female was seen providing them shelter from the strong wind, pictured above.

One of the ringed plover chicks pictured here by Andy, was scurrying about the beach in short fast sprints, every so often returning to the safety of mum.

Patrolling the beach and on the look out for threats to the new chicks, was the male ringed plover pictured above.

The ringed plovers have had at least two attempts at nesting, laying eggs and incubating them for a period but without any success to the hatching stage, mostly likely accidentally trodden on by walkers.

Also by the beach at the Point on Saturday were five sanderling showing various stages of moulting from summer plumage on the left, to the greyer plumage of winter on the right bird. These were the first sanderling back from their northern breeding grounds.

Also seen on the mud as the tide turned were 40 golden plover while nearby 3 little terns were fishing close in.

On the pools in the grazing fields, water levels have risen overnight following lots of rain. The high tide wader roost consisted of about 60 redshank and 50 black-tailed godwits.
Along the dyke the swans still have 5 young but the swans on the pond appear to have lost their sole remaining cygnet recently. A female tufted duck was with three small ducklings on the pond, a fourth duckling apparently recently lost.

In the car park at least six mistle thrushes have been making regular sorties to the rowan trees which are laden down with ripening berries at the moment.

An adder was seen at the park on Saturday 25th and a painted lady butterfly at the park on Wednesday 22nd.

An evening walk along the Reeveshall seawall on Thursday 23rd, provided views of the two avocet chicks as well as the brood of five ducklings of shelduck. One of the adult avocets is pictured above with a half-grown chick to the right.

The avocets and the shelduck family were getting concerned about the flock of sheep passing nearby.

Also seen on the seawall walk were two male marsh harriers, 4 little terns and 6 common terns, 70+ avocets, 100 black-tailed godwits, 2 whimbrel and at least one bar-tailed godwit.
A yellowhammer was singing from a hedgerow near the seawall.
There was no sign of the ruff that had been seen the previous day on Peewit Island by Andy Field.

This common seal seemed to swim across the Pyefleet for a closer look at me, before diving under and swimming down channel.

On Tuesday 21st a red-legged partridge was beside the road at Chapmans Lane.

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