Thursday, 23 July 2015


I had the feeling I was being stared at whilst I walked along the Pyefleet seawall at Maydays on Monday 20th. These two common seals were in their usual seal basking spot beside the Maydays creek and after a couple of minutes both slipped into the water and into the Pyefleet. A little later one of the seals swam across the Pyefleet and carried on basking on the north side. The plaintive calls of a seal pup were then heard from nearby in the Pyefleet.

Up to four common seals have been seen in this area of the Pyefleet by Martin Cock recently, including seeing a young pup suckling its mother whilst both lay on the mud.

Large areas of the Maydays saltmarsh are displaying the mauve colours of the sea lavender, such as this pretty clump beside the entrance to Maydays creek.

Birds noted in this creek included a green sandpiper, four greenshank, a whimbrel, several redshank and a little egret.
Although there was a good number of waders along the Pyefleet mud, most seemed to be either avocets, black-tailed godwits or redshank.

Also along the Pyefleet were a pair of little terns, two common terns and a brood of 7 shelducklings.

Three male marsh harriers were seen but the mystery of the disappeared female marsh harriers continues as none have been seen anywhere in the area for over a month, which is very unusual.
One male was on Reeveshall, a second bird on Maydays a bit later and then a third bird on Langenhoe farm. A common buzzard was flying around the west end of the ranges.

Also noted around Maydays was one singing corn bunting, 2 yellowhammers, pair of yellow wagtails and 25+ house martins around the farm.

This immature herring gull was standing on the mud close to the seawall unable to fly away or walk other than flap its wings. These are similar symptoms of avian botulism which many gulls get in mid summer when they scavenge for food, especially on rubbish tips. Each summer there are one or two gulls seen floundering along the beach or on the mud, unable to take off and sadly they don't live for long.

On Reeveshall on Thursday 16th a wheatear and at least one hobby were seen by Martin Cock, while a couple of days later a green sandpiper was seen here and 25 little terns seen on Langenhoe Point.
At seen by Martin at Maydays, five greenshank, 2 bar-tailed godwits, 300 black-tailed godwits, whimbrel were on the mud while yellow wagtail, yellowhammer and sedge warbler have all been seen with young.

On Sunday 19th a common sandpiper, pair of avocet chicks and a brood of 5 shelducklings were seen on the Reeveshall pool by Steve Entwistle. Also a black-tailed skimmer over the water here.
The day before, a hobby was seen at the bottom of Strood Hill by Steve.

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