Saturday, 28 November 2015


It was a chilly but sunny start to Saturday 28th with the sun rising here over the horizon just before 8am, looking south-east from the country park. Cloud soon came in during the morning and by mid afternoon it had become very dull and breezy.

A female marsh harrier crossed the river Colne near Batemans Tower and headed to Langenhoe Point. Two great crested grebes were the only birds seen in the river although 150 avocets flew close-by as they headed back up-river.

On the grazing fields the big flock of greylag geese were busy feeding, 110 greylags were counted yesterday and a similar number appeared to be present again this morning. Only about 500 wigeon on the fields first thing although other wigeon were still arriving to feed. There were 1000+ wigeon in the fields on Friday.

The most interesting duck seen yesterday by the fields were two male pintail looking very out of place beside some wigeon and anxious with it, on the main borrowdyke.

A small flock of black-tailed godwits have been feeding in the last couple of days in the small grass field in front of the hide. Eighteen birds dropped in to feed yesterday with a similar amount today, as was the regular curlew.

At the end of Saturday afternoon there was a large gathering of shoveler on the park pond with at least 48 birds counted in the fading light. This is one of the highest ever counts for the park - the shoveler numbers have been building up quickly this week.

A handful of little egrets were feeding around the park, such as this one on the saltmarsh near the Point.

A pair of wigeon seen in the fields on Saturday by Andy Field, part of a flock of 800 seen in the fields along with 800 brent geese and 150 golden plover.

This colour-ringed lapwing was photographed in the fields by Andy, seemingly part of an RSPB research project.
Roosting on the saltmarsh pools near the Golfhouse were 1000 dunlin, 100 knot, 100 grey plover, while on the beach were 7 sanderling.
Four siskin were in the alders by the pond.

On Friday 27th there was an impressive flock of 2000 knot flying about together over the mud by the park, one of the biggest knot flocks seen here. Also the usual flock of 1000 golden plovers also on the mud.

A guillemot was seen in the river from the Point on Wednesday 25th by Andy Field. This may've been the one seen up river by Rat Island on Monday by Darrell Stile.

Sightings from elsewhere on the Island include the unusually late sight of a tern fishing alongside the Strood causeway at high tide on Saturday 28th. The tern appeared to be a  Sandwich tern. It's probably been about six weeks since any terns were seen over local waters, as they've all gone south for the winter.

Common buzzards have shown well alongside the East Mersea road recently with one by Weir Farm today, seen by Andy, one yesterday on a pole by Bocking Hall and a pair flying over the road at Meeting Lane at dusk on Wednesday.

From Maydays seawall 3 short-eared owls on Langenhoehall and 8 red-breasted mergansers in the Pyefleet were noted by Martin Cock on Thursday. On Monday 23rd the 3 short-eared owls again, and an impressive showing of five barn owls, also 4 marsh harriers were seen by Martin and Andrew Tilsley.

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