Sunday, 15 November 2015


Very pleased to finally catch up with a red squirrel at the country park around mid-day on Sunday 15th. Other people have reported half a dozen sightings at the park over the last couple of years but for me the squirrels have been elusive here - until today!

The squirrel had been scampering through the trees just behind the buildings in the car park for a couple of minutes and as I followed it, the squirrel paused to stare down at me for a few seconds, before darting away.

The red squirrel certainly shows a dark red coat in this picture but in the top picture it shows more of a greyish coat.
It was a job trying to keep the camera pointing at the squirrel as it ran along the branches from tree to tree.

Now that a lot of leaves have fallen of the trees, the squirrel was easy to follow through the branches. One of the trees it seemed interested in was the hornbeam tree with the seeds still attached on the outer branches. At one point it stopped to feed on a couple of seeds before dashing off through the trees along the side of the main car park heading towards the park entrance.

Also lucky enough to have seen a red squirrel yesterday in West Mersea near our Firs Chase garden, on Saturday 14th. The squirrel was seen just after 7am, scampering through a neighbour's birch tree heading away from us suggesting it had just been through our garden.
 The last time one was seen in the garden was this same period last year, on the 9th November 2014.

The usual variety of waders and wildfowl were on the park's grazing fields on a windy Sunday 15th. Pictured above are some of the 500 wigeon that were present in the morning along with 400 brent geese, 100 black-tailed godwits and with 500 golden plover flying over.

Among the black-tailed godwits was this one with coloured rings, with the particular colour combination unique to this individual. It has been with us since the summer following its journey from its Icelandic breeding grounds and was first photographed in these fields on the 10th August.

At the park pond the kingfisher made another late appearance at dusk to roost while also noted were 2 green woodpeckers, 65 mallard and 6 gadwall.

There was a low count of just seven marsh harriers seen by Andy Field going into the Langenhoe harrier evening roost on Sunday. No hen harriers were noted.

On Saturday 14th there were 600 brent geese on the fields along with 1000 wigeon and 18 shoveler on the pond. The kingfisher was seen flying along the saltmarsh from the old fort, while ten skylarks flew around the fields.

A covey of eight red-legged partridge were seen in a field near Manwood Grove by the East Mersea pub, by Helen Mussett.

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