Thursday, 10 December 2015


It made a change waking up on Wednesday 9th to clear skies and the sight of the sunrise from the country park, rather than some of the recent wet and dark mornings we've had. The sun continued to shine for most of the day.

Heading out to the offshore fishing grounds near the rising sun were 200+ cormorants which flew over the park, leaving their night roost at Abberton reservoir.
The usual mix of waders and wildfowl on the fields with this group of black-tailed godwits some of the 300 birds present during the high tide. Some of the other waders over the last couple of days have included 200 redshank, 100 lapwing and 500 golden plover. One snipe was noted in the fields on Wednesday.

On the nearby mudflats during Tuesday 8th the large flock of 1500 knot were feeding offshore from the park while in the air arose 2000 golden plover flying high over the park.

Wildfowl numbers have remained fairly constant with recent peak counts of 800+ brent geese, 1000+ wigeon, 500+ teal and 100+ greylag geese. The pale-bellied brent goose was present on both Wednesday and Monday in the fields.

In the river six red-breasted mergansers flew out of the estuary to feed mid afternoon on Wednesday.
Good numbers of shoveler have been present at the park, either on the pond, the fields or sometimes on the dyke as pictured above. Up to fifty birds have been noted recently although many remain hidden amongst the reeds at the pond. Seven gadwall and 50 mallard also on the pond.

The kingfisher returned to the pond late in the day on Tuesday 8th to roost in the willow bushes at the back. Flocks of siskins are still feeding on the alders by the pond with 40 birds on Tuesday being one of the biggest this autumn.
The blackbirds have been stripping the cotoneaster bushes of their berries, this one photographed through my office window.
Two song thrushes are regularly singing from opposite ends of the car park at Cudmore Grove. A mistle thrush has also been joining in the chorus from the nearby Bromans Lane. It's going to be a long singing season ahead for them, especially as they've already been on the go for the last month.

At the end of Tuesday in the fading light a barn owl was glimpsed briefly as it passed over the car park.

Seen from the West Mersea Hard area by Richard Allen on Wednesday were the black brant, red-breasted merganser, goldeneye, sparrowhawk, Mediterranean gull and 8 little grebes.

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