Monday, 28 December 2015


A bright and breezy Monday 28th certainly brought the holiday crowds out to the country park, enjoying a day of winter sunshine.

The most colourful bird at the park pond almost sneaked in without being noticed when the kingfisher announced its arrival late morning with a couple of loud whistles. It appeared to have come from the direction of the car park and quickly disappeared into the bushes having perched up initially.

Five little egrets, grey heron, forty shoveler, fifty mallard and three tufted duck were the main birds of note on the pond late morning. A sparrowhawk flew into the nearby copse at dusk.
Five siskins were seen in the nearby alders by Andy Field in the morning.

At the pond on Sunday 27th the kingfisher was seen flitting inside various bushes in the morning while the day before the water rail preened itself while standing on some reeds at the back of the pond.

A distant flock of forty avocets were standing on the mud off Langenhoe Point, digiscoped from about 400 metres away on Monday. This group were part of about 70 avocets at the entrance to the Pyefleet Channel.
Also seen in the river were 2 red-breasted mergansers, 8 great crested grebes. A peregrine was on Rat Island, a marsh harrier flew around Langenhoe and a Canada goose was on Langenhoe Point.

Around 1000 wigeon were on the park's grazing fields, one male pictured above, as were 700+ brent geese including the pale-bellied brent goose and 100 greylags. A sparrowhawk flew low over the fields in the morning near the Golfhouse. The usual gathering of waders on the fields as high tide approached with 400+ black-tailed godwits along with redshank and lapwing being the main ones. The previous day 400+ golden plover dropped into the fields for high tide.

A pair of yellowhammers were by Ivy Dock and a couple of rock pipits were heard over the saltmarsh on Monday.

The covey of seven red-legged partridge was seen near Bromans Farm by Andy on Monday morning, also a common buzzard by Bocking Hall. Just after night-fall a barn owl was perched on a roadside-bush by Bocking Hall.

At dusk on Sunday near the park entrance a little owl perched on a telegraph pole while two pipistrelle bats enjoyed the mild winter evening hawking insects beside the car park.

The first ever over-wintering Sandwich tern around Mersea was reported again at the Strood on Sunday by Sven Wair and there again the previous day by Chris Poole.

In alders near the Youth Camp 2 lesser redpolls and eight goldfinches were seen by Steve Entwistle on Sunday.

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