Friday, 4 December 2015


Waders and wildfowl are still flocking to the wet grazing fields at the country park. On Wednesday 1st after some more rain, there were 500 black-tailed godwits, 1000 wigeon, 500 teal, 200 golden plover and 112 greylag geese.

A sparrowhawk caught a starling from the fields and carried it away to the Golfhouse.
Ten skylarks and a rock pipit were seen flying off the fields towards the beach.

Various waders were packed onto the small islands on the saltmarsh lagoons near the Golfhouse for the high tide roost. Around a thousand birds involving mainly knot, dunlin and grey plover were huddled together.

In the river a marsh harrier crossed west over the Colne towards Langenhoe and a common seal was seen feeding too. Offshore from the park was a pair of red-breasted mergansers while at low tide big flocks of waders feeding were 1500 knot and 1000 dunlin.

At the park pond 45 shoveler, two tufted duck, six gadwall, 75 mallard and two little grebes were noted while four siskins were in the nearby alders and the Cetti's warbler was heard singing.
Along the hedges were four goldcrests foraging with ten long-tailed tits.

At dusk a little owl called from the top of a telegraph pole alongside the car park. Two pipistrelle bats were out hunting as darkness fell, one of them active along a path whilst still light.

Towards the end of Thursday afternoon the water rail showed intermittently from the edge of the reeds onto the field-edge. Thirty shoveler and fifty mallard were the main ducks on the pond. Fifteen magpies gathered in the trees before going to roost by the pond.
Earlier in the day a redpoll flew over the park calling.

On Wednesday Andy Field reported a kingfisher flying along the saltmarsh near the Golfhouse and a mixed flock of 20+ siskins and goldfinches by the pond. The previous day a kingfisher, 50 linnets and a green sandpiper were seen by Andy along the Strood seawall.

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