Tuesday, 26 January 2016


It was a sunny start to Monday 25th with the sun seen rising over the mudflats in front of the country park.
As it began to get light, two big flights of 250 cormorants flew over West Mersea heading out to sea for the day's fishing.

From the East Mersea Point on Monday this group of 500+ golden plover roosted on the mud, as did another similar sized flock on the south side of the Point. Also roosting were 100 avocets, 200 knot and 300+ dunlin.

In the river 9 red-breasted mergansers and five great crested grebes were noted along with a common seal.

In the field to the west side of the country park 1000 brent geese including the pale-bellied brent, were being repeatedly scared off the wheat crop. Also here 110 curlew, 2 red-legged partridge in one field and 6 others to the north while two brown hares crouched low most of the day.
At the end of the day a pipistrelle bat flew through the park entrance hawking back and forwards as it made its way to the car park.

Along the north side of the Island Glyn Evans and Andy Field noted common scoter behind Pewit Island, hen harrier and 2 common buzzards over Maydays / Reeveshall, short-eared owl on Langenhoehall, five marsh harriers, while 7 lesser redpolls were east of the Strood.

Seen during the birdwatching boat trip on Sunday morning in the Blackwater estuary closest to West Mersea was the male eider, yellow-legged gull on Packing Shed Island, red-throated diver near Cobmarsh and in total four great northern divers, as reported by Andy Field.

Offshore on Saturday 23rd from the park were 6 Slavonian grebes and 320 great crested grebes while in the Colne were four red-breasted mergansers and a common seal.
At the Point was a rock pipit, 2 linnets and 500 knot were on the mud.

On the grazing fields 1000 wigeon, 300 golden plover and 200 black-tailed godwits, while four tufted ducks and ten gadwall were some of the ducks on the park pond.

From Coopers Beach at least four of the Slavonian grebes were seen offshore and a stonechat inside the seawall, by Steve Entwistle on Saturday morning. The eider was seen from the Esplanade as was the great northern diver on Saturday.

Roosting on the saltmarsh pools near the Golfhouse were several hundred waders comprising knot, grey plover and dunlin.

The pair of kestrels have been seen at some point each day on their nesting tree, here the male pictured at the top, at the back of the park's grazing fields.
The sparrowhawk has been seen on a couple of occasions near the pond.

The camera strained to snap this red squirrel in the half darkness just as the day was breaking at 7.20am on Monday 25th in the Firs Chase garden. It was unexpectedly disturbed from the nut feeder, when I went outside to check the nut level in the box. The squirrel scampered up the tree and disappeared along one of the branches. Judging by the falling nut levels, one of the red squirrels has been a regular visitor here in recent days.

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