Thursday, 11 February 2016


Amongst the large flock of 3000+ dark-bellied brent geese feeding on Reeveshall, was this very pale coffee-coloured brent goose photographed by David Low during his visit on Friday 5th. This pale or leucistic coloured bird has not been seen here before and certainly stands out, as in the picture above. Also seen were three pale-bellied brent geese.
Before a marsh harrier flushed off the flock, David managed to count 34 juveniles among 2646 brent with more geese arriving to peak at 3114 birds.

After recent days of wind, cloud and rain, it made a change to have some blue skies and calm winds. The very high tide on Wednesday 10th, flooded the top of the beach on the East Mersea Point, even getting inside the pillbox there. It's not often there's a large pool of water left lying on the beach, as above.

As the tide went out in the afternoon, 70+ bar-tailed godwits flew past the Point, 8 red-breasted mergansers were by Langenhoe Point and a rock pipit was on the beach. A sparrowhawk flew low over the Point and crossed the river.

Offshore on Thursday 11th the calm sea from the park late in the afternoon saw 690+ great crested grebes, 10 Slavonian grebes, great northern diver, 7 red-breasted mergansers and a common seal.
The day before 3 Slavonian grebes were seen with 200+ great crested grebes. offshore from the park.

On Wednesday from the Esplanade, Andy Field noted great northern diver, red-throated diver, 2 Slavonian grebe, guillemot, 8 red-breasted merganser and a Mediterranean gull.

Numbers of birds on the park's grazing fields has been fairly constant over recent days. Up to 500 black-tailed godwits have been present for high tide, some pictured above. Also 1000+ wigeon and 200+ teal on fields too.

On the pond 10 tufted duck and 12 gadwall have been of note here, while 20 goldfinches have been seen at the park in recent days.

The sea was whipped up by strong winds on Monday 8th, luckily most of the waves weren't quite reaching the bottom of the cliff at this eastern end.

At West Mersea an Arctic skua was seen chasing gulls near the entrance to the river Blackwater on Sunday 7th by Andy. A great northern diver was also seen in the river.

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