Monday, 15 February 2016


The resident male stonechat along the Strood was keeping out of the cold northerly wind by feeding on the inside of the seawall on Monday 15th. As it has often done this winter, it liked perching on the dead stalks of the old Alexanders plants. It chose a good year to spend the winter here, as this is the first winter the seawall vegetation hasn't been cut down.

Also close to the seawall was the regular female kingfisher seen perched on the usual small trees over the dyke. It was at this southern end when I first passed by during mid morning and when I returned to this same area an hour later, it was already back in one of the trees again.
The kingfisher was also seen here a couple of times as well as along one of the central field ditches on Friday 12th.

Enjoying a bit of winter sunshine on the mud was this curlew, keeping out of the cold wind behind these sea-weed-covered posts.

It was low tide during the mid morning walk with just a thin scattering of waders along the mudflats. The main wader of interest was the two resident green sandpipers along the ditches in the fields.
Among the ducks along the channel were 200+ teal, 100 wigeon and 60 shelduck, while 1000 brent geese rose noisily into the air on the Peldon side.

Other small birds noted on Monday included 10 skylarks, 50+ linnets in a couple of flocks, 5 reed buntings and a rock pipit.

Birds noted on Friday 12th included a wintering chiffchaff calling several times as it moved along the bushes in the dyke back to the caravan site. Also noted were the two green sandpipers and ten snipe in some of the waterlogged fields.

There was a cold northerly wind also blowing over Reeveshall on the north side of the Island on Sunday 14th. Two white-fronted geese feeding with 25 greylag geese in one of the big grass fields was an unexpected find. White-fronted geese never stay long on the Island and none were seen last year.
Also with the geese were 3 Canada geese, while 400+ brent geese were feeding in another corner of the field. A female marsh harrier was hunting over the nearby reed-filled ditches.

In the Pyefleet Channel 2 male goldeneye was a nice sight, also a female red-breasted merganser and what looked like a common seal pup briefly hauled itself onto the mud before it jumped back into the water when a great black-backed gull flew over it.

Two marsh harriers and a common buzzard were seen flying over Langenhoe marshes.

On Maydays the male stonechat was close to the seawall, while 100 linnets fed in the set-aside corner.

Offshore from the Esplanade at West Mersea on Sunday were two great northern divers seen by Andy Field. In trees near the Youth Camp two siskin and 20 goldfinches were seen by Steve Entwistle who also noted a redwing with some fieldfares by Rewsalls Lane.

No comments: