Saturday, 9 April 2016


Had a couple of walks along the Strood seawall during Friday 8th with the morning being sunny with little wind. The incoming tide was pushing the waders back up channel during the morning, while a second walk in early evening saw plenty of mud on show.

The majority of waders seen were redshank with 200+ feeding on the mud. One whimbrel flew up channel with 20 curlew, while 25 knot, 20 grey plover and a black-tailed godwit were noted. Two pairs of Mediterranean gulls were calling as they flew along the channel.
At least one great crested grebe was on the reservoirs by the Strood.

Four common buzzards were seen in the air high over Ray Island and a bit later another three soared high over the Mersea Quarters. A sparrowhawk crossed the Strood channel to Ray Island and another bird was seen low over the gardens near the Dabchicks. Five marsh harriers were in the air together over Old Hall Marshes.

Four swallows were flying around the bottom of the Strood Hill and another one was by the Dabchicks. A pair of corn buntings perched on some overhead wires, the male singing and a third bird flew off the seawall towards the back of the fields. Two reed buntings and 10 linnets were some of the other small birds noted.

Three small tortoiseshells were seen along the seawall and beside the caravan site.

At the country park the willow warbler was still present on Friday along the horse-ride path.

This little grass-snake was found dead in my Firs Chase garden on Friday, no sign of why it died. This young snake born last summer, was about the same thickness as a pencil and just a few more centimetres longer. The occasional adult has been seen in our compost heap in the past.

The adders at the country park have been well watched recently with these two photos taken by Andrew Neal on Sunday 3rd.

The adders will be shedding their skins in the next fortnight.

The most mysterious mammal seen at the park was this grey creature seen and photographed by Fiona Hutchings who found it with her Barn Kids group on Tuesday 5th. It appears this is a pet that has escaped or been released into the park and is probably a chinchilla. There were also suggestions it maybe a gerbil or degu. The little furry friend has not been seen again - it was seen beside the horse-ride path on the north side of the park. 

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