Monday, 23 May 2016


It was a pleasant surprise to see this short-eared owl flying over the sunny Rewsalls marshes late morning on Sunday 22nd. After disappearing from view for a while it was re-found perched on this fencepost along the dyke. When it flew away it crossed the field and forced a kestrel to give up its perch in a tree, much to the annoyance of the kestrel!

The short-eared owl hunted over a couple of the marshes, here banking sharply to pounce on something in the grass.
There have been several sightings of short-eared owls recently with one at the country park on Thursday and another one reported at the Oyster Fishery by Jack Hoy.

A pair of goldfinches were seen along Rewsalls Lane, the male singing here.

Also noted on the circuit around the marshes were a kestrel pair, 3 pairs of yellow wagtails, 4 singing reed warblers, Cetti's warbler, meadow pipit singing, lesser whitethroat, common whitethroat and 2 singing reed buntings.

Waterfowl included 10 shelduck, 12 mallard, shoveler and two pairs of oystercatcher.

At West Mersea the pair of turtle doves was seen flying across the Willoughby car park just after mid-day on Sunday. A cuckoo was heard calling from near Firs Chase on Sunday.

The first small heaths of the season were flying along one of the grassy paths, with a couple seen on the Rewsalls marshes.
Two green hairstreaks were noted, the first records for this part of the Island. One near the Youth Camp entrance and the second near the public footpath 300m to the east.

An avocet was seen feeding along the Strood Channel as the tide came in on Saturday 21st.
Two cuckoos were seen, one flying across one of the fields near Strood Hill, perching up to call, then later a second cuckoo a brown female flew over to Ray Island.
A pair of Mediterranean gulls flew down channel, a pair of gadwall and a little egret were in the dyke.

There was lots of squawking from the bushes near the Firs Chase caravan site with many young starlings joining their parents to feed. A couple of young starlings recently fledged pictured above were part of 150 birds.

Birds noted along the Strood during Friday included 4 yellow wagtails, sedge warbler singing, 4 singing reed warblers, singing corn bunting, 2 pairs of reed bunting, singing meadow pipit over the saltmarsh, sparrowhawk, 12 swifts, 10 swallows, 3 common terns, sub-adult Mediterranean gull, pair of Canada geese, 5 dunlin and 2 ringed plover. It seemed there are 3 pairs of oystercatchers trying to nest in the fields.

There seems to be good numbers of holly blue butterflies around at the moment with this one sitting on a bush along one of the folly paths near The Lane.

A cuckoo was heard calling near the Glebe on Wednesday 18th by Adrian Amos.

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