Monday, 13 June 2016


Great news on the Island's breeding bird front with a pair of common terns now nesting on Mersea for the first time for many decades. The common tern is pictured above on its nest close to a nesting avocet, near the East Mersea Point, seen on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th. The tern's mate soon appeared and dropped down alongside. This pair of common terns has been present in this area for almost three weeks now.

It seems to be a better season for terns around Mersea with 17 little terns and three common tern pairs seen on Cobmarsh Island on Friday 10th by Daniel Carne and Steve Hunting during an RSPB survey of the Mersea and Tollesbury Quarters.
It is important that boats don't land on these shingle beaches for the next couple of months so as not to disturb the nesting birds, especially these terns.

When the avocet stood up, two eggs could be seen underneath. There were six nesting avocets amongst the group of 12 avocets in the area. Last year the birds failed twice, once because of high spring tides, the second occasion no reason for failure of nine nests was found.

Also present at the lagoons were a pair of oystercatcher, pair of redshank and a single black-tailed godwit.

For a few days the swan family seemed to have lost a cygnet early on. That seventh cygnet did a good job at hiding as it has now reappeared and the family had the full complement on show in the dyke near the Golfhouse on Friday. As in previous years here, two of the cygnets have a much whiter down than the others.

Three different mallard broods were feeding either in the dyke or in the fields. This is the largest brood around with nine very young ducklings feeding along the main dyke on Friday. A second brood was seen with six ducklings, while a much older brood also still has six half-grown ducklings.

In the nearby grazing fields, two large lapwing chicks were seen and a flock of 22 greylag geese on Saturday while 5 gadwall were on the main pool on Friday.
The Cetti's warbler was singing as were a couple of lesser whitethroats and two singing reed buntings.

A group of ten shelduck were resting on the beach at the Point, some pictured above.
Also seen here on Friday were two pairs of ringed plovers, although no sign of nesting.
On Thursday 8th a pair of Mediterranean gulls flew over the park calling.

A cuckoo flew over the East Mersea road near Bocking Hall on Wednesday 8th while the day before a little owl perched again on a road-sign in Chapmans Lane early in the morning.

Three adders were enjoying the warmth at the park on Saturday 11th.

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