Monday, 5 December 2016


A starling was happily singing from a tree over the weekend at West Mersea, the bright sheen almost sparkling in the sunshine on its spotty chest. A flock of 1000 starlings are still feeding in the fields near Chapmans Lane.

The horse paddock by the Golfhouse was being grazed by 100 wigeon on Monday 5th, while a further 1500 wigeon were in the park's grazing fields.
From the nearby seawall by the Golfhouse a long-tailed duck was seen in the river Colne, although it flew further into the distance near Rat Island. Four common scoter, ten great crested grebes and a common seal were also in the river while earlier 3 velvet scoter and a goldeneye were seen by Martin Cock. On the mud near Ivy Dock were 200 avocets.

A walk along the Maydays seawall was in near perfect conditions with no wind and some nice sunshine too. Just a bit of a distant haze to deal with.

The marsh harriers seemed to be making the most of the good weather with two on Reeveshall and another over the Maydays saltings while another two were on Langenhoe. A common buzzard was by a young plantation at Maydays farm. Along the Pyefleet were 50 avocet, 100 wigeon, 12 great crested grebes, a colour-ringed bar-tailed godwit and a common seal. On Reeveshall 200 brent geese were feeding on one of the fields.

A flock of 70+ corn buntings by the bushes near the seawall, was the biggest gathering of the winter so far. Also in area were 50 linnets, 10 reed buntings, 2 yellowhammers, 5 fieldfares, stonechat and a rock pipit.

A covey of 8 grey partridge was in the field by Chapmans Lane close to Blue Row first thing on a frosty Monday morning.
A whooper swan was on the sea offshore from the Esplanade on Monday morning, seen by Martin Cock.

There was a chill in the breeze on a sunny morning on Sunday 4th during a walk along the Strood seawall. The tide was well out and this group of brent geese were by the sluice outflow, part of 200 brent along the channel.

A Lapland bunting flew around calling over the weedy middle field before dropping down and not being seen again. Also here were 3 corn buntings, 30 linnets, 30 reed buntings while a green sandpiper and a common snipe flew out of the ditches. A marsh harrier quartered the fields and a sparrowhawk was seen flying over Ray Island.

A peregrine swooped low after some of the lapwings and golden plover on the Chapmans Lane field on Sunday 4th.
A great northern diver was seen offshore from the Esplanade on Sunday by Martin.

Up to 500 brent geese have been feeding over the last week in the field by Bromans Lane in East Mersea.

A dull morning walk along the Pyefleet seawall between Shop Lane and the Oyster Fishery on Friday 2nd was brightened up by a nice selection of birds in the hour long walk.

Three velvet scoters and three common scoters could be seen feeding in the middle of the Colne opposite Langenhoe Point. Two red-breasted mergansers, common scoter, 100 avocets and 50 bar-tailed godwit were along the Pyefleet Channel. A kingfisher perched briefly on a tall post in the channel before flying over the seawall. A water rail called from the nearby dyke.

There was the nice sight of a red squirrel scampering back up into the trees on the north-east corner of Fishponds Wood, as I walked back to the wood.

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