Thursday, 5 January 2017


There was the scarce local sighting of a black-throated diver in the mouth of the river Colne for three days. First noted by Steve Entwistle on Monday 2nd in the outer part of the river, then very close in to East Mersea Point on Tuesday 3rd when Andy Field managed to take these photos. It was still present mid-river on Wednesday.

Even at a distance the distinctive white thigh patch towards the back of the flanks could be seen. The more commonly seen red-throated diver holds its bill up at a steeper angle, has a paler face and lacks the white thigh-patch. The diver is currently in its winter plumage without the black-throat.

The black-throated diver is the scarcest of the three divers to visit Mersea waters with the last one seen from the park being over five years ago.
Tuesday was a good day for divers with Martin Cock seeing all three divers in the day with 2 great northern divers and a red-throated diver off the Esplanade and this black-throated diver later from the Point later in the morning.

A common buzzard was seen inside the copse behind the pond on Wednesday and at one point seemed to drop down to the water's edge which got some of the ducks a bit concerned.
Two water rails fed along the edge of the reeds on the field side, while on the nearby grass about 70 wigeon were grazing.

It was quiet enough along the seawall near the Point on Wednesday morning that 200 wigeon were happily grazing the top of the seawall.

At dusk six Lapland buntings were heard calling from the long grass on the main part of the park and were seen flying a short distance before landing, most likely settling down for the night. First ever time Laplands have spent the night on the park.

A tawny owl was seen in a tree late afternoon on Monday 2nd by Andy at Manwood Grove near Shop Lane, also present again on Tuesday afternoon. There have also been a couple of recent reports over the last week of a tawny owl being seen and heard in West Mersea, near Firs Chase and near the Co-op.

As the sun went down behind Bradwell on Thursday afternoon, 8 Slavonian grebes, 27 red-breasted mergansers and a common scoter could be seen on the calm waters.

At Coopers Beach on Thursday a stonechat, 10 sanderling, 300 golden plover, 200 brent geese and 2 little egrets were noted.

The previous day a velvet scoter was seen by Sean Minns from the country park.
Offshore from West Mersea on Wednesday 17 red-breasted mergansers, great northern diver, 70 great crested grebes, shag, 11 sanderling and 2 Mediterranean gulls were seen by Steve Grimwade.

There was a report of a male Reeves pheasant seen in a garden near the Barrow, visiting over recent days.

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