Saturday, 28 January 2017


There were freezing temperatures during the last week at the country park with some stretches of water covered with ice. Wildfowl such as wigeon and shoveler gathered in this unfrozen section of the dyke, as did a few mallard, the swans, little grebe and some coots.

Most of the park pond has been frozen over too although 16 gadwall, 50 mallard, 3 tufted duck, 30+ teal, 10 coot, 2 little grebes have kept one area free of ice. Fifty wigeon have been grazing the nearby small field while a couple of snipe have been seen here too. A water rail was inside the ditch under the alders, two great spotted woodpeckers flew over the car park on Monday 23rd and 30 greenfinches were seen on Tuesday.
A marsh harrier was seen by Andy Field looming out of the fog by the pond on Wednesday 25th while on Sunday 22nd two buzzards flew along the back of the grazing fields.

The main birds on the frosty grazing fields at the park have been 1500 wigeon and 500 teal seen on Tuesday 24th, also 4 snipe noted too.

Offshore from the park on Tuesday a Slavonian grebe and 130 shelduck with 200 avocets along the edge of the river and a common seal in the Colne. On Sunday 22nd the guillemot, red-breasted merganser and 4 goldeneye were in the river.
A weasel was seen in the car park on Wednesday and Thursday.

Andrew Neal enjoyed a visit to East Mersea on Sunday 22nd and sent me these next four photos including this pair of carrion crows feeding on a bird carcass in the frozen grazing fields. Also lots of wigeon, 3 shoveler and a common snipe.

A flock of goldfinches was singing in the bushes near the hide at the park on Sunday.

A single greenfinch was in a bush near the hide, also a stock dove seen nearby.

A pair of common buzzards were photographed by Andrew in a tree at Manwood Grove in Shop Lane. Also noted along the Lane were a kestrel, goldfinches a great spotted woodpecker and some long-tailed tits.

Up to thirty fieldfares have spent the last few days feeding in the fields by Bocking Hall while two fieldfares were seen in West Mersea by Adrian Amos in his neighbours East Road garden. A buzzard was by Weir farm on Monday 23rd and a marsh harrier crossed over the Strood that day.

Red squirrels noted over the last week have included one at the Firs Chase feeder as dawn broke on both Wednesday and Thursday mornings, one seen by Andy Field in Fishponds Wood on Wednesday and one reported by the old East Mersea PYO field on Sunday22nd.

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