Saturday, 25 February 2017


Birds were keeping low to the ground during the strong winds at the country park on Thursday 23rd. A group of 25 shelduck gathered in the grazing fields in the afternoon as did 36 shoveler. Eleven black-tailed godwits were also noted in the pools in the fields.

Many of the thirty lapwings in the fields stood individually behind tussocks of rushes to shelter from the strong wind - as four are doing here. At the pond a little egret was tucked inside one of the bushes and nearby 17 magpies were perched in a hedge out of the wind. A fieldfare was seen at the start of the day in the car park.

A redwing and fieldfare were in the car park at start of Wednesday 22nd.
Five redwings were also seen in a tree in Firs Chase, West Mersea first thing on Wednesday and the common buzzard was in the field by Haycocks again.

Half a dozen teal were feeding on the saltmarsh beside the beach, this male seen from the nearby seawall on Tuesday 21st. Ten tufted duck were noted, half on the dyke and others on the pond. At the Point at least one stonechat was seen on the saltmarsh and 100 ringed plovers on the mud. A sparrowhawk flew over the fields towards the copse behind the pond.
The male house sparrow was heard chirping in the car park again.

At West Mersea two scaup were seen on the sea off the Esplanade on Tuesday by Andy Field.

The male kestrel was enjoying the morning sunshine on Friday 24th as it looked out from the back of the park pond. The female was seen briefly perched on the nearby oak tree. Also enjoying the sunshine by the pond was the Cetti's warbler which showed itself for the first time this year along the near edge, letting out a couple of loud bursts of song too. It's been silent for the last month or so.
The water rail was also very obliging as it walked about along the outer edge of the reeds.

In the grazing fields 400 golden plover were spread across one field feeding, also 30 black-tailed godwits, 100 curlew on the pools, as well as little egrets and the first sighting this spring of a pair of oystercatchers in the fields.

 It didn't take too long to locate this red squirrel near Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane on Friday morning, as the loud taps could be heard as it used a feeder. After a few more feeds it run up a nearby branch to survey the situation, before heading away through the trees.

Within a few minutes another red squirrel was located high in the pine trees feeding on a pine cone. It stayed in view for several minutes with the occasional discarded seed-wing fluttering down from the squirrel as it picked out each seed to eat.

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