Wednesday, 19 April 2017


A nice group of five wheatears were in the park's grazing fields on Wednesday 19th, for the second day running but down from a record spring count of eight birds that were seen on Monday 17th along with a ninth bird seen in the Golfhouse sheep field.

Most of the wheatears were colourful males like this one pictured in the two photos that was feeding close to the park dyke.

The two ring ouzels were still present on Wednesday morning but in separate fields either side of the East Mersea Golfhouse. At least one bird has been present now for just over a week since it was first found on Wednesday 12th. Two birds were still being seen on 15th and 16th but only one was located on Monday 17th.

The linnet flock of up to 50 birds has been flying around the paddocks near the Golfhouse and also feeding on the saltmarsh where this bird was seen.

Summer migrants noted in recent days have been a singing willow warbler at the park on 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th probably at least two different birds, along with another one by the Golfhouse on 19th. A sand martin flew over the seawall near the Golfhouse on 16th and up to four swallows have been hawking along the seawall. A yellow wagtail flew over the Golfhouse seawall calling on the 17th.
Three lesser whitethroats were heard singing in the park on Monday 17th by Karl Kennedy while the only common whitethroat nearest the park was singing near Ivy Dock on the 16th.

This non breeding grey heron has been seen in recent days stalking the ditches and watercourses at the park. Two little egrets have been seen most days around the park, either on the fields or maybe beside the seawall.

Several avocets have been noted on the saltmarsh pools by the Golfhouse over recent days with eight on Wednesday 19th being the most. A pair of Mediterranean gulls flew over the park on both Saturday 15th and Monday 17th.

At least twenty teal were on the park's fields on Wednesday 19th, although many are well hidden in the increasing vegetation. Also three wigeon and six shoveler and six shelduck on the pools. The high tide wader roost on Wednesday saw 100 redshank and 20 black-tailed godwits resting or feeding in the fields. A male pochard was on the park pond on Tuesday 18th.

The first brood of 3 lapwing chicks were seen on the edge of the rapidly receding area of pools in the fields on Tuesday 18th and again on Wednesday 19th. Coot chicks were first seen on the park pond on Friday 14th while a brood of 9 mallard ducklings have been seen in the park dyke.

The sunny weather on Wednesday 19th saw a bit more raptor activity with ten birds high in the air to the north of the park over Langenhoe involving a mix of both marsh harriers and common buzzards. Two different common buzzards flew over the park pond mid morning, one heading north, the other mobbed by crows as it flew east. A sparrowhawk flew high and eastwards to the north of the park.
Two different sparrowhawks were noted at the park on 17th, one heading east over the Colne.

At Maydays farm on Wednesday 19th, a yellow wagtail, four house martins, greenshank, common buzzard, 5 yellowhammers and 5 great crested grebes were noted by Martin Cock.
On Monday at Maydays, a common whitethroat, two reed warblers heard singing, four house martins, greenshank and whimbrel were seen at Maydays by Steve Entwistle.

A sad sight of a dead red squirrel found beside Empress Avenue suggesting it had been hit by a car. Having been first alerted to it by Chris Cheetham, I collected the squirrel and took it to Chris Burr and we could see it had been a healthy looking male. Thankfully this appears to be only the second road casualty on the Island in the last 12 months. However drivers need to take care on our Island's roads.

A muntjac deer was seen in the park fields on Wednesday 19th by Andy Field and a badger crossed the East Mersea road near Fen Farm just after dark on Sunday 16th.
Two adders were seen at the park on both the 19th and the 15th.

Butterfly numbers have been quite low in recent days in the cold northerly winds although orange-tip, speckled wood, green-veined white, holly blue, peacock, small tortoiseshell and comma have been on the wing. Moth trapping has been very disappointing during the recent cold nights with less than ten moths noted on a couple of nights.

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