Sunday, 4 February 2018


A black redstart was found by Michael and Sarah Thorley at Coopers Beach caravan park in the afternoon of Tuesday 30th. The flashing of the orange tail first alerted them to this bird as it flitted between caravans. First three photos here taken by Michael.

The black redstart was found along the front, sometimes hopping in between the caravans, sometimes on top of the caravans, or feeding out in the open and then disappearing for a time.

The whitish feathers on the wings suggest this bird is a young male in its first winter bird.

The black redstart was still present in the same area of the caravan site on Wednesday morning and was seen by Martin Cock and Andy Field- who managed to take these two photos.

The bird seemed to disappear in the afternoon and hasn't been reported since then.
It may still be in the area as the last mid-winter sighting of a black redstart on Mersea spent two weeks at the Wellhouse Green building development during the end of January / first half of February in 2008 - ten years ago.

Also seen at Coopers Beach on Tuesday was a barn owl over the marshes by Martin Cock. On Wednesday 31st, 25 fieldfares, 600 brent geese pictured above, and a sparrowhawk were seen near the caravan park.

A common gull photographed by Michael at Coopers Beach on the 4th.

At the country park on Tuesday 9 tufted ducks were along the dyke, while in the fields were 400 wigeon, 70 curlew, 50 lapwing and 5 skylarks. On the saltmarsh by the Golfhouse was a high tide roost of 500 dunlin, 150 grey plover, 150 redshank, one avocet and two common snipe.

A fox trotted over the grass field by the pond, here stopping behind an old stump to glance back.
At the pond was the water rail, 50 teal, pochard, 10 gadwall and 30 mallard. Nearby the little owl was perched in the alder hedgeline.

Offshore 9 Slavonian grebes, 425 great crested grebes and a red-breasted merganser were seen from the park on Tuesday 30th.
Along the East Mersea road early on Tuesday, a common buzzard was at Bocking Hall, two red-legged partridge near Weir Farm and a muntjac deer by Manwood Grove at the top of Shop Lane. 

The super blue blood moon loomed large to the east of the park over the river Colne at dusk on Wednesday 31st.

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