Friday, 9 February 2018


A boat trip from West Mersea into the Blackwater and nearby creeks provided close views of a variety of birds, for a small group of birders including Andy Field who took several photos on Saturday 3rd. The conditions were prefect with very light winds and very good visibility. One of five great northern divers seen in the estuary allowed the close photo above, also two red-throated divers noted.

A glossy ibis was seen flying near Ray Island, peregrine over the river, guillemot, 38 pintail, 5 common scoter, 37 goldeneye in the inner Blackwater and 37 red-breasted mergansers

Two shags were seen, one in winter plumage and one still showing some juvenile feathering.

Three Slavonian grebes were in the river, also two black-necked grebes and 100 great crested grebes.
Smaller birds noted by Graham Ekins on Saturday included 5 corn buntings and 7 linnets near Ray Island and also a blackcap near St Peters marsh.

The flat sea on Saturday afternoon at the country park provided distant views of 9 Slavonian grebes, two pictured above, also 500+ great crested grebes and three great northern divers.

On Friday 2nd the water rail, 20 gadwall and a sparrowhawk were seen by the park pond. In the early evening a badger was seen in Bromans Lane. At West Mersea a blackcap was in the Firs Chase garden.

Two water rails were seen at the park on Sunday 4th with the regular one at the pond but with a second bird feeding amongst the reeds by the dyke. On the grazing fields 600 wigeon were grazing until a marsh harrier flew north in the morning. Later a common buzzard passed over the car park being mobbed by crows.

Near the Point 30 shoveler and one avocet were on the saltmarsh pools while 400 golden plover and 150 were on the mud and in the river were 16 red-breasted mergansers.

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