Sunday, 18 February 2018


A female pochard was in the park dyke on Sunday 18th, diving down to feed every so often. Several tufted ducks were also present, nine later gathered on the nearby park pond.

Eighteen redshank roosted on the main pool in the park's fields on Saturday and Sunday at high tide, as did 2 black-tailed godwits.

The sunshine on Sunday inspired several lapwings to display over the grazing fields - spring just round the corner. At the pools were 100 wigeon, 30 teal, 6 gadwall, 4 shoveler and 20 mallard, while in the rest of the fields were 300 brent geese, 600+ wigeon and 2 greylag geese. Thirty curlew roosted in the fields on Sunday but 70 the previous day.

From the Point on Sunday morning 14 red-breasted mergansers were in the river and a rock pipit on the saltmarsh.

Eight little egrets were on the trees by the park pond on Sunday, seven present on Saturday. The water rail showed again on both days feeding along the outer edge with the field.
The Cetti's warbler was singing by the pond on Sunday and there was also one singing in the hedge at the west end of Bromans Lane first thing on Sunday morning.

Elsewhere on the Island on Sunday 18th, the black redstart was seen at Coopers Beach by Steve Entwistle along with 130 great crested grebes and 4 Slavonian grebes. A merlin was seen on Langenhoe marsh by Andy Field and also two snipe on the Golfhouse saltmarsh, while from the Strood seawall the glossy ibis and a merlin were seen on Ray Island by Charlie Williams.

A surprise sight on Saturday 17th was a short-eared owl circling high over the grass field behind the park pond late afternoon. It landed briefly in a tall tree in one of the nearby gardens where the crows began to pester it. After a couple of minutes it took off east over the fields and appeared to land while dropping out of sight behind a hedge in the park's grazing fields.

Two great spotted woodpeckers and a pair of house sparrows were in the Cudmore Grove car park on Saturday.

The black redstart was seen at Coopers Beach by Glenn Moore lunchtime on Saturday but it couldn't be found later in the afternoon by Steve Grimwade, although barn owl, pair of stonechats and a Mediterranean gull did show.

The Swallow Birding boat trip from West Mersea into the Blackwater on Saturday 17th reported 5 common scoter, 35 goldeneye, 70 red- breasted mergansers, 6 great northern divers, shag, Slavonian grebe, 4 marsh harriers, 5 common buzzards, peregrine, 130 avocets and 2 Mediterranean gulls.

The wintering pair of stonechat was along the Strood seawall on Friday 16th. The black brant was in the Strood channel along with part of the 1500 brent geese flock that came of the Peldon fields. A common buzzard circled in the air near Bonners Barn and 50 fieldfares near the East Mersea road up the hill. Ten meadow pipits and 2 reed buntings were feeding beside the Strood seawall.

A few redshank were still feeding in the shallow waters along the Strood as the tide came in on Friday 16th. In the nearby field were 62 golden plover and ten black-tailed godwits flew up-channel.

At the country park the little owl and water rail were seen on Friday afternoon.

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