Friday, 21 December 2018


The shorelark has been seen each day during this last week at East Mersea Point, now into its tenth day on Friday 21st. This picture above taken by Sean Nixon on Monday 17th.

It seemed more elusive during the first few days of its stay but recently it has been favouring the less visited bit of beach round the bay of the Point. The shorelark fed in the sunshine on Thursday morning pictured above, as well as doing a couple of long looping flights one of which took it 300m west over to the seawall and then back again.

The shorelark is doing well to dodge the many dog-walkers each day, including on Wednesday 19th when these three pictures were taken.

Apart from the shorelark, also at the Point have been two rock pipits on Wed 19th, 400 knot on the saltmarsh pools, while on Thursday 16 sanderling were on the beach and then 30 here on Friday 21st. Also a common seal close into the Point.

A scroll through the shorelark records for East Mersea Point show this is the eighth winter when at least one bird has been seen here. Within the last forty years the first record was a bird that stayed from 28th Dec 1991 till 19th April 1992. In 1997 one bird was seen 6th till 9th November and also on 28th Dec. Thirteen shorelarks were seen on 5th January 1998.
The biggest flock was during the second half of November 1998 which started with one on 13th, then 12 to 13 birds between the 14th and 19th, peaking at 18 shorelarks on 22nd and back down to 7 on 29th of that month.
A year later three shorelarks were seen on 19th December 1999, while at the end of 2002 one stayed on and off from 6th December up until the 11th January 2003. A single bird stayed for one day on 9th December 2009 and the next one was the following year with one seen for a few minutes only on 3rd November 2010.
Andrew Neal photographed the current shorelark when he visited in the morning of Tuesday 18th.

A common buzzard was seen at the back of the park grazing fields on Wednesday 19th and near the pond on Thursday 20th when it pictured perched on the alders. It was also in the trees by the pond on Friday 21st, as was a sparrowhawk in the morning.
In the grazing fields were 120 black-tailed godwits and 25 greylag geese while 6 redwings were in bushes on the clifftop.

Five redwing and a goldcrest were in the park on Thursday 20th with 60 black-tailed godwits in the fields and 300 knot flying over the saltmarsh. 
On Wednesday 19th twenty redwings perched in the car park, while in the fields were 200+ brent geese, 600 wigeon, 100 lapwing and 40 black-tailed godwits. A pale-bellied brent goose was seen in the fields with the brent by Andy Field.
A red squirrel was seen crossing Seaview Avenue safely by Andy on Wednesday morning.

Three great northern divers were seen together offshore from the Esplanade at West Mersea on Saturday 15th by Martin Cock. A great northern diver was also seen by Sean Nixon on Monday 17th.

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