Thursday, 7 February 2019


Sixteen avocets were feeding along the edge of the Strood channel during a windy morning of Thursday 7th. There has been a small flock of up to 25 avocets over the last fortnight feeding along this channel.

Nice and sunny but windy along the Strood seawall on Thursday. Not much different from recent walks with 200 golden plover, 200 lapwing, 100 shelduck, 400 brent geese, 50 wigeon, 10 black-tailed godwits being the main birds of interest.

A flat sea on Wednesday made it easy to see birds on the water such as these two distant great northern divers seen from the beach at St Peters. A black-necked grebe was located in the afternoon by Andy Field, first found by Brian Churches off Old Hall. Andy also noted offshore 5 great northern divers, 3 red-throated divers, guillemot and 27 red-breasted mergansers.

Also seen at St Peters were a little egret, rock pipit, reed bunting, sparrowhawk, while 20 sanderling, bar-tailed godwit and ten black-tailed godwits were on Cobmarsh Island. A male marsh harrier was displaying high over Old Hall Marshes and a black swan was seen flying with a mute swan up Ray Channel. A kingfisher was reported flying over St Peters Marsh in the afternoon.
There was no sign of the yellow-legged gull seen the previous day on Packing Shed island by Steve Hunting.

A flock of 700 brent geese was feeding in the increasingly muddy field by the Strood on Tuesday 5th. A flock of 50 ringed plovers was also feeding in this muddy field.
The pair of stonechat and a rock pipit were noted while 30 goldfinches were feeding on birches in Feldy View.

A red kite flew east over Martin Cock's West Mersea garden in the early afternoon of Tuesday.
A female goosander was seen by Martin in the Pyefleet channel at Maydays on Monday 4th.
David Allen reported seeing a great northern diver, 2 Mediterranean gulls, 16 sanderling, and a red-breasted merganser off West Mersea on a wet Monday.

Two common buzzards were perched together near the seawall below Bower Hall on Sunday 3rd.

A short while later one of the buzzards sat on a nest that looked like an old crows nest.
Also seen in the Bower Hall and Maydays area on Sunday were 3 marsh harriers, sparrowhawk and at least 2 peregrines, possibly three, high over Bocking Hall having scattered 1000 golden plover and 200 lapwing into the air.

Small birds at Maydays were 10 yellowhammers, 50 chaffinch, 50 linnet, 20 reed buntings, 50 skylarks, great spotted woodpecker and 10 fieldfares.

The tide was receding from the top end of the Pyefleet Channel with a small number of redshank, grey plover, grey plover, dunlin and shelduck on the mud. Three little egrets and 2 Mediterranean gulls and a grey heron noted, also two common seals basking on the saltmarsh.

Later on Sunday afternoon Steve Entwistle noted 11 yellowhammers, corn bunting, 50 linnet, marsh harrier while hunting over Langenhoe were seen short-eared owl, merlin and barn owl. Also a great northern diver seen off the Esplanade by Steve on Sunday.

A covey of 5 red-legged partridge were close to the roadside at Chapmans Lane on Sunday.

A female blackcap was an unexpected visitor to the bird feeder for a few minutes in the Firs Chase garden on Sunday 3rd.

A red squirrel made a rare visit onto the lawn of the Firs Chase garden, carrying a walnut which it then proceeded to bury on Monday 4th.

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