Sunday, 10 March 2019


Strong winds blew across the Island on Sunday 10th and this flock of 200 brent geese kept heads down whilst feeding on the winter wheat on Maydays farm. Also twelve mute swans and ten greylag geese feeding on the wheat too, while a flock of 140 golden plover roosted in the field.

It was too windy to walk along the top of the Maydays seawall on Sunday and certainly not easy to stand still and look through binoculars at anything. However three red-breasted mergansers were seen to fly up the Pyefleet channel and a great crested grebe was noted too. Fifty redshank seemed to be sheltering out of the wind in Maydays creek.
On Reeveshall 20 stock doves flew over one field and three brown hares were running about.

In bushes near Maydays farm were 5 yellowhammers, 20 chaffinches, a pair of red-legged partridge nearby, while 20 linnets were in a game crop.

A pale-bellied brent goose seemed very obliging on the mud in front of the West Mersea Hard car park on Saturday 9th. Along with a group of ten dark-bellied brent geese, it was resting and feeding only about 30 metres from people walking nearby in the car park.
The pale belly was very obvious when it held its head up.

The contrast between the pale-bellied brent goose and its darker cousins alongside were very obvious.

A pair of skylarks dropped onto the mud along the Strood seawall on Saturday 9th, although not many heard singing during in the windy conditions. Eight linnets flew along the seawall.

A common buzzard glided overhead as it crossed back over the Strood channel from Ray Island.

Flushed off one of the fields were 600 brent geese, most of them landing back along the Strood channel. A flock of 60 golden plover roosted in a field and another flock of 30 flew down channel.
Not many waders on show with four black-tailed godwits being of note, also 30 wigeon seen.

On Friday 8th a merlin was seen by Andy Field perched on a hedgerow bush along the Strood. It then flew low over the field and landed briefly in a tree near the seawall before continuing over the channel to Feldy. Other birds of prey seen included two marsh harriers and two common buzzards and a kestrel, while two peregrines soared together high over Ray Island.

The pair of grey partridge was at the back of the fields again on Friday, also 25 golden plover roosting in the field, 4 little egrets and 4 reed buntings, while in the channel was a great crested grebe and a flock of 200 dunlin.
Later on the Strood reservoirs, Andy noted two pochard and two Mediterranean gulls.

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