Sunday, 13 October 2019


A pair of spoonbills was discovered feeding on the saltmarsh pools near the East Mersea Golfhouse mid afternoon on Sunday 13th, Andy Field taking these first two pictures.

After a period of feeding, the spoonbills stood together for a preen and a snooze, although by the end of the afternoon the birds had flown off.

This pair of immature spoonbills with black wing tips are most likely the same two seen flying down the Colne the day before by those on board the Swallow Birding barge trip.

This the first time I believe that spoonbills have been seen to feed in these saltmarsh pools and judging by their feeding actions, there seemed to be plenty to catch as they swept their bills from side to side. An avocet was also feeding in the water nearby.

Andy was surprised and pleased to see a purple sandpiper fly past him and land on mud near the East Mersea Point on Sunday, taking this photo of the bird. It had arrived to feed on the recently uncovered mud along with some ringed plovers. It has been a few years since the last one was seen here.
Also seen in the area by the Point were 500 golden plover, 30+ little egrets, 4 sanderling, while in the fields were 2 white-cheeked pintail, 70 brent geese with several youngsters and 25 wigeon.

In the Pyefleet a count by Andy of 54 Mediterranean gulls by Reeveshall is a record Island count. A flock of 200 avocets was reported on the Pyefleet mud. At Maydays a ring ouzel flew noisily a few times between bushes mid morning, also a wheatear and stonechat near the seawall here.
Just east of the Strood a female / immature redstart was found in bushes by the seawall and seen in flight a few times just after midday, also near here 4 yellowhammers and a sparrowhawk. Three Egyptian geese flew over Ray Island, then up Strood channel and over the causeway towards the Pyefleet. The stonechat by the Strood seawall was still present.

The ring ouzel was seen by Jim Hume again in the Firs Road / Feldy View cemeteries on Sunday morning although it still proved elusive at times.

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