Sunday, 1 December 2019


Two firecrests were found on the Island over the weekend with this one pictured flitting through bushes beside Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane, East Mersea on Sunday 1st. The day before a firecrest was seen feeding in a holly bush in the Firs Chase garden, West Mersea on Saturday 30th. This individual could be one of the four seen in the garden just over three weeks earlier.

On a chilly but sunny Sunday 1st, this flock of 500 brent geese was grazing on Reeveshall, also noted here were stonechat, marsh harrier, snipe and 20 stock doves.

This turnstone was feeding on the mud close to the Reeveshall seawall on Sunday.

Also seen on Sunday along the Pyefleet were 150 avocets, 50 knot, 20 black-tailed godwits and two red-breasted mergansers. A rock pipit was seen in the saltmarsh, while on Langenhoe were a common buzzard and 3 marsh harriers.

At least 1000 wigeon were feeding in the country park's grazing fields on Sunday, as were 600 brent geese and 40 black-tailed godwits. Twenty shoveler were on the saltmarsh pools near the Golfhouse.
In the Firs Chase garden on Sunday morning, the coal tit reappeared after a week's absence.

The West Mersea black brant was feeding close into the car park by the Hard on Saturday 30th.
Along the Strood seawall on Saturday were seen a marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, 20 avocets, 20 skylark, 2 rock pipits and 6 reed buntings.

Joined Steve Hunting, Kieren Alexander and RSPB volunteers on Stacey Belbin's Lady Grace boat trip to count the birds at high tide on Packing Shed Island, Cobmarsh Island as well as the beaches at Old Hall's East Quarters Spit and Tollesbury's Shinglehead Point. There was a good variety of the usual waders and wildfowl seen with some good flocks of dunlin, knot, grey plover, oystercatcher, grey plover and redshank as well as brent geese, wigeon and teal. The main birds of interest in the Cobmarsh area were 2 great northern divers and a dozen pintail.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday 29th Andy Field noted a possible black-throated diver off the park, two common scoters, 1000+ brent geese in the fields and also a stoat by the pond. Matt Smith saw a red squirrel near the overflow car park at Cudmore Grove on Friday.

On Thursday 28th along the Strood, a peregrine glided slowly along the seawall before turning north west and crossing over Ray Island. It flushed three herring gulls, one of which appeared all white as if an albino-type herring gull. It was watched for a couple of minutes as it flew along the Ray Channel. Also seen along the Strood seawall were marsh harrier, common buzzard and the pair of stonechats.

A flock of 66 ringed plovers was roosting at high tide at the new boating lake by the Youth Camp on Wednesday 27th. Also in the Rewsalls marshes area was a marsh harrier flying south out to sea, pair of stonechats, flock of 16 snipe, 20 redshank and 70 curlew.
In the Cross Lane/ Waldegraves area on Wednesday were 20 linnets, 20 goldfinches, 2 goldcrest, 2 green woodpeckers and 100 brent geese.

On Tuesday 26th along the Strood seawall, the guillemot was seen initially in the Ray Channel, later crossing into the Strood channel during the high tide. Also pair of stonechat, 2 marsh harriers, common buzzard, Mediterranean gull, 2 rock pipits, 15 goldfinches and 25 skylarks. The black brant was by the saltmarsh in front of the Firs Chase caravan park.

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