Monday, 12 October 2020


Two common redstarts were on show 400m apart from each other not far from the Firs Caravan site at West Mersea on Sunday 11th. This male was still showing on its third day by the Strood seawall. Andy Field took these first two photos.

The male redstart has been spending the last three days beside the Strood borrowdyke in the reedbed corner, perching in the bushes and large oak tree.

The moderate breeze on Sunday made the redstart drop down to feed out of the wind under an oak tree. At times the orange tail was seen quivering in typical redstart fashion. This photo taken by Jonathan Bustard.

Jonathan Bustard also took this of the male redstart. It's been rare to have a colourful male stay on Mersea for longer than a day in the autumn.

Earlier on Sunday morning a female common redstart was found in the Feldy View cemetery field by Steve Entwistle and myself. At first we thought we were hearing a chiffchaff calling before realising that the bird perched in the small birch tree was a female redstart. Andy Field soon arrived and took the photo above and the one below.

The redstart flitted along the hedge and disappeared for a few minutes before returning to the same spot where it was easily watched.

Jonathan Bustard took this photo of the female redstart, before heading down to the seawall to see the colourful male redstart.

Having just finished photographing the male redstart by the Strood seawall, this peregrine circled over the area providing a bonus photograph opportunity for Jonathan with these two snaps.

The peregrine scared some of the waders off the mud along the Strood Channel late on Sunday morning.
Other birds of prey noted were three sparrowhawks at various times over the Firs Chase and Feldy View areas, a buzzard flying west over the Yacht Club and another three circling over Firs Chase early afternoon. Ian Black also saw a buzzard over Victory Road a short while later.

A noticeable redwing passage was watched on Sunday morning with small flocks totalling 300 passing west over Firs Chase, also a siskin and goldcrest noted here. Also eight redwing passed later over Feldy View as were two siskins and a chiffchaff. A speckled wood butterfly was there and a migrant hawker nearby.

Along the Strood channel on Sunday were 100 black-tailed godwits, 20 shelduck and 15 little grebes.

At Cudmore Grove a Cetti's warbler was heard singing by Steve Entwistle at the east end of main park in the overgrown ditch on Sunday.

On Saturday 10th a peregrine flew fast and low over the Strood fields after some wood pigeons. Two pairs of stonechats were seen and also an unpaired male heard singing unusually here. There were flocks of 50+ skylarks and 70+linnets in the Strood fields, also rock pipit seen and two buzzards at the back. Along the channel were 3 greenshank, 300 golden plover, 120 wigeon, 3 knot and 50 dunlin.

A distant osprey was seen flying slowly west along Salcott Channel, circling round a few times before dropping down out of sight. Thanks to a heads-up text from Brian Churches who was also watching the osprey on Old Hall Marshes.

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