Wednesday, 18 November 2020


A black brant was among the 700+ dark-bellied brent geese that were feeding in the winter wheat field near Coopers Beach on Tuesday 17th. The black brant is in the middle of this picture standing upright and looking much darker than the brent geese and with a white flank. Also two pale-bellied brent geese in the flock too.
Also in the field was a flock of 400 starlings including a pale leucistic starling and a yellowhammer in one of the hedges.

The brent flock flew off the wheat field and landed on the flooded marsh beside the boating lake, staying there for a drink and preen for a short while.

A grey wagtail was feeding along the edge of the flooded marsh while a rock pipit was seen by the old seawall.

The sea was pouring in through the breach in the seawall and flooding the old marshes next to Coopers Beach. Birds noted on the marshes included 110 curlew, 50 redshank and 12 little egret. The pair of stonechat was still by the kids playground at Coopers Beach.

At East Mersea Point the purple sandpiper was seen feeding on the mud by Martin Cock on Tuesday.
A yellowhammer was seen flying along Shop Lane towards the Dog and Pheasant pub in East Mersea.

A snow bunting was seen feeding at East Mersea Point on Monday 16th and photographed here by Andy Field. This is a different bird to the recent bird last seen a fortnight ago. Monday's bird was first seen by Martin Cock as it flew in with some waders but after a short while the bird was flushed off by some dogwalkers and was not seen to return.

The purple sandpiper was seen again feeding on the mud near the East Mersea Point allowing these three photos to be taken of it by Andy.

The purple sandpiper doing some preening in between feeding in its usual area of mud.

The purple sandpiper was first seen on the 28th October - so now been present for about three weeks.
Other birds seen by Andy during his WeBS count from Cudmore Grove to Reeveshall on Monday included 13 red-breasted mergansers, 22 sanderling, four common scoter and a pair of stonechat.

A WeBS count also on Monday along the top end of the Pyefleet Channel between Maydays and the Strood produced highlights of a pair of pintail, six red-breasted mergansers, 15 little egrets, 15 snipe, two green sandpipers, 2000 dunlin doing lots of aerial roosting during the very high tide and 100 black-tailed godwits. Other birds seen were three marsh harriers, two pairs of stonechat, singing Cetti's warbler at Maydays, 25 corn buntings as well as a short-eared owl hunting over Langenhoe marsh.

A black brant was seen in the Strood Channel on Ray Island on Monday by Charlie Williams, also three green sandpipers by the Strood. Along the Strood dyke the bearded tit was heard calling by Martin Cock and Ron Harvey, also a buzzard, redwing and later a great spotted woodpecker in the Lane.

In between the morning rain on Sunday 15th and rain again in mid-afternoon, there was a fine spell of sunshine in the middle of the day. The tide was just going out in the top end of the Pyefleet between Maydays and the Strood. A short-eared owl was hunting the Maydays seawall, 12 corn buntings and at least ten Mediterranean gulls were at Maydays while a distant deer on Reeveshall could've been a Chinese Water Deer.

By the Bower Hall seawall a kingfisher was perched on an old sluice, a pair of stonechat,100+ linnets, 25 pied wagtails, two yellowhammers and two reed buntings were feeding in an old maize field, while two rock pipits, ten little egrets, three marsh harriers, two sparrowhawks, two buzzards and a redwing were also seen.

On Saturday 14th along the Strood seawall, a pale-bellied brent goose was with 130 brent geese, the pair of stonechat, two rock pipits, the leucistic starling with 300 starlings, four Mediterranean gulls and two kestrels were noted.

At East Mersea a pale-bellied brent goose was seen on Saturday by Martin Cock as it fed with 600 brent geese between Fen Farm and Coopers Beach.

A male great spotted woodpecker paid a visit to the nut feeder in the Firs Chase garden.

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