Friday 23 February 2024


A greenshank was roosting on the small lake beside the East Mersea boating lake on Friday 23rd, pictured above in the centre. It was with a mixed flock of waders during the high tide before flying onto the flooded Rewsalls Marshes where it stood on a lone bramble bush sticking out of the water. This is the first greenshank to be seen on the Island this winter.

Other waders roosting beside the East Mersea boating lake on Friday included 115 curlew.

Also roosting in a corner of the side lake on Friday were 70 redshank, 70 turnstones, 20 dunlin while other birds seen around the Rewsalls marshes were 400 brent geese, 2 little egrets, 3 little grebes, 2 buzzards, and two Cetti's warblers.

Feeding on a field to the west of the Youth Camp were 22 Mediterranean gulls, 15 common gulls and a few black-headed gulls. A pair of red-legged partridge was in a field to the west of the East Mersea church.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday, Steve Entwistle saw a little owl at the back of the park pond, Cetti's warbler, pair of pochard, two pairs of tufted ducks, pair of mute swans, three pairs of gadwall, while a goldcrest was seen west of the bird-hide. A second pair of mute swans was seen later in the day in the park dyke and a pair of greylag geese in the fields, by Caroline White 

Steve later saw 38 fieldfares with 50 starlings near Bocking Hall, two red-legged partridges near Barrow Hill on the East Mersea road, then watched 20 marsh harriers from the Hard seen flying to roost on Old Hall Marshes at dusk.

An oystercatcher stood on a surfboard behind the Dabchicks sailing club on Thursday 22nd - keeping an eye on a potential nesting site in an old dinghy nearby.
A peregrine flew over the Strood channel scattering birds as it headed over Ray Island.

Two great crested grebes were in the Strood channel in front of the Firs Chase caravan park, with a third in Ray channel on Thursday. Also along the Strood channel during the high tide walk were 70 shelduck, two avocets, Mediterranean gull, three little egrets, also thirty linnets and a pair of stonechats in the fields.

A song thrush was singing along the edge of the Firs Chase caravan park close to the seawall on Thursday. A male blackcap was seen in the Firs Chase garden on Thursday.

In East Mersea 600 brent geese were seen by Michael Thorley feeding in a field to the south of Meeting Lane on Thursday.

Wednesday 21st was wet most of the day and the only birds noted during a short walk to Feldy View from Firs Chase were two song thrushes, ten chaffinches and a distant flock of 100 golden plover flying over Feldy Marshes on the mainland.

A dead badger was found lying in Rewsalls Lane, East Mersea on Tuesday 20th, so it was lifted onto the nearby verge and the Badger Group informed.
A brief visit to Coopers Beach caravan park on Tuesday morning was quiet at high tide . Two Cetti's warblers were heard singing including one in the garden of the park manager's residence.

Steve Entwistle visited the Golfhouse area on Tuesday afternoon and reported pair of greylag geese on the grazing fields, stonechat pair by the dyke, four shoveler on the saltmarsh pools, four tufted ducks on the dyke, 19 knot and 11 ringed plover on the mud.

On Tuesday evening a sparrowhawk was seen flying amongst the large starling flock of 5000+, as they headed into roost at the top of Oakwood Avenue.

Andy Field photographed this stonechat, one of three seen at Reeveshall on Monday 19th late afternoon whilst watching seven or eight marsh harriers going into the Langenhoe roost.

Martin Cock earlier on Monday saw the velvet scoter and the eider in the outer Colne, from Cudmore Grove.

A small group of six skylarks was photographed by Michael Thorley feeding in the Golfhouse paddock on Monday, also three linnets here, 1000+ brent geese seen in the grazing fields then flew over to Ivy Farm.

Steve Entwistle visited Cudmore Grove on Monday and saw a pochard, two greylag geese, pair of mute swans on the pond and heard water rail and Cetti's warbler at the pond.

A pair of stonechat was beside the Strood dyke on Monday 19th, also five reed buntings, two meadow pipits and twenty linnets in the fields. A peregrine flew north-west over the channel and headed over Ray Island and two marsh harriers were seen too. Main flocks of birds included fifty wigeon, fifty teal and fifty shelduck also a pair of mute swans.

Birds seen during a walk along the Strood seawall on Sunday 18th included 800 brent geese, 120 shelduck, 60 grey plover, 30 knot, ten avocets, four little egrets, two marsh harriers, Cetti's warbler, three stonechats, while by the Firs Caravan park were the mistle thrush and a goldcrest.

A male yellowhammer perched on a tree by the Bower Hall seawall on Saturday 17th, a second bird flew over calling near to Maydays farm. A flock of 70 linnets was feeding on some game cover at Bower Hall, a buzzard, marsh harrier, twenty stock doves, green woodpecker, twenty skylarks and four brown hares also noted.

A nice clump of oyster mushrooms was photographed at Cudmore Grove by Caroline White on Saturday 17th. Birds seen during her visit included a merlin perched behind Ivy Dock, three greylag geese, two calling water rails at the park pond, grey squirrel at the back of the pond and a possible stoat near the hide.

On Saturday evening 28 red-breasted mergansers were seen off Cudmore Grove by Daniel Woollard. A  velvet scoter was reported on Birdguides, seen off Cudmore on Saturday sometime.

A couple of curlew photographs taken recently at Coopers Beach by Michael Thorley.

Friday 16 February 2024


A male pintail in the Strood channel was an unusual sight on Friday 16th. It was keeping company with a small flock of wigeon and seemed quite settled. Also along the channel were 70 shelduck, 100 teal, 20 avocets, 30 golden plover, 44 curlew, 20 knot and two black-tailed godwits.

Three buzzards drifted slowly over the Strood channel from Ray Island  heading east over the fields.

Four marsh harriers were also on the wing, making the most of the sunshine and warmth in the air. A sparrowhawk was seen near the Firs Caravan park.

Two stonechats were along the Strood seawall, although at opposite ends to each other.

At East Mersea a water vole was seen in a ditch near the Golfhouse on Friday by Caroline White.

A flock of 600 brent geese was feeding in one of the park's grazing fields on Thursday 15th. Also in the park fields were 200 wigeon, black-tailed godwit, some of the 15 shoveler in the area, 20 teal, pochard and 6 tufted ducks in the dyke, Cetti's warbler and sparrowhawk noted too. 

From the Point the immature male eider and velvet scoter were distant in the outer Colne, while nearer were three great crested grebes and 3 red-breasted mergansers. A pair of stonechat was on bushes at the Point saltmarsh, four ringed plovers were on the nearby mud.

A skylark was feeding in the Golfhouse paddock on Thursday, along with 24 meadow pipits.

One of the meadow pipits in the Golfhouse paddock photographed by Andy Field on Thursday. Also in the field was a rock pipit, another one near the Point.

Steve Entwistle watched the Langenhoe harrier roost from Shop Lane on Thursday late afternoon and saw a male hen harrier circle over the reed-bed a handful of times before dropping down just after 5pm, also eight marsh harriers roosted, and seven Mediterranean gulls with 720 black-headed gulls in the Pyefleet. 
At West Mersea Hard a pale-bellied brent goose was seen opposite the Hard by Martin Cock.

On Wednesday 14th birds of note seen along the Strood seawall included 31 avocets, ten knot, marsh harrier, buzzard, stonechat and 20 corn buntings. A flock of 800 brent geese was in the Ray Channel / Feldy Marsh area and a female red-breasted merganser seen from the Hard.

Along the Strood channel on Tuesday 13th were 114 shelduck, 10 little grebes, great crested grebe, 30 avocets, 400 brent geese, Canada goose, 50 golden plover, ten knot and a black-tailed godwit. Along the path on the top side of the Firs Caravan park were a mistle thrush and a red squirrel in the bushes.

A mixed flock of waders was feeding on the mud in the Pyefleet channel near the Shop Lane seawall late on Monday 12th. Watching the harrier roost with Martin Cock in the late afternoon sunshine, a male hen harrier provided a fleeting glimpse before it dropped down onto Langenhoe Point as the light faded at 5.25pm. Fourteen marsh harriers and a buzzard were seen on Langenhoe, also a muntjac deer on the seawall.

A barn owl was hunting fields west of the Oyster Fishery on Monday late afternoon and a second bird was seen distantly hunting the Maydays seawall. Along the Pyefleet two pairs of red-breasted merganser flew down channel, two great crested grebes, six avocets, ten black-tailed godwits, and ten knot were seen, while 18 golden plover flew over and 200 cormorants headed back over Langenhoe towards Abberton to their roost. A stonechat was by the seawall and a goldcrest was in Fishponds Wood.

A little owl was seen by the country park entrance at dusk on Monday by Caroline White.

At Maydays on Monday morning there were four pintail, six red-breasted mergansers, three Cetti's warblers, two stonechats, two great white egrets and two brown hares, seen by Martin Cock.

Earlier on Monday, along the Strood were a marsh harrier, buzzard, 30 corn buntings, fifty linnets, two stonechats, Cetti's warbler singing, sparrowhawk and 38 avocets.

Michael Thorley photographed these two curlew at Coopers Beach on Monday 12th.

More curlew with turnstone and redshank also pictured by Michael at Coopers Beach.

An oystercatcher photographed by Michael at Coopers Beach.

Another shot by Michael of an oystercatcher.

A blue tit photographed by Michael in his East Mersea garden.

Great tit photographed by Michael in his garden.

Sunday 11 February 2024


The six snow buntings were still at the East Mersea Point on Sunday 11th, two of them photographed here by Michael Thorley.

Also photographed by Michael was this turnstone at East Mersea Point.

One of two ringed plovers at East Mersea Point was photographed by Michael on Sunday too.

At Cudmore Grove on Sunday Daniel Woollard saw a guillemot on the edge of the mudflats off the park, also eleven red-breasted mergansers, great white egret, 319 brent geese, male and female pochard, leucistic redshank, knot, also two Slavonian grebes and a red-throated diver offshore from the park.

 Later in the evening at the park a marsh harrier, peregrine, little owl by the car park, Mediterranean gull, nine bar-tailed godwits and a common seal were seen by Daniel.

A black brant was feeding in a field behind Rewsalls Marsh with 500 brent geese on Sunday.

High tide on Sunday flooded all the Rewsalls marsh with birds seen in the area being kingfisher, 8 snipe, 110 redshank, 135 curlew, 90 turnstones, two knot, black-tailed godwit, ten Mediterranean gulls, sparrowhawk, two Cetti's warblers. Offshore the guillemot seen earlier from Cudmore Grove was seen swimming west off Rewsalls, also the same two Slavonian grebes plus a third bird, red-throated diver, two shoveler and 110 great crested grebes on the sea.

The recent high tides have left the car park at the East Mersea boating lake completely under-water.

At Maydays on Sunday afternoon Steve Entwistle reported four pintail, 28 black-tailed godwits, seven knot, 100 dunlin, 40 shelduck, 25 curlew, 45 grey plover, two reed buntings and a female marsh harrier.

Three great crested grebes were in the Pyefleet at Maydays on Saturday 10th, also a red-breasted merganser, ten pintail, 16 shoveler, 15 black-tailed godwits, great white egret and two little egrets.

The high tide covered all of the Maydays saltmarsh leaving nowhere for waders to roost, 1000 dunlin, 80 golden plover were flying around and at least ten snipe flew off the marsh. A merlin flew over the marsh and perched on a bush near the Bower Hall seawall and a marsh harrier was also seen.

On Maydays two stonechats, 50 skylarks, three Cetti's warblers were noted and a Chinese Water Deer ran across a field and onto the nearby farm reservoirs. Highlights from the 20 species seen during the 30 minute Big Farmland Bird Count on one of the Maydays fields were 220 linnets, 65 chaffinches, four yellowhammers and a fieldfare.

At Cudmore Grove at least one eider in the Colne and 190 brent geese were seen by Daniel Woolard on Saturday. At West Mersea a great northern diver and 18 great crested grebes were seen offshore from the Esplanade by Steve Entwistle.

On Friday 9th the black brant was feeding with 100 brent geese on the flooded saltmarsh at high tide in front of the Firs Chase caravan park. Along the Strood channel were 40 avocets, 40 black-tailed godwits, two marsh harriers, also a Cetti's warbler and a stonechat inside the seawall.
Three lesser redpolls were briefly seen on the birch trees in Feldy View and a song thrush was singing in the Firs Chase garden.

A bit of a distant picture of a Chinese Water Deer feeding at the back of one of the Strood fields on Friday.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday late afternoon a barn owl was seen flying north over the grazing fields by Caroline White, and then another barn owl seen flying south across East Road between the Fox pub and the allotments.

A fox was seen in the Firs Chase garden checking for morsels under the bird feeders on a wet Thursday 8th.

Wednesday 7 February 2024


A Slavonian grebe was photographed by Andy Field on flat calm waters offshore from Kingsland Road, West Mersea on Wednesday 7th, also four great northern divers seen too.

Later in Feldy View Andy photographed one of the three lesser redpolls that he found on Wednesday morning. At Cudmore Grove Andy saw goldcrest and pochard but only heard little owl, water rail and a Cetti's warbler at the park on Wednesday.
A red squirrel was seen by Daniel Woollard in the back garden of the Cudmore Grove bungalow on Wednesday.

Steve Grimwade visited East Mersea on Wednesday and reported six snow buntings at the Point, two eider, seven red-throated divers, six red-breasted mergansers, three marsh harriers, two sparrowhawks, four rock pipits, two buzzards and a Cetti's warbler.

At Maydays farm four marsh harriers, three buzzards, sparrowhawk and two Cetti's warblers were reported by Martin Cock on Wednesday.

Along the Strood channel on Wednesday morning the tide was just starting to recede and this redshank waited near the seawall.

Two black-tailed godwits had just flown into the Strood channel to feed, as had 40 avocets nearby.

A small flock of dunlin was waiting for the tide to drop on Wednesday along the Strood channel.

A buzzard crossed over the Strood channel flushing off some of the waders feeding on the mud on Wednesday. In the fields 20 linnets, 14 stock doves and a singing Cetti's warbler in one of the bushes.

The regular mistle thrush was high in the poplar trees beside the Firs Chase caravan park on Wednesday, also a song thrush here too. In the Firs Chase garden the song thrush continues to sing each day and a male blackcap was seen on Wednesday.

A flock of 100 brent geese dropped onto the small pond at the bottom of the Strood Hill field, for a bathe and a preen on a very windy Tuesday 6th. The only birds noted during the walk at high tide were 24 avocets, 35 black-tailed godwits, 12 knot with 500 brent geese seen in total. A sparrowhawk flew over Firs Chase.

A female pochard was on the country park pond on Monday 5th, having been hiding in the reeds earlier.

Twelve gadwall were seen on the park pond on Monday with an additional bird seen on the nearby grazing fields. A buzzard, green woodpecker, pair of mute swans, tufted duck and also a grey squirrel were seen from the bird hide overlooking the pond.

On the park's grazing fields on Monday were about 300 wigeon and thirty teal, also one black-tailed godwit feeding.

At East Mersea Point an oystercatcher stood on the water's edge on Monday. Only two snow buntings could be found late morning, although six had been reported earlier. Six ringed plovers were seen close to the beach with some showing signs of territorial behaviour in three locations. A red-breasted merganser was seen in the Colne.

A muntjac deer was seen in a field beside Manwood Grove close to Shop Lane on Monday.

The buck muntjac deer was happily grazing the field during the middle of the day and was photographed from the car.

Caroline White had a walk at Cudmore Grove late on Monday afternoon and reported 150 wigeon, 3 shoveler, 6 tufted ducks, 13 mallard and a pair of mute swans on the park pond.

A neighbour of Caroline White in Dawes Lane photographed this tawny owl at 2am Sunday 4th perched on their house.

At Cudmore Grove Daniel Woollard reported 250 wigeon, 15 shoveler, six tufted ducks, 27 teal, 11 curlew, three little grebes, a brent goose and also six snow buntings at the Point on Sunday.

Birds of interest seen along the Strood seawall on Sunday included 300 brent geese, 70 shelduck, 65 avocets, four black-tailed godwits, bar-tailed godwit, three little egrets, 15 stock doves, 100 linnets, corn bunting and a pair of stonechats.

On Saturday 3rd a black-necked grebe was found by Andy Field off the West Mersea Esplanade, later a great northern diver was seen offshore. At Cudmore Grove Andy saw a dozen siskins feeding in the alders near the park pond with some goldfinches and chaffinches, also a pochard on the pond.

Stunning sunset photographed by Michael Thorley looking west over the Rewsalls Marshes from Coopers Beach on Saturday 3rd.

Another photograph of the red sunset by Michael looking west from Coopers Beach on Saturday evening.

Michael photographed this snow bunting at East Mersea Point on Friday 2nd

A worn red admiral photographed by Michael at East Mersea on Friday 2nd.