Sunday, 3 February 2008


It felt rather exposed in the raw wind at East Mersea Point on Sunday 3rd. I think the three snow buntings had the ideal posture in these cold conditions, which was scuttling as low to the ground as possible. As with previous days, the birds were still picking at seeds and other items washed up along the top of the beach.

In the river were a couple of hundred gulls mainly black-headed, hovering above a presumed shoal of sprats. Straining the water-filled eyes, trying to keep the binoculars steady in the wind and scanning the choppy waters of the river Colne is what makes winter birdwatching so memorable here. Only 6 great crested grebes were seen including one with the "great-crest" around the head.

The main wader noted at the Point were the 40+ bar-tailed godwits on the mud.

The usual good variety of wildfowl around with the mute swans being the biggest and most striking. Both pairs have settled down since the turn of the year on their own stretches of water with one pair on the pond and the other one along the dyke, pictured above.

The wigeon were present in large grazing groups again while the black-tailed godwits were feeding in smaler numbers than yesterday with only 13 seen.

The main bird of prey to pass over today was a male marsh harrier, that was first seen circling high over the mudflats, before turning to the park and letting the wind blow it back to Langenhoe.

Near Fen Farm there were 25 fieldfares feeding in one of the fields.

At West Mersea the black redstart was seen again in the Wellhouse Green site.

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