Tuesday, 26 February 2008


This is the pond just off Firs Chase where all the toads have been heading to over the last couple of wet nights. On this Monday morning the 25th, it was relatively quiet at the pond with only some half-hearted chirps from some toads. Not as loud as the previous night, when the pond came to life in the darkness.
This morning only the resident pair of moorhens were seen but more unusually for a town garden, a male pheasant made its presence known with some loud calling.

Nice blue sunshine for the walk along the Strood seawall although there was quite a fresh breeze blowing. The tide was coming in during the walk, pushing the waders further up the channel. The most unusual wader was a partial albino redshank which stood out clearly out on the brown mud, even 150 metres away. The feathers were predominantly white but with brown blotching. When it flew, the wings were mostly white instead of usual brown, while the legs and bill were the regular bright red. It was certainly a distinctive bird and one to look out for on future visits.

Amongst the other waders the very pale markings of a wintering greenshank was noted beside some redshank. Only 10 knot were seen and 200 golden plover, which is less than previous visits.
About a dozen black-tailed godwits was probably more than in recent visits whilst four bar-tailed godwits were seen near the Dabchicks.

About 300 brent geese were dotted along the edge of the water in the channel, resting up, preening or some doing some feeding.

Three stonechats were noted along the seawall, a male reed bunting sang a brief song, whilst near the caravan site a kestrel flew to some bushes which upset three fieldfares that had been feeding in some apple trees nearby.

In the air over Old Hall Marshes, four marsh harriers were in the air together, scattering lots of waders in the process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Still rreading your blogs and making me feel very nostalgic for the Essex coast. We have just returned from South America and the Galapagos and you can see my accounts plus snaps on my website.
Best Wishes