Thursday, 10 December 2009


It made a change to watch the sun-rise above the sea on Thursday 10th, instead of the recent cloudy mornings usually with the rain. It stayed sunny throughout the day but with a chill in the wind from the north.

The wet autumn has loosened the park cliff which the sea has brought crashing down in places such as this one pictured above, onto the beach. One of the roughest high tides was on Tuesday afternoon when the strong wind whipped up the waves giving the coast a real good battering.

At the Point a peregrine flew leisurely north-west over the grazing fields, creating chaos amongst the other birds as it passed by. Lapwing, redshank, dunlin, wigeon, teal and wood pigeons all flew off as the big falcon flew by.

In the distance further up the Colne on Langenhoe Point, something spooked all the birds into the air, before the peregrine got there. A huge flock of at least, and possibly more, 3000 golden plovers rose into the air in one huge mass and circled round a few times before they divided into two flocks. One half of the flock settled back down while the other headed off along the Pyefleet. No sign of any raptors that may've unsettled the plovers, although 3 marsh harriers had been glimpsed a few minutes earlier. A big flock of about 2000 golden plovers were seen resting on the mud by the Strood later on Thursday, around the middle of the day.

Despite the clear and sunny weather, the only birds in the river were a couple of great crested grebes and a cormorant. One common seal was seen briefly swimming down-river.
The main flock of several hundred brent geese were seen flying along the Pyefleet heading onto one of the fields on Reeveshall.

There was no sign of any snow buntings on the beach at the Point although they had been present early on Wednesday morning but not by the middle of the day. Three rock pipits, 8 reed buntings and up to 10 skylarks were seen on the Thursday while the pair of stonechats were along the seawall the day before.

Up to 50 black-tailed godwits were feeding in the flooded grazing field with a few hundred wigeon and teal. Also enjoying the wet conditions were 20 shoveler and 10 gadwall, some of these on the park pond too. At the park pond a pochard was noted on Thursday with a couple of tufted ducks while on Wednesday the fox was seen enjoying the morning sunshine by the pond.
On Tuesday a flock of 25 goldfinches flew past the pond, a bigger flock here for a while.

Martin Cock noted a common buzzard for the second time in a week at Maydays on Wednesday along with a kingfisher, 2 green sandpipers and 25 corn buntings, several of which were singing.

The bright red cotoneaster berries, like this clump pictured in the car park, look like they're being saved up by the birds for when the weather gets tougher in the middle of winter. Some of the finches and thrushes are still feeding on the sloes berries and the last of the rowan berries around the park.

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