Wednesday, 16 December 2009


It was a freezing start to Wednesday 16th with many stretches of water frozen including part of the park dyke pictured above. There were a variety of wintry showers during the day with rain, sleet, fine dusting of snow at East Mersea but larger flakes of snow falling at West Mersea in the early afternoon.

About 300 wigeon grazed a section of the field although on once occasion, they all flew onto the dyke and crammed into one unfrozen section. Also feeding amongst the wigeon were 45 black-tailed godwits, while overhead 8 snipe were seen flying past. In the field to the rear 40 curlew, 6 black-tailed godwits, 4 snipe, 25 lapwing and a fox were seen.

On the partially frozen park pond, 50 mallard, 12 shoveler, 14 gadwall were the main ducks while a single black-tailed godwit fed along one of the nearby boggy areas and a little egret roosted in a tree at high tide.

It stayed cold enough in some parts of the park that little patches of snow remained in place as on a log pictured above, although most of it never settled.

Despite the sleety / snowy weather, there were no snow buntings at the Point. There were 10 reed buntings, 4 rock pipits, 8 skylarks, 5 dunnucks noted and a pair of red-breasted mergansers few into the river. Amongst the usual selection of waders 6 sanderling were seen at the Point with a further 8 seen in front of the cliff on the mudflats, along with 200 knot.

At West Mersea a Slavonian grebe was seen on both Monday and Tuesday while the great northern diver was seen on Monday.

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