Sunday, 24 February 2013


The cold wind continued to blow across the park on Sunday 24th and the grey sky made for a very dull end to the day. The only place to shelter from the cold for the last part of the day was in the hide overlooking the pond.

A peregrine glided swiftly high over the pond, passing so quickly that none of the other birds bothered to flee. Earlier a female marsh harrier flapped slowly over the pond north, scattering many of the wildfowl off the pond. At the same time over the grazing fields, a male marsh harrier also headed north, causing a bit of panic amongst the wigeon many fleeing out to sea. Earlier in the day a marsh harrier flew south over the Point towards Colne Point for a day's hunting there.

Lots of pigeons were gathering in the trees behind the pond at dusk with 150 wood pigeons and 50 stock doves nearly settled in, until something spooked them, the sort of response to a sparrowhawk flying into the copse.

On and around the pond were 2 pochard, 2 tufted duck, 15 shoveler, one snipe and a curlew along with a few mallard, wigeon and teal. Usual numbers of duck on the fields with 300 teal and 500+ wigeon with 9 tufted duck noted earlier.

Alan Reynolds noted a Slavonian grebe, spotted redshank, 3 rock pipts and 10 great crested grebes from the park during their visit on Sunday.

Off West Mersea on Sunday 2 shags, 3 Slavonian grebes, 2 Mediterranean gulls,  3 great northern divers, 3 common scoter were noted by Andy Field and Steve Entwistle. Andy also managed to see a jack snipe being flushed a couple of times by a dog at St Peters saltmarsh. One of the shags was also seen off the jetty by the Hard. Adrian Amos reported the sight of a wintering chiffchaff in his East Road garden in West Mersea on Sunday morning.

On Saturday 23rd the shag was seen off the jetty at the Hard by Steve in the morning while Martin Peers noted offshore from West Mersea 6 common scoter, 2 red-breasted merganser, great northern diver, 2 Mediterranean gulls and 12 bar-tailed godwits.

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