Sunday, 17 February 2013


Plenty of sunshine in the morning of Sunday 17th and conditions were looking good for finding some birds at Maydays farm on the north side of the Island - until........

.....a thick bank of sea fog quickly rolled in from the south-east, enveloping everything in about ten minutes, as in the two pictures above of Maydays creek.

Visibility had been really good to start with clear views across Reeveshall and onto Langenhoe too. The temperature quickly dropped and birds soon became scarce and not much to see along the Maydays dyke, before and after pictures here.

The big finch flock was still present in the set-aside corner with 200 linnets and 100 chaffinches flying about. No sign of the bramblings although they could've still been around, but just didn't perch up in a bush for a view. Ten yellowhammers were also seen by the farm track to the farm.

The only bird of prey seen before the fog descended was one marsh harrier over Reeveshall. Not much else on the fields except for one Canada goose and a couple of singing skylarks.

In the Pyefleet there was plenty of mud with the tide out. A good scattering of the usual waders such as redshank and dunlin and wildfowl too, mainly wigeon, teal and shelduck.

Along the East Mersea road a corn bunting was singing from a tree-top by Bocking Hall in the morning, while in West Mersea a flock of 50 greenfinches circled over Firs Chase at the end of the day, preparing to roost.

A walk along the beside the Strood Channel, pictured above, on Saturday 16th provided views of a Mediterranean gull flying over the back fields on the slope, along with several black-headed gulls. Two grey herons flew off the back of the weedy field. Here there were also 25 linnets, 10 reed buntings and 10 skylarks - some of them briefly in song too. A sparrowhawk flew across the fields heading off the Island.

High over the channel hundreds of plovers rose into the air and the distinctive profile of a peregrine was seen amongst the many birds. A quick scan of the many birds unexpectedly revealed a ruff in the air which then flew low along the mud as if to land but then decided otherwise and flew away.

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