Saturday, 2 February 2013


A strong wind blew across the Maydays seawall during the walk along there on Saturday 2nd. The grey skies threatened but it stayed dry. There were still lots of finches feeding around the weedy set-aside field next to the seawall.

Amongst the 100 chaffinches were three brambling with one of the birds looking like the bright male that was seen in Michael Thorley's garden a week earlier. The bramblings were seen as they perched inside a thorn bush along with lots of the chaffinches. Two hundred linnets were also flying around, sometimes dropping into the field and other times perching up on bush-tops.

The only raptors noted in this area were two kestrels hanging in the wind over the Maydays farm. A green sandpiper was seen feeding in a muddy corner of a field not far from the farm, along with a fieldfare.

The seawall was very exposed beside the Pyefleet but the four scaup were still present sleeping on the choppy water. No mud was exposed and the only birds in the Channel were 3 red-breasted mergansers, 100 shelduck, some wigeon and teal as well as a common seal resting on the saltings. A little egret and a grey heron were also noted.

There was a big gathering of plovers on one of the Reeveshall pastures with 3000 golden plover, 1000 lapwing and 1000 dunlin, enjoying the wet ground, as were 1000 starling too. Three marsh harriers were seen quartering Reeveshall and to the east, 1000 brent geese rose into the air.
A barn owl was seen hunting over the rough ground near the west end of the Langenhoe ranges.

The highlight of an hour's walk along the Coopers Beach seawall on Friday 1st was watching a barn owl hunting over this rough grassland at noon. The bird was busy flying back and forwards over the grass, dropping down for a few minutes at a time. A male kestrel was also seen briefly hovering over the field too.

Offshore 3 Slavonian grebes drifted close in with the tide but little else to see other than 34 mallard and a couple of shoveler. To the west of the Youth Camp 100 brent geese were sitting on the sea.

At the country park on Thursday 31st, 3 lesser redpolls were feeding with 20 goldfinches in the alders near the park pond.

On Wednesday 30th a barn owl was seen at first light still hunting over a grass field by Bromans Farm near the country park. On the park's grazing fields 10 common snipe, 400 brent geese, 700 wigeon, 500 teal, 200 black-tailed godwits and 100 redshank were present during the early afternoon high tide roost.

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