Wednesday, 29 May 2013


The park beach was a good place to be during another chilly morning on Wednesday 29th, with the cliff acting as a good shelter from the cold northerly wind. After a sunny and warm weekend, the weather has returned back to cold, grey and at times wet days.

Two house martins joined ten swifts and one of the local sand martins as they hawked for insects along the cliff-edge in the morning. House martins have been very scarce at the park so far this spring while only one pair of sand martins appear to be nesting in the cliff. During the day about 30 swifts were noted passing west over the park and the usual half-dozen swallows were hunting low over the fields.

On the grazing fields 14 greylag geese, 2 Canada geese, 8 shelduck, 2 little egrets, 6 gadwall, shoveler, 3 lapwing, 2 redshank, 2 oystercatchers were present. On the pond the swan is still incubating on the nest, four coot broods are busy being fed and 8 tufted duck and 3 pochard were also here.

Birdsong of interest around a breezy park comprised of lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, blackcap and chiffchaff. Offshore two Mediterranean gulls flew along the edge of the mudflats and a common tern was seen too.
A male marsh harrier crossed low over the East Mersea road near Bocking Hall early evening and a corn bunting was on one of the bushes nearby.

On Monday 3 Mediterranean gulls circled high over Firs Chase, calling as they drifted north.

grey seal was seen in the river Colne from the East Mersea Point on Thursday 23rd by Emma Webb and also a sanderling with a few dunlin and ringed plover here too.

The unusual sight of a black rabbit has been present in the country park for the last week or so. Although it hops back into the bushes if anyone gets too close, it's less timid than the other local rabbits. At least there's plenty of grass for it to eat and it seems to be surviving in the wild so far.

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