Sunday, 8 December 2013


The fields inside the Strood seawall have been recovering from being inundated with seawater during the surge tide early on Friday morning. The picture above shows the wettest area on Saturday morning, 24 hours after the water came over the seawall. The high tide-line in the fields appeared to have been almost 200 metres in from the seawall in places.

The sluice under the seawall was in full spate as the flood-water rushed back out to sea. Most of the flood-water had dropped down to a normal level by Sunday morning.

Big heaps of debris of wood, litter, seaweed and saltmarsh plants lie along the seawall top indicating where the high tide reached. Along some sections the water has flowed down the inside of the seawall.

On Sunday a great northern diver was an unusual sight in the Strood Channel up from the Dabchicks Sailing Club. It drifted in with the morning tide and kept company with some of the 26 little grebes. A flight of 30 cormorants passed overhead back to Abberton from their fishing trip out to sea.There was no sign of the long-tailed duck that had been in this area for several days up to last weekend.
A common seal was amongst the moorings not far from the jetty at the Hard.

A ruff was taking advantage of the flooded field on Sunday along with 25 black-tailed godwits, 50 redshank, 20 dunlin, 5 curlew, 2 snipe, 5 little egrets, 2 mute swans, 50 black-headed gulls and a flock of 200 starlings.
There were more small birds in the area than usual, again feeding on the recently wet areas with 20 meadow pipits, 5 rock pipits, 20 skylarks, 10 pied wagtails and 10 reed buntings noted.

Along the Strood the main flocks were 1000 golden plover, 300 lapwing, 500+ mixed wigeon and teal with 20 knot of interest while 700 brent geese were on the Peldon fields. A marsh harrier flew over the Ray Saltings and over the Strood causeway on Sunday.
The previous morning a marsh harrier was quartering the waterlogged Strood fields and dropped inside one of the reedbeds in the dyke for ten minutes. It clattered out of the reeds with its big wing-beats as I walked along the seawall to where it was resting, providing a close-up view of a startled harrier.

Daryl Rhymes noted mainly from Kingsland Beach on Sunday morning black-throated diver, 2 great northern divers, long-tailed duck, Slavonian grebe, black-necked grebe, 25 great crested grebe and 3 red-breasted mergansers.

I didn't count how many earthworms were lying drowned/ poisoned in this puddle of seawater in Coast Road but all along the coastline were masses of dead worms that got flooded out by the surge tide.

Martin Cock reported seeing a muntjac deer near the West Mersea allotments earlier in the week.

1 comment:

Carrie Graul said...

Hi Dougal,

I work for the Washington State Department of Ecology (USA) and I was wondering if I could use your photo of the dead earthworms for an article I'm writing? It would help me demonstrate a point I'm trying to make regarding high pH values. Please let me know if I can use your photo. You can contact me at

Carrie Graul