Monday, 7 November 2016


Wrapped up warm and headed out along the Strood seawall on a sunny Monday 7th but with a strong cold wind blowing from the north-east. After fifteen minutes of sitting down behind the seawall out of the wind, staring at a weedy section of field near the Strood Hill, the distinctive call of a Lapland bunting was heard as it called in flight. The "ticky-ticky-tew" call was heard several times within a few minutes and at least one Lapland bunting was seen as it flew over the field. 

Martin Cock and Andy Field soon arrived on the scene with perfect timing as two Lapland buntings were located feeding with a few skylarks on the recently cultivated arable field. The birds were about forty metres into the field although they kept disappearing from view at times into dips or behind clods.
It's been a few years since Lapland buntings were last seen in this area. In early 2011 there was a flock of up to 42 birds which spent a few weeks here in a weedy field alongside the Strood.

Other birds noted over and in the fields were stonechat, 20+ skylark, 10 reed bunting, 5 meadow pipit, 30 linnet, rock pipit, kestrel, snipe, 3 little egret, 200 golden plover and 100 lapwing.

Birds along the Strood channel included 100+ redshank, one pictured above, 100 knot, 5 bar-tailed godwit, 100 brent geese, 50 wigeon, 200 dunlin, goldeneye and 20 little grebes. A kingfisher flew along the edge of the saltmarsh in front of the caravan site.
A common buzzard was being mobbed by crows as it flew over Ray Island.
Five Mediterranean gulls were seen by the Strood fishing lakes by Andy and Martin.

At East Mersea Point on Monday morning, the two snow buntings were reported by Martin Cock and also two stonechats and four white-fronted geese seen in the fields.

This starling was discovered stuck inside the fat-ball feeder in Andy's garden in High St North. The bird was only freed after the wire was cut and apart from a few worn feathers, flew off unharmed.

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