Friday, 4 November 2016


Four whooper swans made a very rare visit to Mersea on Wednesday 2nd, spending an hour or so on the sea between Coopers Beach and the Youth Camp. It has been a few years since whooper swan has been seen on the Island, the last sighting was from the Strood.

The whooper swan family of two adults and two juveniles were found late morning by Andy Field who took most of these photos. The yellow on the bills can just be seen on the two adult birds on the right of this picture.

The whooper swans looked a bit apprehensive whilst on the water and after a while they all began to shake their heads, and that was the sign to take to the air. They flew away towards the river Colne calling as they disappeared.

Later in the afternoon a family of four whooper swans was seen on the mud from the Fingringhoe nature reserve.

This red kite provided good views as it passed west over the Island on Wednesday morning. It was first seen passing over the park pond, then circling over the car park before heading towards the caravan sites. Andy managed to see the bird as it passed over the Rewsall fields where he managed to take this good photo before it headed north-west over the Vineyard. It appears this kite kept heading west off the Island as it was then seen flying over Old Hall marshes by Steve Grimwade later in the morning.

Other birds seen at the Youth Camp area were a grey wagtail flying west, a chiffchaff calling and a common buzzard over the fields.

This sanderling was photographed on the beach by the Youth Camp by Andy.
On the shingle island opposite Waldegraves four eider and 50 cormorants were gathered as the tide came in. A goldeneye and fifteen great crested grebes were on the sea.
Four common scoter were on the sea opposite the country park.
On the sea opposite Seaview a goldeneye was seen by Martin Cock on Wednesday.

The two day old newly-strimmed edge to the park pond proved too inviting for a water rail to resist with this individual seen on Wednesday morning enjoying a half hour out in the open in the sunshine. A second bird was heard calling from the reeds elsewhere on the pond, as did a Cetti's warbler.
Three siskin flew out of the alders calling and a chiffchaff was heard from willows.

The morning sunshine brought this little owl out to bask in the sun, in this garden about 150m north of the bird hide, from where this picture was taken. The little owl has often been heard calling in recent days from trees in this area.

A common buzzard flew over the cliff-top trees mewing as it drifted north-east over the park on Wednesday morning. It's the first time the distinctive call of a buzzard has been heard over the country park.

Amongst lots of wigeon scattered across the park's grazing fields, this female pintail was spotted landing on the edge of the fields. It looked a bit nervous and after a couple of minutes it was off - a typically short stay for a pintail.

The 2000 wigeon were tucking into the grass on the fields along with 400 brent geese, 70 greylag geese and the four white-fronted geese still present too.

At the Point a pair of stonechats was feeding among the seablite bushes and also dropping down onto the grassy area to feed, as this male was doing. Forty linnets and a rock pipit were also noted on the saltmarsh.
On the mud were 84 shelduck, 150 avocets and 5 bar-tailed godwits.

On Tuesday 1st, Martin reported seeing nine eider and a common scoter offshore from Seaview Avenue while in the Pyefleet three goldeneye were seen from Maydays. Also in this area 3 stonechat, 3 marsh harriers and 6 corn buntings here too.

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