Tuesday, 30 January 2018


Three green woodpeckers and a fieldfare were feeding in a horse paddock near the east end of the East Mersea road on Monday 29th. A pair of mistle thrushes nearby were in trees with lots of clumps of mistletoe.

An avocet seemed to be practising early for the breeding season, sitting on one of the saltmarsh islands near the Golfhouse, where several pairs usually try and nest each late spring. Also on these pools on Monday were 25+ shoveler, with 1000 dunlin on the nearby mud. A stonechat was by the Golfhouse, a female kingfisher flew up and down the dyke by the Oyster Fishery and two rock pipits were on the saltmarsh. In the Colne 10 red-breasted mergansers were seen and a marsh harrier was on Langenhoe Point.

The song thrush in the Firs Chase garden has been in full song at dawn since the turn of the year. A female blackcap was an unexpected sight in the garden on Monday 29th, checking out the various ivy clumps. Also in the garden were 6 greenfinches and a goldcrest. A goldcrest made a rare appearance in Andy Field's garden in High St North on Sunday.

A red squirrel visited the garden feeder in Firs Chase in the morning of Monday 30th.

The red squirrel visits have not been every day through this winter period, maybe just two or three times a week.

A bit of early morning upside down stretching on the tree on Friday 26th needs a good grip on the tree with those back feet!

Visited the north-west corner of the Island for the change between the Strood and Maydays Farm on a sunny Sunday 28th. At the top of the Pyefleet channel were a scattering of redshank, shelduck and grey plover. Two common seals were resting on the saltmarsh. A common buzzard flew up channel and another one by Haycocks Lane. Two marsh harriers were hunting Reeveshall, one over Bower Hall and one on Langenhoe. Eighteen greylag geese were feeding on Reeveshall.

Two flock of fieldfares were seen -70 at Maydays and 150 near the Strood, while a redwing, 12 yellowhammers, 10 goldfinch, 20 chaffinch, 30 linnets, 2 grey partridge and a kingfisher were at Maydays Farm.

Two walks were taken along the Strood seawall over the weekend, a pair of stonechat was the highlight on Saturday 27th, also 15 little grebes, 2 red-breasted mergansers and four black-tailed godwits.

The glossy ibis on Ray Island was the highlight on Friday 26th. As it was feeding on the saltmarsh a fox walked past it, the ibis took to the air calling anxiously, it then circled above the fox a couple of times before settling back down again. Later the glossy ibis flew onto the mainland side and landed behind the seawall near the Feldy marsh.

Two female marsh harriers flew over the Ray saltmarsh, 3000 brent geese rose into the air on the Peldon side, 4 Canada geese flew past the Ray and a pair of pochard flew down channel. Along the Strood channel 200 wigeon, 100 teal, Mediterranean gull, 25 little grebes, and the only wader of interest were three black-tailed godwits. Two grey herons, 2 little egrets, rock pipit and four reed buntings were also noted while 6 red-breasted mergansers were seen from the Hard.

A distant common buzzard was photographed nearly 350 yards away by Michael Thorley from his garden near Meeting Lane on 12th January.

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