Sunday, 14 January 2018


The sun broke through on Sunday 14th to make for a very pleasant day with no wind. I joined lots of people out enjoying the winter sunshine walking along Coast Road and on the beach at St Peters. The water was flat calm in the Mersea Quarters where a pair of red-breasted mergansers and ten little grebes were seen. Out in the Blackwater two great northern divers, 3 great crested grebes and a common seal were noted. Two bar-tailed godwits and 6 black-tailed godwits were seen along the edge of the mud while a marsh harrier flew over the Feldy marshes. At St Peters a rock pipit and 3 reed buntings were seen.
A goldcrest and 20 goldfinches were noted in trees at the Firs Chase garden on Sunday afternoon.

A great northern diver was a surprise bird in the Pyefleet Channel opposite Maydays farm on a dull Saturday 13th. I don't recall great northern diver ever being seen here previously.
Also along the channel were 6 red-breasted mergansers, great crested grebe and a little grebe.

As the tide was going out during the middle part of the day, 1000 dunlin, 70+ avocets were of note along with 300 wigeon and 200 teal
A peregrine stirred some of the waders beside Pewit Island before it perched on a fencepost on the Langenhoe marsh seawall. Three marsh harriers were flying around Langenhoe and one was also flying low over Reeveshall.

Three greylag geese were noted on Reeveshall, while 20 linnets, rock pipit and a fieldfare were at Maydays.

A woodcock was flushed and allowed to fly away during the pheasant shoot near Shop Lane on Saturday 13th.

On Friday 12th at Maydays a red kite was seen flying over Maydays by Martin Cock.
At the country park the water rail and little owl were seen near the park pond on Friday by Andy Field.

It was quite mild on Friday late morning along the Strood channel with the sun shining and little wind. Along the channel were 100 shelduck, 100 teal, 100 wigeon, 20 little grebes, 15 black-tailed godwits, one summer plumaged bar-tailed godwit and 2000 brent geese feeding on the Peldon side. A marsh harrier crossed from Ray Island and headed past the Strood reservoirs. A Mediterranean gull was seen near Strood Hill.

This male reed bunting was one of six seen along the dyke, with 10 skylarks and a rock pipit also seen. Two fieldfares and 20 blackbirds were feeding at an apple tree near the Firs Chase caravan site.

On Thursday 11th a common buzzard was in a field near Bocking Hall while at Bromans Lane 7 red-legged partridge were in a field.

There were 1000 wigeon feeding in the park's grazing fields on Wednesday 10th. Also 100 rooks were also pecking at the pasture in one of the fields. The water rail fed along the edge of the reeds at the park pond at the end of the day. On the mudflats beside the park 1000 golden plover roosted while 100+ avocets were feeding along the edge of both side of the Colne.

On Tuesday 9th a barn owl was hunting the side of the East Mersea road near Bocking Hall just after daybreak. Seven red-legged partridge were feeding in a field by Bromans Lane.

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