Monday, 18 November 2019


The black brant was feeding at the West Mersea Hard around noon on Monday 18th, along with about 20 brent geese. This the third sighting of a black brant over the last few days in slightly differing areas, possibly involving two different birds.

A black brant was just offshore from Waldegraves caravan site on Saturday 17th, this bird showing the same pattern of dark streaks on the white flanks. The broad white neck collar seems the same on all three brants photographed.

The first black brant sighting was this bird in front of the Firs Chase caravan site on Friday 15th, showing more dark streaks on the white flanks than the other bird.

Also seen on Monday 18th during a walk along the Strood seawall were 180 wigeon, 140 teal, 24 little grebes, 12 avocet and a bar-tailed godwit. A marsh harrier was by the Strood causeway, common buzzard by Strood Hill and a second bird over Ray Island. Small birds included stonechat, 50 linnets, 2 rock pipits, 25 skylark and 10 reed buntings.

A new visitor to the Firs Chase garden feeder was this coal tit which was first seen on Friday 15th and again on Sunday and Monday. It made repeated visits to the peanuts and also to the black sunflowers, often with other tits.

Three of seven red-breasted mergansers in the Pyefleet Channel on Sunday 17th, were photographed here by Andy Field. A video clip by Andy of the mergansers displaying is at -;

Also seen along the Pyefleet seawall whilst carrying out the monthly WeBS count were 350 brent geese, with a further 1000 at the country park. Also 2 kingfishers, 2 stonechats, 2 rock pipits, 3 yellowhammers, one redwing, 500+ knot, 95 avocets, 160+ shelduck and two greenshank. On Langenhoe 10 marsh harriers, two common buzzards and ten fieldfares were noted on the ranges. At the country park 200 wigeon, 30+ black-tailed godwits and 2 greylag geese were on the fields while 5 bar-tailed godwits were near the Point. A little owl perched at the park pond at dusk and at least one water rail squealed from the reeds.

Five seals were seen along the Pyefleet and there was an interesting report on Sunday by two visitors to the Island of two possible Chinese water deer seen running across the large grass field at Reeveshall, disappearing into the reeds.

At West Mersea on Sunday, Moira Jackson saw 3 red-throated divers, peregrine and a Mediterranean gull.

A large flock of 105 sanderling were feeding on the Waldegraves beach just before high tide on Saturday 16th. One of the sanderling was colour ringed. A grey wagtail flew west along the beach.
Offshore from the Youth Camp were 35 common scoter, 50 great crested grebes, red-throated diver and 90 brent geese.
David Allen reported an Iceland Gull flying to the shingle island beyond Seaview Avenue on Friday, also great northern diver flying towards the Dabchicks, 40 sanderling, 15 turnstone, 20 great crested grebes and a Mediterranean gull.

The proposed boating lake at the Youth Camp is starting to fill up with water and on Saturday there were ten Mediterranean gulls and 25 ringed plovers seen here. Also roosting in the nearby flooded field were 45 redshank, 10 curlew, 5 little egrets, 2 teal and 20 mallard. A buzzard, sparrowhawk, 3 stonechats, rock pipit were also noted, while later 52 corn buntings perched on wires near Rewsalls Farm.

Several thousand knot were seen in the Pyefleet channel at Maydays on Saturday by Martin Cock.

On Thursday 14th a female common scoter was offshore from St Peters at West Mersea, also a reed bunting, skylark and two rock pipits were seen here too. Michael Thorley saw 2 red-legged partridge, 2 fieldfare and 10 long-tailed tits in his East Mersea garden on Thursday.

At the country park on Wednesday 13th, Andy Field reported 2 common scoter, stonechat, 12 sanderling at the Point while among the brent geese, 10% of the 600 brent geese were juveniles.

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