Monday, 4 November 2019


The exotic white-cheeked pintail was drawing attention to itself in the park's grazing fields on Monday. At least one bird has been present on and off for four weeks now, at times with a second bird although no sign of it today.

At least 200 wigeon were feeding in the park's fields with another 100 birds on the nearby saltmarsh. A male wigeon pictured here beside a female mallard.

The wigeon were feeding alongside 600 brent geese in the fields, 50 lapwing and 200 starlings up until something spooked them into the air, flushing the geese onto the mudflats.

Twenty black-tailed godwits were feeding along the edge of the grazing fields. Two stonechats were also seen along the edge of a field, later seen near the Point with a third stonechat. A chiffchaff was feeding in a bush by the dyke, another chiffchaff seen in the main part of the park. Two rock pipits, 5 reed buntings and ten skylarks were at the Point too. A mistle thrush was by the bus turning circle.

A flock of 400 knot rested on the mud near the Point, the first biggish flock of the winter recently arrived. Scattered across the mud too were 150 avocets with many other avocets seen in the distance. Upriver were ten great crested grebes off the Geedons.

Making the most of the sunny and calm conditions on Sunday 3rd and walked the seawall on the north side of the Island along the Pyefleet. Birds of note included green sandpiper, snipe, 100 avocets, 200+ knot, 1000+ dunlin, female red-breasted merganser, 2 great crested grebes, 50 teal, 70 wigeon, 4 marsh harriers, 2 common buzzards, sparrowhawk, five kestrels, 9 stonechats, 2 rock pipits, 50 linnets, 25 goldfinches and a fieldfare. A goldcrest was seen in Fishponds Wood.

A common seal rested on the floating pontoon in the Pyefleet channel and then slid back into the water when two other seals appeared.

Interested to discover a badger had wandered out onto the mud towards the Pyefleet, showing here the broad foot-print with the long claws at the front. One paw-print lies on top of the other, the rear one placed on the front paw-print.

At first the two trails across the mud looked like two animals but a closer look showed just one badger went out 40 metres across the soft mud and then came back to the saltmarsh.

Also at Maydays on Sunday were a pintail, 4 snipe and a kingfisher seen by Martin Cock. At the Youth Camp, Andy Field reported 2 stonechats, 2 rock pipits, 25 Mediterranean gulls and a common buzzard. Jonathan Norgate saw a great northern diver and a common scoter off West Mersea, with a second common scoter being seen later.
A firecrest was found by Martin in his West Mersea garden in The Coverts and a second firecrest was in the Firs Chase garden mid afternoon.

A brambling was reported in a garden in Whittaker Way on Saturday.

At least 100 redshank were along the Strood channel on Friday 1st.
Feeding in the fields were 500 brent geese, 100 lapwing, 300 starling, stonechat and 50 linnets. A late swallow flew casually along the seawall, feeding back and forwards over the fields as it drifted south-west, also a painted lady butterfly was notable for November.
A redwing, 15 blackbirds and a sparrowhawk were seen around Feldy View.

At East Mersea on Friday 1st at the end of the afternoon, Andy Field counted 16 marsh harriers at the Langenhoe roost, as well as a peregrine, merlin and two common buzzards, while a stonechat was on Reeveshall.

On Thursday 31st a peregrine crossed over the channel and headed over the Strood fields, swooping low towards some wood pigeons. A marsh harrier flew over Ray Island while upsetting some of the 100 wigeon and 70 teal on the saltmarsh. Twenty avocets fed along the channel while some of the 400 brent geese fed in the nearby field. Also a Mediterranean gull, 2 rock pipits, stonechat and a redpoll seen flying over.

In the warm conditions in the afternoon a common darter and a red admiral were seen in the Firs Chase garden.

At least one red squirrel has been seen most days stopping off to feed in the Firs Chase garden. The grey squirrel that has been seen on and off in the Firs Chase area since mid June was finally caught on Sunday.
A pipistrelle bat was hunting over the Firs Chase garden late afternoon on Monday.

This brick moth was one of eight moths in the trap on the evening of Sunday 3rd. Other moths included feathered thorn, yellow-line quaker, red-green carpet, large wainscot, Blair's shoulder knot and a diamond-back moth

No comments: