Thursday, 16 April 2020


One of the highlights of spring is seeing a smart male wheatear, such as this one on the beach at the far end of St Peters on Thursday 16th.

Despite the steady flow of folk along the beach, this wheatear stayed around to feed amongst the dinghies on the beach.
Nearby a great northern diver and a great crested grebe were feeding in Besom Fleet while 50+ brent geese were seen near Packing Shed and Cobmarsh Islands.

Three male blackcaps were singing from the bushes along the St Peters Meadow, while a pair of reed buntings was on the saltmarsh bushes. Two swallows flew over and a third bird earlier flew past the Dabchicks. A male marsh harrier was calling and displaying high above the Company Shed mid morning, a yellow wagtail flew over while a common tern and five black-tailed godwits were seen behind the Dabchicks.
A brimstone, peacock and two small tortoiseshells were seen at St Peters on Thursday.

Five great northern divers were seen offshore from the Esplanade on Thursday by Steve Entwistle. One great northern diver, eider and a whimbrel were seen from the West Mersea beach by Martin Cock on Thursday morning.

Jonathan Bustard reported on Thursday a green woodpecker and blackcap along East Road, while along the beach to Waldegraves were a sparrowhawk, swallow, little egret and on the sandbar 15 sanderling.

Along the Strood on Wednesday 15th a peregrine was watched making several low swoops over the water in the channel as if it was trying to flush a bird. The peregrine then swooped again down to the water and came back up with a silvery fish which it then flew away with to the Peldon side. Andy Field also watched events unfold from 150m socially distant along the seawall and we both agreed we'd never seen a peregrine catch fish from water before!

At least six buzzards were seen in the air, while a sedge warbler was singing from the reedbed, two swallows over the Strood fishing lakes and another over the fields and three whimbrel calling from the channel.
In the recently sown fields, a flock of 500+ wood pigeons were feeding and also 36 carrion crows.
Earlier Andy had seen the yellow wagtail on wires by Feldy View and a reed warbler in the dyke.

A female brambling announced its arrival in the Firs Chase back garden on Wednesday 15th by smacking into the window and needing several minutes to recover.

The brambling also made an appearance in the back garden on Thursday, flying into a window again, this time flying up to a tree to recover.
A goldcrest, blackcap and chiffchaff were singing in the garden on Thursday, as was the breeding pair of stock doves. A sparrowhawk glided over while 36 curlew in two flocks, whistled loudly to each other as they headed away on their migration north to their breeding grounds.

A pair of goldfinches has recently discovered the nyger seeds in the garden feeder.
Garden butterflies on Thursday included holly blue, orange-tip, small white, large white, peacock and comma.

A male corn bunting was singing from a bush along the Strood seawall on Wednesday 15th.

Three great northern divers were seen off the Esplanade by Steve Entwistle on Wednesday morning. A yellow wagtail was seen at the Youth Camp boating lake, also along the beach 15 turnstones, 20 oystercatchers, 18 redshank, whimbrel, two swallows, 4 blackcaps, sparrowhawk and a lesser whitethroat that called briefly from Cross Lane.
At Maydays a pair of sedge warbler, yellow wagtail, greenshank and a well marked adder on the seawall were seen on Wednesday by Martin Cock.
David Allen also reported seeing three great northern divers from the Esplanade on Wednesday afternoon, also whimbrel and ten sanderling.

A common whitethroat was singing from the ditch by the seawall on Tuesday 14th.
A peregrine was mobbing a buzzard that was with some prey in a field. Seven other buzzards were seen during the walk and two sparrowhawks too. At least 18 Mediterranean gulls flew over calling with one flock of ten birds seen flying up Strood channel. A pair of common terns were flying amongst the boat moorings.

Two sedge warblers, reed warbler and whitethroat were singing beside the seawall as was a corn bunting. Three yellow wagtails were watched while a cuckoo was heard calling from Ray Island.
Along the channel an avocet, twelve black-tailed godwits, whimbrel and twelve brent geese were seen. Fifty carrion crows were feeding on the recently sown fields.

Also on Tuesday two ravens were seen by Martin Cock at Maydays as they called and flew about on Langenhoe. No doubt there will be more sightings of ravens as they become more established across Essex.  Also at Maydays was a cuckoo, wheatear, yellow wagtail, sedge warbler, red-breasted merganser and two marsh harriers.
From the Esplanade on Tuesday three great northern divers and an eider were seen opposite Seaview Avenue by Steve Entwistle, later reporting 3 blackcaps and two chiffchaffs in Cross Lane. A kestrel was seen in Dawes Lane by Shaun Bater.

Two greenshanks were the highlights of a walk along the Strood seawall on Monday 13th, seen feeding along the water's edge. Other waders noted were 24 black-tailed godwits, eight grey plover, two dunlin, two avocet and a golden plover.
Three swallows flew over, whitethroat and reed warbler were heard singing while a pochard was diving in a pond, a buzzard flying over and 35 carrion crows in the fields.

Off West Mersea three great northern divers and two eider were seen by Steve Entwistle on Monday, also noting cuckoo calling at Waldegraves and 2 chiffchaffs at Cross Lane.

A speckled wood was seen beside the Feldy View field on Wednesday 15th.

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