Friday, 4 December 2020


A kestrel was perched above the path beside the Firs Chase caravan park on a chilly Friday 4th.

Feldy View cemetery had a covering of snow on Friday morning. A green woodpecker was on a nearby telegraph pole.

Along the Strood seawall a green sandpiper called as it flew into one of the field ditches, a pair of stonechats was feeding among the reedmace in the dyke, the female tufted duck was present for third day in the dyke, a male marsh harrier hunted along the reedbed and a buzzard was hovering over the seawall. A pale-bellied brent goose was feeding with 400 brent geese on the Strood Hill wheat field and six red-legged partridges was seen too.

Along the Strood channel as the tide was coming back in, 30 avocets, 100+ knot, 500 dunlin and 400 golden plover were some of the waders noted.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday morning Andy Field saw the purple sandpiper and four sanderling at the East Mersea Point, also two greylag geese on the fields.
Martin Cock reported seeing at Maydays on Friday a green sandpiper, two marsh harriers and a buzzard.

The black brant was photographed by Michael Thorley on Thursday 3rd beside the West Mersea Hard.

The black brant was seen at mid-day by Michael in the company of a dozen dark-bellied brent geese.

Another of Michael's pictures of the black brant - presumed to be the same bird as in recent winters that has fed close to the Hard car park.

Also on Thursday along the Strood channel were 60 shelduck, 30 avocet, 150 knot and 600 brent geese. The bearded tit was heard calling from the reedbed along the Strood seawall, also a pair stonechats and a tufted duck along the dyke. A marsh harrier was flying over the Feldy seawall and the regular kestrel by the Firs caravan park.
On Wednesday 2nd this pale-bellied brent goose had been feeding in the Strood wheat field with 500 dark-bellied brent geese. Four marsh harriers were watched flying individually over the Ray Island saltmarsh heading south-west. A buzzard was perched by the Strood fields and another buzzard was perched on the Peldon seawall. Also in the Strood fields were 30 skylarks, three stonechats and a rock pipit noted nearby too. In the channel were 16 avocets, 300 golden plover, 70 knot, while a tufted duck was in the dyke.

At Maydays on Wednesday a scaup was seen by Martin Cock, flying down the Pyefleet Channel, also a male pintail swam across the channel into a group of wigeon. The kingfisher was seen by the Maydays sluice.
Michael Thorley reported seeing from the Esplanade on Wednesday- two great northern divers, four red-breasted mergansers and a great crested grebe.

Two snow buntings were feeding at East Mersea Point on Tuesday 1st - these two pictures taken by Andy Field. These are presumed to be the same birds that were found the previous afternoon, although the smart male didn't stay a second day.

The two snow buntings were quite flighty and would take to the air for a fly-around if the nearby group of turnstones and sanderling had a fly-around. Twelve sanderling, two stonechats, three reed buntings and a rock pipit were also seen at the Point. A male red-breasted merganser flew into the Colne.

Feeding in the park's grazing field on Tuesday were 1000+ wigeon along with some of the 600+ brent geese that were here and near Ivy Farm. A peregrine scattered all the birds on this grazing field and came out of the sun hurtling passed Andy and myself on the seawall, as it flew low and fast into the mass of waders roosting on the Golfhouse pools, where it snatched a dunlin. It then flew into the grazing field carrying its prey and landed for a few minutes but had to move on when the crows started hassling it.
Also in the area were a buzzard over the back of the fields, while at the park pond were six little egrets 70 teal, 24 shoveler and four gadwall. A snipe flew off the Golfhouse saltmarsh calling, 20+ knot and a bar-tailed godwit were noted among the wader roost of redshank, dunlin, grey plover and turnstones.

Earlier on Tuesday morning a merlin was seen chasing a skylark out over the river by Martin Cock and also two red-breasted mergansers were seen too.
A red squirrel was seen feeding in the roadside verge on the East Mersea road near Meeting Lane on Tuesday afternoon.

A kestrel has recently started perching above the garden in Firs Chase - this one pictured from my front door on Wednesday. The sparrowhawk made a fleeting appearance on Thursday in rapid pursuit of a squawking blackbird. A chiffchaff passed through with a tit flock on Wednesday 2nd.

A hedgehog curled up in the Firs Chase back garden after being discovered late Wednesday evening by the dog!

A large white caterpillars are still feeding into the start of December on the cabbage plants in the garden. At least 60 caterpillars were still feeding on the plant with another fifty tucked up on the nearby wall of the house.

The cabbage plants spent most of the summer and early autumn untouched by any sort of bug - up until November when the large white caterpillars started getting hungry and completely stripping some of the big leaves! A few large white butterflies were last seen flying around the garden in mid October.

No comments: