Tuesday, 20 April 2021

SINGING BLACKCAPS

There seemed to be a small influx of blackcaps to the edge of West Mersea on Tuesday 20th with eight birds being seen during towards the Strood seawall. Five males were heard singing with two in bushes by the seawall, two near Feldy View, also one singing near the Yacht Club. A couple of females were seen too, one pictured above.

Along the Strood were a common tern, whimbrel, two common buzzards in the air together, also three whitethroats, reed warbler, yellow wagtail and a willow warbler in Feldy View.

At Maydays on Tuesday two sedge warblers, two whitethroats, two Mediterranean gulls, three brown hares and a common seal were seen by Martin Cock. Steve Entwistle at Reeveshall reported a pair of avocets, pair of redshank, pair of oystercatchers, three swallows and six teal, while at Meeting Lane a blackcap and chiffchaff were seen.

On Monday 19th Martin Cock visited Maydays farm and reported seeing two yellow wagtails, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler, whitethroat, chiffchaff, three whimbrel, common tern, corn bunting, yellowhammer, marsh harrier and a buzzard.

A red kite was seen by the Strood on Monday afternoon by Steve Entwistle as it drifted eastwards but not seen again.
Earlier on Monday along the Strood seawall the reed warbler and whitethroat were singing, also two yellow wagtails seen, two whimbrels, two buzzards, two marsh harriers, four teal and an avocet were the main birds of interest. The Cetti's warbler was singing by the Strood reservoirs.

On Sunday 18th at Cudmore Grove, Steve Entwistle reported sedge warbler, eight pochard, pair of little grebe and tufted duck, two pairs of blackcap and four pairs of chiffchaff with a swallow seen perched on wires beside East Mersea road. Later near the Oyster Fishery a common tern, 38 black-tailed godwits, two avocets, 150 redshank, buzzard and a marsh harrier with two pairs seen on Langenhoe, whimbrel on Reeveshall. A red squirrel was seen in Fishponds Wood and a brimstone butterfly by the Shop Lane seawall. Martin Cock saw a whimbrel and green sandpiper at Reeveshall, a fieldfare in Shop Lane and a Cetti's warbler by the Oyster Fishery.

Along the Strood seawall on Sunday were a singing reed warbler, three swallows, yellow wagtail, two sparrowhawks over Ray Island and two corn buntings flew over Feldy View. Jonathan Bustard saw the first whitethroat by the Strood seawall on Sunday afternoon, later the Cetti's warbler was heard by the Strood reservoirs by Steve Entwistle also two swallows there too. 

The blackthorn bushes between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane were covered in blossom on Saturday 17th. Four peacock butterflies were on the wing in the sunshine but keeping out of the chilly easterly wind. Birds noted were two buzzards, sparrowhawk, great spotted woodpecker, three green woodpeckers heard, pair of yellowhammers, mistle thrush, two swallows, six chiffchaff and five blackcaps.

At Maydays on Saturday, Steve Entwistle saw a marsh harrier there and another three on Langenhoe, corn bunting, yellowhammer, green woodpecker and three male reed buntings.
Michael and Sarah Thorley reported two sedge warblers singing at the country park pond on Saturday.

A brood of eight mallard ducklings were swimming with their mother at Waldegraves caravan park on Friday 16th. Offshore two great northern divers and three eider were seen near the Cross Lane outflow. A buzzard was circling above, a pair of yellowhammers, yellow wagtail, two swallows and five blackcaps were noted between Cross Lane and the caravan park.
The little owl was perched near the front of the Youth Camp on Friday, while a mistle thrush seen there too, while at the boating lake five buzzards were in the air, a pair of greylag geese, two swallows and a pair of Mediterranean gulls were seen.

Also on Friday Martin Cock saw a whitethroat and Cetti's warbler between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane, while Steve Entwistle reported at West Mersea four singing blackcaps, one singing chiffchaff and a sparrowhawk in Reymead Wood area with later on two swallows by the Dabchicks.

A male blackcap was singing in the East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane of Michael Thorley on Thursday afternoon, seen with a female blackcap too.

At Cudmore Grove on Thursday, Andy Field reported the sedge warbler singing at the park pond as well as a blackcap mimicking a sedge warbler singing there too. Twenty Mediterranean gulls were feeding in a field near Bromans Lane.

Under grey skies along the Strood seawall on Thursday were a pair of common terns seen from the Hard, while along the channel were a bar-tailed godwit, two black-tailed godwits, two avocets, ringed plover, eight teal, two swallows, buzzard and sparrowhawk seen.
Shaun Bater earlier reported six avocets, swallow and a male marsh harrier along the Strood on Thursday.

A back of the camera picture from Steve Entwistle of two of the four brightly coloured yellow wagtails seen at the East Mersea boating lake on Thursday.

The regular female red squirrel visiting the Firs Chase garden feeder on Saturday 17th, has very noticeable teats which should hopefully mean there are some youngsters being fed somewhere nearby.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

BELATED BRANT

The black brant was seen again by the old jetty in front of the Firs Caravan park on Wednesday 14th. Most of the brent geese have already left with only about fifty being seen along the Strood channel

It was interesting comparing the blacker markings of the black brant alongside the lighter feathers of the pale-bellied brent goose and in turn both seen next to a dark-bellied brent goose.
At the back of the Strood fields on Wednesday were a yellow wagtail on the wires, five corn buntings on a bush and a buzzard perched nearby. A swallow was flying about near the Dabchicks sailing club.

Earlier on Wednesday two willow warblers were seen in Feldy View by Steve Entwistle who also saw a great northern diver on the sea from the Esplanade.
In the early evening at Maydays farm Steve reported a great white egret flying from the Strood direction towards Fingringhoe, a male marsh harrier putting up a short-eared owl and they had a go at each other before the owl dropped back into the ditch. A female marsh harrier was also seen, while a Chinese water deer was watched feeding out in the open showing well. 

Martin Cock walked between the Golfhouse and Reeveshall and reported the short-eared owl on Reeveshall, also two Canada geese and marsh harrier while a firecrest was in Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane. Also along the seawall were yellow wagtail, two Cetti's warblers, several blackcap and chiffchaff, a few swallows and the golden plover in the park's grazing fields.
Michael Thorley watched a buzzard over his house near Meeting Lane on Wednesday. 

A pair of shelduck was by the pond at the country park on Tuesday 13th with another thirteen on the grazing fields. Also at the pond were two singing sedge warblers, one of two Cetti's warblers singing, two pochard and three blackcaps singing along the horseride path.

Six buzzards were circling in the sky enjoying the sunny conditions, a sparrowhawk flew along the back of the fields, while the resident female kestrel sat in a tree keeping an eye on the nearby nestbox.
On the fields were 3 snipe, 12 lapwing, 70 teal, yellow wagtail and ten wigeon. Eight sand martins were flying over the cliff, while on the mud near the Point were 42 brent geese, four dunlin and a ringed plover. A pair of mistle thrushes and two swallows were near horse paddocks north of the park.

Later on Tuesday at the country park Steve Entwistle saw the golden plover, pair of Mediterranean gulls, a pair of chiffchaffs and a muntjac deer.
Two willow warblers were seen in Feldy View by Steve on Tuesday morning but there was no sign of the redstart seen the previous day.

A smart male common redstart was found in Feldy View in Monday 12th by Jonathan Bustard. It spent time feeding around the wooded area of the cemetery although flying to a different spot if someone walked nearby. It appeared to stay in view for a couple of hours before disappearing by mid afternoon and not seen again. It's not often a smart plumaged male redstart stop off on the Island in the spring.

Also by Feldy on Monday were a singing willow warbler, also a sparrowhawk and marsh harrier seen from here and a small tortoiseshell butterfly. Along the Strood seawall were two whimbrel, six common buzzards including one heading west over the West Mersea Hard, a marsh harrier over Ray Island, knot, ringed plover, 12 teal and six Mediterranean gulls. A marsh harrier was also seen flying north-east over Firs Chase being mobbed by local crows early evening.

At East Mersea on Monday morning Martin Cock reported eight chiffchaffs, six blackcaps, two Cetti's warblers, two golden plover and three swallows during a walk between Cudmore Grove and the Oyster Fishery, also two sedge warblers by the park pond.
A firecrest was reported in the East Mersea garden opposite the top of the Oyster Fishery track by David Bullock, who also reported seeing the barn owl nearby recently.

In Cross Lane on Monday morning a little owl was seen by Steve Entwistle, also pair of blackcaps, two chiffchaff singing, three singing song thrushes, goldfinch and three corn buntings along there.

There was a colourful copse at Waldegraves on Sunday 11th with the daffodils in flower.
Offshore were a great northern diver and 15 great crested grebes while a swallow flew past.

The sea was pouring in through the seawall breach during the high tide at Coopers Beach on Sunday 11th. Birds on the marshes were 100 redshank, 30 curlew, five little egrets, snipe with ten great crested grebes offshore. The little owl was at the Youth Camp, and a swallow, kestrel and buzzard were also seen.
A greenshank was seen by the Strood causeway on Sunday by Steve Entwistle.

Highlight of a walk along the Maydays seawall on Saturday 10th was watching a Chinese water deer walking slowly across the field. The Chinese water deer have only been on the Island for a year and half, with all sightings on the quieter north side of the Island.

Birds noted at Maydays on Saturday morning were two marsh harriers, buzzard, 20 shelduck, 70 redshank, three great crested grebes, three little egrets, three yellowhammers and four greylag geese.

A great white egret was seen by Steve Entwistle dropping into the saltmarsh at the bottom of the Strood Hill on Saturday afternoon. 
The black brant and pale-bellied brent goose along with nine dark-bellied brent geese were seen near the Dabchicks sailing club on Saturday morning by Andew Allen.

Friday, 9 April 2021

RUSTY RETURNS

The rusty-coloured male swallow was back again on Friday 9th near the Dabchicks sailing club where it nested last summer. It perched on wires above the nearby Company Shed as traffic and people passed beneath it. It was seen with another swallow on top of a yacht mast, also three other swallows seen by the Firs caravan park.

The black brant was feeding near the Firs Caravan park in the water over the saltmarsh during the high tide. Nearby were the pale-bellied brent and a dark-bellied brent goose all for close comparison.
Fifty dark-bellied brent were along the Strood channel and six Canada geese flew down channel during the morning.

High tide began covering the saltmarsh in front of the Firs caravan park. A fishing boat near the Dabchicks attracted the attention of 100 herring gulls. earlier at least three pairs of Mediterranean gulls were calling as they passed along the Strood. Two buzzards were seen over the caravan park, one drifting north-west off the island and the other heading north-east over the fields.
Also noted were a whimbrel calling as it flew off Ray Island, eight teal, great crested grebe, while on the fields were a ringed plover and four shelduck
A blackcap was singing in the Firs Chase garden on Friday, newly returned from Africa.

Later on Friday afternoon along the Strood Ian Black watched a male hen harrier flying west, also a male wheatear and a whimbrel.

On Friday at St Peters, Steve Entwistle watched a male wheatear perch on this dinghy on the beach before it flew over the water to Cobmarsh Island. A blackcap was singing in the bushes at St Peters.
Steve also saw the little owl at the Youth Camp, a whimbrel at Waldegraves and two flocks of 25 linnets, three corn buntings and two green woodpeckers between Cross Lane and the Youth Camp.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday two sedge warblers, five sand martins, several blackcaps, chiffchaff, three buzzards and four snipe were seen by Martin Cock.

At least one sedge warbler was seen singing at the park pond by Steve Entwistle on Thursday, also a pair of long-tailed tits nesting by the pond, a Cetti's warbler singing at the pond and another by the dyke, five snipe in the fields and two chiffchaffs in the park.

At Maydays on Thursday eight marsh harriers, four buzzards and two red-breasted mergansers were seen by Martin Cock.
Along the Strood seawall on Thursday were the great white egret again at the back pond, grey heron, three little egrets, great crested grebe, two ringed plovers in the field, two singing chiffchaffs and a pair of great spotted woodpeckers mating high up a tree by the caravan site.

On Wednesday 7th a redshank on the edge of the saltmarsh near the East Mersea Point was just starting to show the spotted underparts. Also near the Point were 105 brent geese, black-tailed godwit, four ringed plover, male reed bunting and in the river five great crested grebes.
In the grazing fields were 25 wigeon, 20 teal, four greylag geese, a gadwall and a snipe with the Cetti's warbler singing by the dyke.

Surprised to see two barn owls perched on the alder trees behind the park pond on Wednesday at ten o'clock in the morning. The owls were looking at the nearby barn owl box and after a couple of minutes the presumed female flew into it followed a couple of minutes later by the presumed male. They were not seen emerging over the next ten minutes at least, so hopefully they will settle down to nest in the box that was put up five years ago for them. This is the first time a barn owl has been seen going inside, although the pair of resident stock doves didn't look very happy at being evicted!

On the park pond were nine pochard, the kestrel was perched in a tree while two common buzzards were circling over Ivy Farm. Two chiffchaffs were singing in the park and an adder was basking in the morning sun near the car park.

At Maydays on Wednesday Steve Entwistle saw a short-eared owl hunting over Reeveshall, also male and female marsh harriers, buzzard, five linnets and a pair of yellowhammers.

siskin visited the feeders in the Firs Chase garden three times during Wednesday.

I helped to install some No Landing signs on Cobmarsh Island on Tuesday 6th to protect the beach nesting birds from public disturbance this coming season. Ringed plovers will hopefully nest safely and it would be nice if little terns chose the beach too.
Birds noted on Tuesday at high tide were 20 sanderling, bar-tailed godwit, two ringed plovers and fifty oystercatchers.

Later on Tuesday morning the great white egret was seen at the back of the Strood fields, also a marsh harrier flew up channel, three little egrets, grey heron, 170 redshank, three grey plover, twenty shelduck and 16 oystercatchers.

A pair of red squirrels has been very busy at the Firs Chase garden feeder, visiting several times a day recently. This regular female was heard running along the roof of the house, then coming down onto the back-lawn before scampering along the back fence early afternoon on Thursday 9th.

Recent nights have been a bit too cold for moth-trapping in the Firs Chase garden, although this twin-spotted quaker was the first of the year on Saturday 3rd.

Monday, 5 April 2021

EMPEROR DROPS BY

A large and strikingly-patterned female emperor moth dropped into the back garden moth trap in Firs Chase on the night of Wednesday 31st. Having previously trapped three individuals over the years at East Mersea, it's always been the highlight of mothing in the spring. I believe this is the first female emperor moth seen this year in Essex. 

Before the emperor moth was removed from the trap at 11.30 that night, it had laid 25 eggs which I've put inside a container and hope to rear up feeding the caterpillars on bramble leaves. On previous experience the eggs should hatch in about three weeks time and then the caterpillars need feeding for about seven weeks before they pupate. The moths emerge, hopefully next spring all going well.

On Monday 5th, apparently a white-tailed eagle was satellite tracked passing over the west side of Mersea Island - but sadly undetected by any observer on the ground! It headed south through Suffolk, Essex and Kent where it headed six kms out to sea before turning back at 3pm. The eagle G463 was a male from the Isle of Wight introduction project.

For an eagle-eyed observer, no eagles at Cudmore Grove on Monday although two little ringed plovers were seen feeding in the grazing fields early afternoon before disappearing. Both birds were feeding on the short grass and most of the times were out in the open rather than beside the water's edge among the rushes. They switched grazing fields and were last seen in the field nearest the Golfhouse. This is the first time a pair of little ringed plovers has stopped off on the Island in spring and although there have been a handful of previous sightings on the island, most have been in late summer rather than spring.

Birds of note on the fields were a golden plover, 20 wigeon, 150 brent geese, 12 shoveler and ten lapwings with a Cetti's warbler singing by the dyke. Later a black-tailed godwit and snipe were seen by Steve Entwistle and a yellow wagtail was seen by Shaun Bater.

Seven golden plover and a lapwing were in a field at Reeveshall on Friday while in the Pyefleet were two avocets, four dunlin and 100 redshank. while also in the area were two marsh harriers, 15 teal and a little egret.

Sunny but a chilly breeze on Sunday 4th during a walk along the Maydays seawall. Nothing much happened for the first hour and then plenty of interest. A sedge warbler was seen singing in this thick bramble bush beside the Maydays dyke - the same bush where one was present last year. Three swallows flew fast and north over fields and to the mainland, as did a yellow wagtail and a sand martin. A corn bunting was singing by the seawall and a chiffchaff was singing by Haycocks farm.

The sunshine brought a few birds of prey into the air with a red kite seen flying about on Langenhoe and a merlin was watched trying several times to chase down a small bird there too. At least five marsh harriers and five common buzzards were seen, some on Maydays / Reeveshall as well as Langenhoe. In the Pyefleet were a red-breasted merganser and great crested grebe and 145 shelduck.

Along the Strood seawall on Sunday, Andy Field watched the great white egret being chased around by the grey heron, a peregrine and a few distant buzzards and marsh harriers.
Ian Black saw a red kite flying west over the High Street on Sunday, while in Cross Lane a blackcap, chiffchaff and a willow warbler were noted by Shaun Bater.

At Cudmore Grove Steve Entwistle reported on Sunday the Cetti's warbler, two chiffchaffs, two blackcaps, while at the pond were two greylag geese and two male pochard.

A chiffchaff that has become a regular recently to Jonathan Bustard's garden was photographed on Saturday.

Another photo of the chiffchaff in Jonathan's garden in the Chatsworth area of West Mersea. It could be the same bird that has been overwintering in local gardens as one was recorded on 31st January in a neighbour's garden.
Later on Saturday Jonathan reported seeing the great white egret by the Strood channel standing in the middle of the field.

At East Mersea on Saturday the little owl was seen perched on trees at the front of the Youth Camp, while on the Rewsalls marshes were three little egrets and a pair of shelduck. At the country park Steve Entwistle had good views of the Cetti's warbler, also a chiffchaff there too but no sound of the sedge warbler that had been heard the day before there.
Eight sanderling were by the beach off Cross Lane, ten great crested grebes offshore and a blackcap was singing at St Peters.

A greenfinch was photographed in Michael Thorley's East Mersea garden.

This robin was also photographed in Michael's garden.

On Friday 2nd two great white egrets were seen in flight, one heading over to the pond at the back of the Strood fields and the other down the Ray Channel and over to Feldy marshes. Two avocets, ten grey plover, 23 shelduck, six teal, three knot and 150 redshank were along the channel while a buzzard put up three snipe feeding on a grass field. A sparrowhawk circled over the houses.

At the country park two sedge warblers were heard singing on Friday morning by Martin Cock but no sign in the afternoon. Steve Entwistle heard the Cetti's warbler and chiffchaff by the pond, also ten pochard, two little grebe pairs and three pairs of shoveler. Near the Point were 36 turnstone, 25 ringed plover, four sanderling, dunlin and in the river a great crested grebe. A pair of avocets was on the saltmarsh pools.

A female kestrel perched on the side of the East Mersea church on Thursday 1st.
A walk down to Coopers Beach produced a red-throated diver offshore while on the nearby Rewsalls marshes were a knot, 55 golden plover, four little egrets, shelduck pair, buzzard and also 12 linnets.

Andy Field reported from a visit to Cudmore Grove on Thursday a house martin with four sand martins, swallow, singing sedge warbler by the pond, a male wheatear in the fields, yellowhammer and a pair of Canada geese. Also there were a couple of singing blackcaps, three chiffchaffs, ten pochard, a little owl calling near the pond, female kestrel near its nestbox and also three marsh harriers over Langenhoe Point.
Michael Thorley saw a black-tailed godwit and 120 brent geese in the park fields, also hearing the Cetti's warbler and a chiffchaff on Thursday morning.

Two buzzards were seen over West Mersea on Thursday morning - two together over the avenues drifting north-east, one was also reported by Shaun Bater over Estuary park where a sparrowhawk was seen narrowly missing a collared dove. A siskin flew over the Firs Chase garden calling on Thursday morning.

A kestrel looked rather poorly in Charlotte Cock's garden near The Lane and not having the strength to fly. This is probably the same bird that frequented the nearby Strood fields and Feldy View over recent weeks. 

The kestrel was taken to a nearby falconer to be fed and cared for, here having a dead chick to eat.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

STROOD KESTREL

A male kestrel was perched on a bush beside the Strood seawall on Wednesday 31st.
A pair of buzzards was also perched on bushes at the back of the Strood fields, while another buzzard was being mobbed by a black-headed gull while perched on Ray Island.
Two great white egrets flew slowly up the Ray Channel and appeared to drop down behind the trees on Ray Island. Three little egrets were seen in various locations from the seawall.

Birds noted along the Strood channel included 15 teal, 120 redshank, 20 curlew, five grey plover, golden plover, twelve shelduck and a little grebe

Hearing the song of a yellowhammer was a nice sound for the Strood seawall. The bird had been perching beside the male kestrel, before both flew off with the yellowhammer dropping down into the nearby field, pictured above facing away. Six linnets, three reed buntings and a meadow pipit were also seen.

Later in the day a swallow was seen flying over Coast Road near the Dabchicks and continued flying round into the early evening. A whimbrel was heard calling as it flew high over West Mersea by Ian Black in late afternoon. A chiffchaff was heard singing in Cross Lane by Shaun Bater.

At Cudmore Grove on Wednesday morning, Martin Cock heard the sedge warbler by the pond, three distant presumed sand martins, also two blackcaps, four chiffchaffs, three Cetti's warblers singing, one showed well near the Oyster Fishery, two avocets on the Golfhouse saltmarsh pools.

In the afternoon at Cudmore Grove, Steve Entwistle recorded 200 turnstones, 50 ringed plover, a sanderling, 80 redshank, 100 oystercatchers on the mud, two pairs of avocets on the Golfhouse pools, two pairs of pochard, pair of tufted duck and little grebe pair on the dyke and a buzzard perched by the park pond.

An empty country park beach on a sunny Tuesday 30th greeted the first three sand martins back to the Island for the summer. The birds were flying back and forwards across the beach over to the cliff to check out potential nest holes. Also newly arrived was a sedge warbler singing at the side of the park pond but not revealing itself. Later in the morning a short-eared owl was seen briefly flying over the grass field behind the pond. A blackcap was seen by the park entrance and nine pochard and two greylag geese were on the pond.

On the grazing fields were ten lapwing, five snipe, 70 teal, ten wigeon while some of the 400 brent geese were in the fields and others on the saltmarsh as was a pale-bellied brent goose. Three Cetti's warblers were singing and in the river four red-breasted mergansers and five great crested grebes were noted.

Along the footpath from Meeting Lane to Shop Lane, Michael Thorley reported on Tuesday two chiffchaffs seen and three heard, sparrowhawk, grey partridge, long-tailed tit pair, skylarks and a great spotted woodpecker drumming in Gyants Marsh. Steve Entwistle also had a chiffchaff in Meeting Lane, while at Coopers Beach 15 greenfinches and six linnets were seen and then later at the park saw two sand martins, blackcap and a red squirrel near the entrance.
A chiffchaff was seen by Jonathan Bustard in his garden in the Chatsworth area of West Mersea on Tuesday.

The first swallow on the Island was seen by Jonathan Bustard over Feldy View early afternoon on Monday 30th. It was also reported by Kevin Payne that he saw two house martins over the Strood reservoirs on Monday.
A great white egret flew onto the pond at the back of the Strood fields on Monday morning. Seven golden plover were in the fields, while along the channel were two avocets, 22 shelduck, 25 teal and two knot. A chiffchaff was singing in Feldy View and another one nearby.

At Maydays on Monday a short-eared owl and barn owl were seen flying about in late afternoon by Steve Entwistle, also there were ten corn buntings, three pairs of reed buntings, buzzard, kestrel, three mute swans, 20 linnets and two pairs of lesser black-backed gulls.
At the nearby Reeveshall / Shop Lane area Andy Field noted seven marsh harriers, 3 buzzards, singing chiffchaffs and blackcap and lots of skylarks.
Martin Cock reported three chiffchaffs, blackcap, Cetti's warbler, two buzzards and two mistle thrushes between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane.

Brimstone butterflies were reported by Andy near Shop Lane, Martin saw two between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane, Steve saw one in his Empress Drive garden and Nicola saw one in her Fairhaven garden. A slow-worm was in the Firs Chase garden.

A flock of 400 brent geese was grazing a field at Reeveshall on Sunday 28th. Also seen were five marsh harriers, two buzzards, eight greylags, 30 curlew, four lapwing and 36 teal. A large number of herring gulls were in the Pyefleet with 150 seen on Pewit Island with a further 150 flying around the eastern end of the channel, Two red-breasted mergansers and five great crested grebes were in the Pyefleet.
In Shop Lane a chiffchaff and blackcap were singing and a pair of red-legged partridge was in a field.

Steve Entwistle saw ten pied wagtails by the beach huts at West Mersea on Sunday morning.

A female siskin made a couple of visits to the Firs Chase garden feeder on Saturday 27th, also the female blackcap still overwintering and visiting the feeder.

A male siskin was sadly found by Roger Munday under the window of his house in Cross Lane on Saturday. Nearby a buzzard was seen over the Estuary Park garden by Shaun Bater, while a Mediterranean gull was heard calling over Andy Field's High Street garden, being picked up by his trail-camera.

At Coopers Beach 70 curlew, three little egrets and ten redshank and two teal were on the marshes on Saturday just after midday. Earlier Michael Thorley watched a buzzard being mobbed by a gull, a cormorant in the dyke and three linnets.
The great white egret was seen at the back of the Strood fields on Saturday by Steve Entwistle.

A little egret was stalking the edge of the Strood dyke on Friday 26th, two others were also seen in the area. Along the Strood seawall were a marsh harrier, buzzard, 14 golden plover, five ringed plover and reed bunting.
Ian Black reported a large female sparrowhawk with a wood pigeon in his Mersea Avenue garden and also two Mediterranean gulls passing over.

The first wheatear onto the Island was found by Martin Cock in the country park grazing fields on Friday morning. Also at the park were 12 pochard, and singing Cetti's warbler and chiffchaff.

One of two red squirrels that are regular visitors to the feeder in the Firs Chase garden, this male seen on Monday 29th, also a female is being seen too.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

FELDY BLACK RED

A female black redstart was found in the Feldy View cemetery on Thursday 25th by Andy Field. This picture was taken by Michael Thorley.

Another of Michael's pictures of the black redstart, perched on one of the wooden plaques in the cemetery. The bird seemed to like feeding on the fresh soil turned over for the recent burials. It was quite flighty and at one point flew 100m away and landed on the roof of a nearby house, but returned a short while later.

Andy Field took this photo of the black redstart earlier in the morning and quite a few of the local birdwatchers descended on the place to watch the bird. It wasn't seen the next day sadly.

The great white egret was also photographed by Andy Field feeding at the pond at the back of the Strood fields on Thursday morning.

A turnstone was feeding along the front of the Coopers Beach caravan park at high tide on Thursday morning.

A small flock of about thirty turnstones was roosting on the Coopers beach seawall on Thursday, waiting for the tide to fall, as were five dunlin while a pair of ringed plover was on the small beach in front of the clubhouse.
On the nearby Rewsalls marshes during high tide were 7 little egrets, 75 curlew, 100 brent geese while three great crested grebes were offshore.
A pair of grey partridge was seen in a rape crop behind the East Mersea boating lake on Thursday by Martin Cock. Later a walk along the path between Shop Lane and Meeting lane by Martin produced a Cetti's warbler and a brimstone butterfly.

On Wednesday 24th along the Strood were the great white egret back again on the pond at the back of the fields, also two little egrets seen along the seawall walk, two buzzards together near the Strood Hill and 36 golden plover roosting in the field. Along the Strood channel were 195 redshank, 12 shelduck, 80 brent geese and ten teal, while fifty herring gulls were flying above a fishing boat in the Quarters.

In East Mersea on Wednesday morning Martin Cock reported thee Cetti's warblers between Cudmore Grove and the Oyster Fishery, two chiffchaffs and a firecrest by the old bird-hide, also a marsh harrier and a red squirrel by the Oyster Fishery.

The black brant was showing nicely on Tuesday 23rd in the country park grazing field near the Golfhouse, along with 800 brent geese. Also in the fields were 400 wigeon, 70 teal, 8 lapwing, 3 snipe, and two greylag geese. High over the Golfhouse drifted a red kite heading northwest along the back of the island and buzzard was seen briefly too. 
A firecrest was watched feeding in trees by the bird-hide at the park and a chiffchaff was singing by the horseride. On the pond were five pochard while in the river Colne were six red-breasted mergansers and four great crested grebes. Three ringed plovers were on the mud close to the beach.

Along the Strood on Tuesday, Martin Cock watched two great white egrets appear, one landing briefly in the borrowdyke while the other one continued on.
Shaun Bater reported a male sparrowhawk in his Estuary park garden on Tuesday.

A red chestnut was one of fifteen moths caught in the garden moth trap on Tuesday night. Also common quaker, clouded drab, chestnut and hebrew character were recorded. On Thursday night two oak beauties, early grey, common quaker and small quaker were among the nineteen moths caught.