Friday, 31 December 2021



Festive Greetings to everyone.
A red admiral butterfly was enjoying the end of year warmth in Cross Lane on New Year's Eve, seen during a walk around West Mersea.
Fifty sanderling were feeding on the mudflats opposite the end of Cross Lane.

Amongst a small group of ten dark-bellied brent geese at the West Mersea Hard on Friday 31st, was this confiding pale-bellied brent goose that was preening itself on the edge of the mud close to the car park.

The regular black brant - front left, was also on the Hard on Friday with a small group of eight dark-bellied brent geese
The black brant was also seen here at the Hard yesterday Thursday by Martin Cock.

The female blackcap was seen in the Firs Chase garden on Friday morning. A mistle thrush was in the poplar trees with the mistletoe clumps at the topside of the Firs Caravan park, also a red squirrel along the folly footpath scrambling amongst the ivy at head height.

At Maydays farm the velvet scoter was seen by Martin Cock on Friday for its third day in the Pyefleet channel, also seen were 13 red-breasted mergansers, five marsh harriers and two buzzards.

 Richard Brown took these three pictures of the velvet scoter in the Pyefleet Channel on Thursday 30th, the sun coming out briefly late morning on an otherwise cloudy day.

The velvet scoter appears to be a first winter bird showing two white patches on the face.
This is the first record of a velvet scoter in the Pyefleet and providing reasonable views, as most previous records have been distant ones looking out to sea, such as the four seen earlier this year in the outer Colne.

The distinctive white wing-bar of the velvet scoter showed when the bird flapped its wings and was also partially visible when the wing was folded. The bird was diving regularly and was seen to feed on a crab at one point. It was feeding with a group of six red-breasted mergansers - another group of five red-breasted mergansers were further down the channel.

Also in the Pyefleet were 50 avocets, 100 knot, 500 dunlin, 400 lapwing, two Mediterranean gull and two great crested grebes.

As well as enjoying the sight of a rainbow over the Maydays marshes on Thursday morning, of greater interest for Richard Brown were two great white egrets on the Bower Hall saltmarsh. Later one great white egret flew onto Reeveshall landing on the field briefly before dropping into the nearby Broad Fleet.

A male hen harrier was seen flying along the Reeveshall and Maydays seawall, later being seen by Steve Entwistle over a game cover crop. Also three marsh harriers over Reeveshall and Maydays, a buzzard, sparrowhawk and five red-legged partridge near Haycocks Lane.

Richard saw two stonechats in a field beside the Shop Lane seawall on Thursday.

The tide was going out during the morning of Wednesday 29th along the Strood channel with lots of waders and wildfowl including this redshank feeding on the mud. Birds of interest noted were 300 teal, 150 wigeon, 90 shelduck, 70 avocets, 200 lapwing with six golden plover

A great northern diver was a nice find, feeding among the boat moorings behind the Dabchicks sailing club, opposite the old wooden jetty. A great crested grebe and ten little grebes also among the moorings.

A little egret was watching the water pour out of the Strood seawall sluice on Wednesday, two others were feeding along the dyke inside the seawall. The stonechat, 12 meadow pipits and three reed buntings were also along the dyke. A buzzard perched on a hedge and a sparrowhawk was seen on three occasions, possibly different birds.

In Firs Chase a sparrowhawk and 20 goldfinches passed over the garden and a red squirrel visited the feeder on Wednesday.

The velvet scoter was found in the Pyefleet on Wednesday afternoon by Martin Cock from Maydays, also 12 red-breasted mergansers.

Richard Brown took this picture of a great northern diver - one of five seen on Christmas Eve while out on his son's boat.

Also photographed by Richard from his son's boat was this red-throated diver - one of three seen just off West Mersea.

At Maydays on Friday 24th Steve Entwistle reported four corn buntings, two redwings, four red-legged partridges while later from the Victoria Esplanade were a great northern diver and 15 great crested grebes in the heavy mist.

From the Victoria Esplanade on Thursday 23rd, Andy Field reported six great northern divers, two Slavonian grebes, two red-throated divers, two Mediterranean gulls, ten red-breasted mergansers, three sanderling and two bar-tailed godwits.
The black brant was seen off the Esplanade by Jonathan Norgate.

At East Mersea on Thursday Steve Entwistle on a visit to the Golfhouse saw and heard the water rail in the horse paddock by the track, also a pair of stonechat near the seawall and a green woodpecker.

On Wednesday 22nd Martin Cock and Steve Entwistle reported seeing at Maydays a yellowhammer, four corn buntings, 20 fieldfare, four redwing, two song thrushes, six buzzards, marsh harrier, eight linnet and two skylark.
In the afternoon at the country park Steve saw a goldcrest with eight long-tailed tits and then 23 sanderling on the shore.

Tuesday, 21 December 2021



The black brant was feeding close inshore in the Strood channel behind the Dabchicks sailing club on a dull Tuesday 21st. Also beside it were a pale-bellied brent goose and a dozen dark-bellied brent geese. The main flock of 400+ brent geese were feeding on the Feldy Marshes on the Peldon side.

The tide was rising during the morning, covering most of the mudflats by mid-day with this redshank feeding close to the seawall. Also along the channel were 60 shelduck, 44 avocets, 12 black-tailed godwits and four Mediterranean gulls. A marsh harrier disturbed lots of waders and wildfowl as it flew over Ray Island.

Two dunlin were some of the last waders along the Strood mud by the seawall on Tuesday. In the fields inside the seawall were a passing sparrowhawk, a buzzard, stonechat, 40 linnets and 15 pied wagtails and four meadow pipits. A mistle thrush was perched beside clumps of mistletoe high in the poplar trees at the top of the Firs Caravan park - for the second day running.

At Coopers Beach on Tuesday, Steve Entwistle saw a Slavonian grebe offshore and two snipe on the nearby Rewsalls marshes.

Marsh Stitchman saw 21 red-breasted mergansers flying out of the Colne on the ebb tide on Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday 20th, there were five Mediterranean gulls along the Strood channel, two pictured here.
A peregrine raced across the maize stubble field and chased after some wood pigeons before continuing on its way. Two buzzards perched on nearby hedgerows and two marsh harrier passed along the Strood channel, while a sparrowhawk flew over the caravan site.

Also seen from the seawall were the stonechat, 40 linnets, 20 avocets, 20 black-tailed godwits and the main flock of 700 brent geese on the Peldon side.

A stock dove was singing from the poplar trees by the Firs Caravan park on Monday, also a mistle thrush perched near the clumps of mistletoe. A female blackcap was at the feeder in the Firs Chase garden.

Offshore from the Esplanade Steve Entwistle and Martin Cock saw four great northern divers, four red-throated divers, eight red breasted mergansers, a peregrine on Bradwell power station, a shag and a Mediterranean gull. Later at Maydays farm, Steve reported the little owl, three avocets, pair of red-breasted mergansers, 30 knot and 200 dunlin.

Birds of note seen by Andy Field at East Mersea on Monday while doing the WeBS count were two Slavonian grebes and two red-throated divers offshore from the country park, seven sanderling, three water rails - one seen between Ivy Dock and the Oyster Fishery, also 11 red-breasted mergansers.

Conditions were foggy on Sunday 19th during a walk along the north side of the island from Shop Lane to the Strood channel. Here at Maydays during a brief easing of the fog, 50 reed buntings were in the game crop and dyke, also 18 fieldfare and four redwing here.

Over Reeveshall a male hen harrier was close enough to recognise through the fog, as it flew low westwards across the fields. In the Pyefleet an immature male eider was feeding with a dozen red-breasted mergansers, while nine shoveler flew overhead. High tide was covering the mud and the only wader flocks of note were 100 black-tailed godwits and a floating raft of 100 avocets in the Reeveshall bay while 140 golden plover were feeding in a grass pasture.

The black brant was feeding by the West Mersea hard on Sunday, while along the Strood channel were 50 knot, five Mediterranean gulls, a bar-tailed godwit while in the fields were two buzzards, stonechat and 500 starlings.

On a misty morning at Maydays on Saturday 18th, there were 12 red-breasted mergansers, four great crested grebes, 11 avocets, seen along the Pyefleet channel. Around the fields were a marsh harrier, 80 golden plover, two calling Cetti's warblers, two stonechats, two song thrushes, four redwing and five fieldfares.
The first song thrush heard singing in the Firs Chase garden this winter was on Saturday morning.

Steve Grimwade reported seeing on Saturday the black brant by the Hard, 3 red-throated divers, 2 great northern divers, 2 red-breasted mergansers, Mediterranean gull and a sanderling from the Esplanade.

Ashley Gooding leading a Suffolk Bird Group visit to Mersea on Saturday, reported 190 brent geese, 42 oystercatchers, 48 sanderling, 2 Mediterranean gulls at Waldegraves, 6 shoveler, 170 wigeon and 8 teal near Golfhouse saltmarsh, 26 ringed plover, 73 curlew, 14 redshank, little egret, 36 wigeon at Coopers Beach, while from the Esplanade were two great northern divers and at East Mersea Point was a red-throated diver and 40 knot.

At East Mersea Point on Friday 17th there was no sign of any snow buntings, although this skylark was feeding in the same area where the buntings had been feeding the week before.
Also noted in the area were ten sanderling, bar-tailed godwit, 15 ringed plover, 20 knot, while 70 avocets flew over the river and five snipe flew over the saltmarsh. Thirty shoveler, 200 wigeon and fifty teal were around the saltmarsh area while six gadwall were on the park pond.

Four water rails were noted, one seen in a ditch along from the bird hide, another two calling in that area while another one scuttled back to the hedge in the Golfhouse horse paddock. 

The herd of redpoll cows continue to graze down the thick vegetation on the park's grazing fields. A pair of stonechat was still present in the field, 250 starlings were also seen, while in the park were a calling Cetti's warbler, two goldcrests feeding with a flock of 15 long-tailed tits and a song thrush singing in the car park.

The Blackwater was calm on Thursday 16th which helped with looking for birds on the river. A distant razorbill had been seen in the middle of the Blackwater by Colin Mackenzie-Grieve from Old Hall marshes. Martin Cock and I thought we might've seen the bird but it was too distant to confirm. 
Two guillemots, two great northern divers, two red-throated divers, two red-breasted mergansers, 25 great crested grebes were on the river, while three goosanders flying past the Esplanade was a bonus with a nicely marked male leading the trio. Two lesser redpolls flew west along the Esplanade, a grey heron and Mediterranean gull were also noted while 70 ringed plovers roosted on Cobmarsh Island.

From Cross Lane a red-throated diver, great northern diver was offshore, five Mediterranean gulls, 30 sanderling were on the mud. In the nearby fields were a buzzard, 40 chaffinches and three song thrushes.

A blackcap was reported in the previous week by Trevor Hearn seen among the flowers of his mahonia bush in his West Mersea garden.

Wednesday, 15 December 2021


A fox appeared to be making off with some sort of sausage-shaped snack near Cross Lane on Wednesday 15th. It disappeared over the ditch and into some nearby scrub.

The fox must have found the snack on the field currently being developed for housing between Cross Lane and Seaview Avenue. The picture snapped through the tall wire-mesh Heras fencing.

A great northern diver, red-throated diver and red-breasted merganser were offshore from the end of Cross Lane on Wednesday. A flock of 15 greenfinch was in Waldegraves caravan park with three song thrushes in a field behind.

A small flock of fifty brent geese was feeding in a wheat field to the east of Waldegraves caravan park on Wednesday. A black brant was feeding with 40 brent geese on the shingle island offshore at high tide. Later about 400 geese flew onto a wheat field to the west of the East Mersea vineyard.
Also on the island were 30 Mediterranean gulls and 70 sanderling.

On the Rewsalls side lake to the boating lake on Wednesday were a greenshank, bar-tailed godwit, black-tailed godwit, 30 dunlin, 18 little grebes. A kingfisher flashed along the old borrowdyke while 50 linnets, rock pipit and meadow pipit were seen. A red-throated diver and 20 great crested grebes were on the sea.

At Blue Row among a flock of 200 chaffinches feeding in a sunflower stubble field was a brambling. Two red-legged partridges and a buzzard were also seen by the farm track to Bower Hall.

Andy Field, Steve Entwistle and Martin Cock noted offshore from St Peters / Esplanade on Wednesday a guillemot, a possible razorbill though too distant to be sure, two great northern divers, 3 red-throated divers and three red-breasted mergansers.

On Tuesday 14th a visit to Coopers Beach to look at the old Rewsalls marshes at high tide revealed 52 curlew, 50 redshank, 2 snipe, 3 little egrets, 20 linnets, rock pipit, two reed buntings and a sparrowhawk that made several passes over the area in an hour. Offshore were two red-throated divers and 20 great crested grebes. A Cetti's warbler was singing beside the Coopers football pitch - although not sure what team it was supporting! Two buzzards perched in a hedge behind the marshes.

Two siskins flew over Shop Lane calling on Tuesday afternoon, there was a kestrel hovering over a nearby grass field while a buzzard perched by the East Mersea Road at Weir Farm.

From the Esplanade a shag was seen perched on the Nass Beacon by Martin Cock.

David Ambrose visited East Mersea on Tuesday and noted four brent geese, mistle thrush eating mistletoe berries, eight teal, 45 wigeon, 120 avocets, 2 cormorants, 30 dunlin and 2 black-tailed godwits.

At the end of Tuesday afternoon Martin looking from the Shop Lane seawall counted twenty marsh harriers at the Langenhoe roost while a male hen harrier flew close-by within forty metres and watched for five minutes. However it was not seen going into the roost though.

On Monday 10th there was a good variety of waders along the Strood channel during the low tide with this turnstone seen flicking over the seaweed looking for food. Other waders of note included 50 avocets, 25 black-tailed godwit, a single bar-tailed godwit, 100 lapwings, also 400 brent geese, 12 greylag geese over Copt Hall, 200 teal, 150 wigeon, six Mediterranean gulls and 10 little grebes

A little egret waited beside the outflow of the Strood seawall sluice. A great white egret was seen flying over the Ray saltings seemingly having flown over the Strood road, it passed over Ray Island and continued southwest to Copt Hall where it dropped down.

Two buzzards were seen over the Strood fields, also the stonechat, a singing Cetti's warbler while two mistle thrushes landed in trees near the Firs Caravan park.

At Maydays farm on Monday, Martin Cock reported three buzzards, two marsh harriers, peregrine, five pintail and a Cetti's warbler. Offshore from West Mersea there was a shag seen.

Liz Huxley reported on Monday seeing the black brant, great northern diver and a Mediterranean gull from West Mersea.

A lone brent goose was feeding on the saltmarsh beside the Reeveshall seawall on Sunday 12th. Along the Pyefleet channel were 12 red-breasted mergansers, 300 knot, 30 avocets, five pintail and 100 black-tailed godwits. A merlin perched on a fencepost on Reeveshall before flying fast over to Langenhoe, while a peregrine made a brief stop-off in the middle of a Reeveshall field. A total of ten marsh harriers were flying about over Langenhoe and also Reeveshall / Maydays.

Two corn buntings were perched at Reeveshall with one singing, three more at Maydays and a sixth bird beside the Bower Hall seawall. Also here were 30 fieldfares, 20 linnets and ten chaffinches, while thirty linnets were by Shop Lane, and a further twenty by the Strood. Along the Strood were 200 teal, 100 wigeon, ten little grebes and a Cetti's warbler singing in the reeds.

At West Mersea two shags and two great northern divers were seen offshore by Martin Cock on Sunday afternoon. Oliver Cottis also saw a shag, great northern diver, four red-breasted mergansers, 50 brent geese, 3 great crested grebes while along the Strood were a marsh harrier, rock pipit and a little egret.
Eight Canada geese flew over Steve Entwistle's West Mersea house on Sunday morning.
A red admiral butterfly was a surprise sight for Adrian Amos when it flew over his West Mersea garden during the brief sunny periods on Sunday morning.

Two snow buntings were seen at East Mersea Point by Moira Jackson on Sunday just after mid-day.

Andy Field photographed two snow buntings at East Mersea Point on Saturday 11th, also there a red-throated diver, common scoter, 7 red-breasted mergansers and a goldeneye offshore. A stonechat and a goldcrest were seen at the country park.

Offshore from Seaview Avenue at West Mersea on Saturday Neil Murphy saw the razorbill in the Blackwater, two guillemots, five great northern divers, red-throated diver, 20 great crested grebes, 20 sanderling, 12 Mediterranean gulls and eight red-breasted mergansers. A shag was seen near the Nass Beacon by Martin Cock in the morning.

At Maydays farm on Saturday, the game cover crop and surrounding area beside the seawall was holding 100 chaffinches, brambling, five corn buntings, song thrush, four redwing, thirty fieldfare, thirty reed buntings, stonechat and two Cetti's warblers.

A great white egret was seen feeding on the Maydays / Bower Hall saltmarsh with a little egret nearby as a good size comparison. A peregrine flew over the Pyefleet then chased a wood pigeon over Maydays, six marsh harriers and five buzzards were seen, while in the Pyefleet were 9 pintail, two red-breasted mergansers, 90 avocets, 150 shelduck, 200 knot, 40 black-tailed godwits and 220 lapwings on Reeveshall.

There was a good view on Saturday morning of a Chinese Water Deer sprinting across the big grass expanse of Reeveshall from the ditch by the seawall to the cover of the Broad Fleet reedbed. Having watched it through the telescope sprint across the field, the action was replayed when a second Chinese Water deer also sprinted over to Broad Fleet. 

On Friday 10th a sparrowhawk and a grey heron flew over the Mersea school.

A young hedgehog found in Empress Avenue by David Morris on December 6th was looked after and given food to help it put on some weight but sadly it died a week later. There have been many reports nationally of young underweight hedgehogs being found and in need of feeding up so they can survive the winter.

Thursday, 9 December 2021


The number of snow buntings feeding at the East Mersea Point beach on Thursday 9th had increased to three, up from the single one seen last Sunday.   

The three snow buntings were feeding among the dried-out strandline where their markings blend in well with the old seaweed, plant debris, shingle and sand. The birds were only visible when they moved and made just one short flight flashing the white in their wings before settling back down again.

A flock of fifty brent geese were grazing in the Golfhouse horse paddock along with three black-tailed godwits. On the nearby grazing fields three stonechats, ten goldfinches, 12 skylarks, song thrush, kestrel and a passing sparrowhawk flying low over the grassland were seen.

On the nearby Golfhouse pools, 200 wigeon, 50 teal, 24 shoveler, 20 black-tailed godwits and a snipe were noted while on nearby mud were ten avocets, 100 dunlin and 15 ringed plover.

Half a dozen wigeon and five shoveler were feeding along the park dyke on Thursday.

Seven siskin flew over the pond and landed on top of the tall willow for a only a minute or so before flying off east. On the pond were five gadwall, 20 mallard along with a few wigeon, teal and a calling water rail. A Cetti's warbler was calling from a bush near the hide and a fox was sunning itself in the field.
A mistle thrush was seen by one of the horse paddocks to the north of the park.
A tawny owl was in Manwood Grove, a buzzard by the roadside near Weir Farm and a kestrel by the Fox Pub.

Off West Mersea on Thursday afternoon Andy Field saw three great northern divers drifting out of the Blackwater past St Peters with a fourth one further out, also a red-throated diver off Seaview Avenue and eleven Mediterranean gulls off St Peters.

Liz Huxley reported from her visit to West Mersea on Thursday a red-breasted merganser, 8 little grebes, 12 great crested grebes, 7 avocets, Mediterranean gull, red-throated diver, great northern diver - possibly two, kestrel, ten skylarks, rock pipit and a corn bunting.

There was plenty of mud on show during a very low tide along the Strood Channel on Wednesday 8th, resulting in very little water along the full length and all boats on moorings left high and dry. There was no sign of the black-throated diver seen the previous day, maybe displaced elsewhere because of the low tide.

Good numbers of duck along the bottom of the channel with 300 wigeon and 250 teal, while 74 shelduck on the nearby mud and 700 brent geese feeding in the fields on Feldy marsh. Also 48 avocets, 100 golden plover, two marsh harriers, four rock pipits, ten linnets, ten skylarks were noted.

At Cudmore Grove a marsh harrier was seen flying over the grazing fields by Martin Cock on Wednesday morning.

A female blackcap was seen in the Firs Chase garden on Wednesday 8th - a fortnight after a male was also seen here.

Several Mediterranean gulls have been along the Strood channel, some feeding on the mud, some having a rest before going back onto the nearby fields. There were 14 on Wednesday, 24 on Tuesday 7th and ten on Monday 6th.

The regular stonechat has been favouring the same section of Strood seawall and nearby section of dyke on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The black-throated diver was still present in the Strood channel near the top end of the boat moorings on Tuesday 7th, also two great crested grebes nearby for company. Along the channel were 48 avocets, 50 grey plover and fifty black-tailed godwits as well as 24 Mediterranean gulls along the water's edge.

A peregrine flew over the Strood fields scattering the wood pigeons off the maize stubble field and having flown away, returned an hour later to have another fly at the birds on the same field just below the West Mersea houses. Two marsh harriers and two buzzards were also seen while a flock of 25 goldfinches was feeding in an alder tree at the entrance to the Firs Caravan park.

A peregrine was seen at Maydays on Tuesday by Martin Cock.

On Monday 6th the black-throated diver was feeding by the last of the boat moorings in the Strood channel, also 400 brent geese, 200 wigeon, 150 teal, 40 avocets, 50 black-tailed godwits and 400 dunlin. Three marsh harriers and two buzzards were noted, 20 linnets were feeding beside the seawall and a song thrush was by the seawall near the caravan park.

Sunday, 5 December 2021


A nicely marked snow bunting was feeding on the top of the beach at the East Mersea Point on Sunday 5th. This bird was first seen on Thursday by Martin Cock, so now present for its fourth day.

The snow bunting flew around a couple of times but came back to the same sort of area at the far end of the Point. Luckily the poor weather on Sunday meant there was less disturbance from walkers and dogs.

Also seen at the Point on Sunday afternoon were 20 sanderling, 36 bar-tailed godwits flying into the Colne, 300 wigeon and 12 shoveler. There was a good variety of waders and wildfowl in the Golfhouse paddock during the high tide including 100+ black-tailed godwits. A stonechat was present in one of the park's grazing fields, sharing the field with the recently introduced herd of redpoll cattle.

Walking the seawall back to Shop Lane late on Sunday afternoon a check of the gathering harriers at the roost on Langenhoe revealed the nice sight of a male hen harrier flying low north-west along the seawall there at 3.25pm. Also at least ten marsh harriers were already gathered there an hour before dark.

A small flock of black-tailed godwits with a few redshank waited on the Reeveshall saltmarsh for the tide to drop on Sunday afternoon. Nearby a flock of 80+ avocets appeared to be waiting for the mud to show by sitting on the water. Later a flock of 300 knot was feeding on mud near Ivy Dock while in the Pyefleet were 9 red-breasted mergansers.

A flock of 300 redshank and 100 dunlin roosting on the Reeveshall pool during Sunday's high tide was one of the larger wader roosts seen here for some time. On the Reeveshall field were 400 golden plover and 100 lapwing, also a small flock of 20 greenfinches seen feeding at the back of the pool.
A pair of stonechat was still present by the Shop Lane seawall and a water rail called from the dyke. A brambling was heard calling over Fishponds wood, a song thrush was seen in Shop Lane and a muntjac deer strolled past the wood.

A mistle thrush perched on roadside wires at Weir Farm in East Mersea on Sunday and a buzzard perched beside Bocking Hall.

High tide covered the saltmarsh on Saturday 4th during a walk along the Maydays and Reeveshall seawalls. A male hen harrier was one of the highlights, watching it fly low over the Maydays saltmarsh as it headed west, before it dropped down for a rest. There were three sightings during the walk of two short-eared owls - one flying high over Langenhoe and a couple of views of one on Reeveshall with the latter bird seemingly being territorial with deliberate wing-beats and a brief wing-clap too. Six marsh harriers were seen, most of them on Langenhoe.

Seven pintail were at the top end of Langenhoe creek with another female flying off the small bay at Reeveshall. In the Pyefleet were ten red-breasted mergansers, 150 avocets, a snipe, 150 teal and two great crested grebes. On Reeveshall fields were 200 golden plover, 100 lapwing, 50 curlew and 16 black-tailed godwits. Four fieldfare could be seen perched on bushes on Langenhoe.

At Maydays two brambling were seen flying over calling, also 100 chaffinches, 30 reed buntings, 30 linnets, Cetti's warbler, two redwing and a pair of stonechat.

At West Mersea Andy Field did well to find a razorbill from the Esplanade on Saturday morning, the bird being seen a short while later off St Peters by Andy. It was difficult to keep track of as it was diving under so often, also the wind picked up producing more waves. The razorbill was later seen from Old Hall by Colin Mackenzie Grieve flying from just off the Mersea Quarters to just off Tollesbury Wick. 
This is the first razorbill record for the Island since 1986.

Andy also saw offshore a guillemot, two great northern divers, two red-throated divers and a shag, while
a great northern diver was seen off the Esplanade by Steve Entwistle on Saturday afternoon.

A black brant and pale-bellied brent goose was seen by Sean Nixon in the Strood Channel on Saturday.

Offshore from the bottom of Cross Lane on Friday 3rd was a red-throated diver, twelve great crested grebes, twenty sanderling, ten Mediterranean gulls and a bar-tailed godwit. In bushes nearby were twenty blackbirds, two song thrushes and also four yellowhammers that had been feeding in a field.

At the Rewsalls marshes on Friday a female merlin appeared low over the flooded old fields carrying a small bird which he then proceeded to eat in a neighbouring field. It sat in the field for some time, spending most of that time just looking around, whilst standing on what may've been a dunlin or something similar.

Also on the marshes during the high tide two greenshanks were seen, one seen flying away to the north-west, the other roosting on the marsh until the merlin flew over. Other birds here were 50 curlew, 90 black-tailed godwits, 100 dunlin, 15 little grebes and 500 brent geese dropping in between feeds on the wheat fields. In bushes nearby were two redwing, two song thrushes, twenty blackbirds and 25 house sparrows.

From the Esplanade on Friday morning Steve Entwistle saw a great northern diver drifting then flying west and a black-throated diver flying west towards Tollesbury.
At Maydays farm Martin Cock reported on Friday three buzzards, five marsh harriers, ten red-breasted mergansers, and a Chinese Water Deer.

A male kestrel was enjoying the morning sunshine out of the northerly breeze, on the tower of the East Mersea church on Thursday 2nd. A female kestrel was seen perched in wires along the track to the west of the church and a buzzard perched in a hedge by Rewsalls farm. 

There was a nice variety of waders and wildfowl on the old Rewsalls marshes beside the East Mersea boating lake during the high tide on Thursday morning. Some of those noted included 700 brent geese, 50 black-tailed godwits, greenshank, 100 golden plover, 25 Mediterranean gulls, 15 little grebes and twenty ringed plover. Also noted were 40 linnets, Cetti's warbler, four reed buntings and 30 house sparrows.

On the beach by the boating lake were 48 sanderling and a couple of turnstones on Thursday while offshore was a red-throated diver and a couple of great crested grebes.

At East Mersea Point a snow bunting was found feeding on the beach on Thursday morning by Martin Cock, also a pair of stonechat and three rock pipits near there.
Later at the West Mersea Esplanade Martin watched an unidentified skua, maybe a Pomarine or Arctic skua flying in the Blackwater before circling high and back out east again.

On Wednesday 1st there was a red-throated diver seen offshore from Kingsland Road, also a great northern diver and two great crested grebes off St Peters. On Cobmarsh at high tide were 60 oystercatchers and 12 sanderling while on St Peters marsh were two little egrets, two rock pipits and two reed buntings.
Later on Wednesday a great northern diver was seen offshore from the Esplanade by Steve Entwistle.

Liz Huxley saw the black-throated diver in the Strood channel on Wednesday morning, also 500 brent geese, 40 avocets, six little grebes as well as 300+ cormorants leaving the estuary heading north to Abberton.

At Maydays a redwing and 100 chaffinch were the only things of note seen by Martin Cock on a windy Wednesday. Later Steve Entwistle saw six red-legged partridge in Haycocks Lane.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021


At Cudmore Grove country park on Tuesday 30th two pairs of shoveler were on the borrowdyke with another dozen on the saltmarsh pools by the Point, along with 70 wigeon there. On the nearby mud as the tide receded waders of interest were 150 knot, 100 dunlin, 30 ringed plover, four avocets also a Mediterranean gull. A sparrowhawk flew over the saltmarsh, a rock pipit called nearby, two male stonechats and a Cetti's warbler were in the grazing fields and 12 great crested grebes were in the Colne.

A new information board with Richard Allen's excellent bird illustrations has been placed in the new bird hide at the park to help identify the wildfowl on the nearby pond.
On Tuesday the main ducks on the park pond were ten mallard and 25 teal.

At Maydays on Tuesday Martin Cock reported a peregrine, five marsh harriers, six red-breasted mergansers, a great northern diver in the Pyefleet, stonechat, rock pipit and seven corn buntings.

A male sparrowhawk has been a regular visitor to the Firs Chase garden recently, here staring at one of the bird feeders.

After about ten minutes of waiting, the sparrowhawk flew off to the neighbours across the road.
Earlier a goldcrest was seen in bushes in the garden feeding with a mixed tit flock.

Along the Strood seawall on Monday 28th good numbers of duck were resting along the channel with 250 wigeon and 350 teal counted. Also ten Mediterranean gulls, 40 avocets and 70 black-tailed godwits along the channel while a stonechat and ten linnets were on the fields.

In the Pyefleet at Maydays on Monday a great northern diver, female goldeneye, seven marsh harriers, six red-breasted mergansers and a tufted duck were seen by Martin Cock.

A chilly but sunny walk on Sunday 28th along the north side of the Island provided views of lots of waders gathering on the mud after the tide dropped. Here at the top end of the Pyefleet near Bower Hall farm, there was a marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, ten black-tailed godwits, fifty teal and 20 linnets of note. At Reeveshall a short-eared owl was flushed off the seawall, as it sheltered from the cold northerly wind. 

Along the Pyefleet was a great northern diver, ten red-breasted mergansers, 80 avocets, 100 golden plover while at Maydays were two stonechats, yellowhammer and 20 reed buntings. The black-throated diver was still in the Strood channel, also here were 200 dunlin, 300 golden plover, a marsh harrier while a noisy flock of 1000 brent geese flew off the fields on the Peldon side.

The highlight of a walk along the Maydays and Reeveshall seawall on Saturday 27th was a ringtail hen harrier flying low eastwards over the fields, also five marsh harriers, most on Langenhoe. In the Pyefleet were ten red-breasted mergansers, 190 shelduck, 3 greylag geese, 145 avocets, 300 golden plover and nine knot. In the fields were 100 chaffinches, ten corn buntings, 30 reed buntings, two stonechats and fifty linnets. A big flock of 2000+ wood pigeons was seen in the air over Shop Lane having flown up from the maize stubble near there.

The black-throated diver was still present on Friday 26th in the Strood channel near the last of the boat moorings, seen by Martin Cock.

The female stonechat was seen still feeding along the Strood seawall on Thursday 25th.

The big excitement on Thursday for some lucky few was the sight of a white stork flying over the heads of four observers including Steve Entwistle and Trevor Hearn. The bird appeared to have come from the Strood Hill direction flying north-west over the seawall towards Copt Hall. It is assumed this is the same bird that has been seen in the Stanway and Abberton reservoirs for the last few weeks. 
By chance Neil Mortimer also managed to see the white stork from his Strood Close garden near the Firs Chase caravan park late morning, as it was being mobbed by gulls and crows.
This is the first record of white stork on the Island. 

The black-throated diver was still feeding among the boat moorings in the Strood channel on Thursday. Also in the channel were 400 wigeon, 300 teal, 45 avocets, 500 golden plover, two ringed plover while two marsh harriers, sparrowhawk and three grey herons were seen too. In the fields were 500 wood pigeons, 300 starlings, 50 linnets, 20 skylarks and three reed buntings

Three corn buntings were also seen by Steve Entwistle along the Strood seawall, and later from the Bower Hall seawall he saw ten grey partridges and at Maydays seven red-legged partridges, redwing and meadow pipit were reported.

The appearance of the December moth in the trap in Firs Chase garden on Wednesday 24th, is probably the last moth of the year to be recorded here, caught on the 78th night of trapping this year.