Thursday, 16 September 2021

REWSALLS MARSHES

At the lake and the Rewsalls marshes on Thursday 16th for the high tide roost were a common sandpiper, 200 golden plover, and 20 little egrets. Offshore a couple of Sandwich terns flew past, also 20 common terns while on the shingle island off Waldegraves were 350 herring gulls and 50 ringed plovers. Fifteen Mediterranean gulls roosted with the black-headed gulls in two fields next to the Youth Camp.

Two wheatears were feeding along the collapsed seawall in front of the Youth Camp on Thursday. A south-westerly passage took place during the morning with 80+ meadow pipits, 100 swallows and ten house martins noted. On the marshes were thirty linnets, four buzzards came in off the sea heading north and another buzzard circling high near the East Mersea church. A chiffchaff and four lesser whitethroats were feeding in some of the bushes by the marshes.

At Cudmore Grove in the early evening on Thursday, Steve Entwistle reported seeing the first brent geese back for the winter with three on the east side of the Colne. Also two Sandwich terns on the mud, 40 turnstones, three knot, 30 dunlin, two bar-tailed godwits, great crested grebe, 23 lapwings and three grey plover.

A clouded yellow was seen on the East Mersea seawall on Thursday by Angela Buckley.

A green woodpecker was photographed by Michael Thorley in his East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane on Thursday.

A hummingbird hawk-moth was also photographed by Michael in his garden.

The hummingbird hawkmoth hovering in front of the flowers to feed.

A female common darter seen egg-laying at Michael's pond.

In the Firs Chase garden on Thursday, this small toadlet had a lucky escape from the lawn-mower as the long grass on the lawn had its first cut for three months.

A colour ringed Mediterranean gull was seen along the Strood channel on Wednesday and photographed by Andy Field. Five other Med gulls were seen along the channel.

A close-up of the Mediterranean gull's ring shows the number - we're waiting to hear where it was ringed.

Walking the Strood seawall with Andy on Wednesday morning, birds noted included a peregrine low over the fields and then over the houses, seven buzzards, a whinchat, wheatear, six yellow wagtails, Cetti's warbler, 100 linnets, five meadow pipits, fifty swallows with two sand martins.

Along the Strood channel were 150 black-tailed godwits, two greenshank, four ringed plover, 25 grey plover and two common terns.

A large hairy fox moth caterpillar was marching across the path on the top of the Strood seawall on Wednesday.

At Maydays on Wednesday Martin Cock noted three greenshank, whinchat, kingfisher, two Sandwich terns, 14 grey herons, four meadow pipits, yellow wagtail, whitethroat, 120 curlew, five buzzards, two sparrowhawks and a marsh harrier.

On Tuesday 14th along the Strood seawall were seen a buzzard, greenshank, five golden plover, 30 grey plover, 100 linnets, 1000 starlings, 70 black-tailed godwits, three mute swans, three common terns. Twenty house martins were still flying over the houses at Wellhouse.
A red squirrel was reported being seen near the entrance to the Firs Road cemetery.

At East Mersea on Tuesday morning, two yellow wagtails, whitethroat, two Cetti's warbler, wheatear, 12 Sandwich terns and forty house martins were seen by Martin Cock between Cudmore Grove and the Golfhouse.

A wing-tagged marsh harrier was photographed by Richard Brown on Langenhoe ranges and he's since found out that this is a female bird ringed on 14th June 2021 at its nest in Norfolk at Wild Ken Hill, along two male siblings. This is the first sighting of her away from her natal area. One of her brothers was seen at Trimley Marshes in Suffolk on 20th August 2021.

Earlier on Monday 13th, the osprey was seen fishing in the river Colne near Langenhoe Point. It was also reported by Liz Huxley who was watching from Brightlingsea. A curlew sandpiper was seen on the mud near Ivy Dock by Martin, also 12 knot, 15 bar-tailed godwits and 12 Sandwich terns.

Steve Entwistle visited Reeveshall on Monday afternoon and noted four marsh harriers, sparrowhawk, little tern, Sandwich tern, two mute swans, 30 swallows and a chiffchaff in Fishponds Wood.

In Firs Chase on Monday afternoon a buzzard passed over the garden mewing, while a willow warbler was calling in a birch tree. Also 12 red admirals and a comma butterfly feeding on the ivy flowers.

A very young muntjac deer was seen by the Potifars in their Shop Lane garden on Wednesday 15th and was thought to have been born between the 9th and the 15th September. The second year running a young muntjac was thought to have been born in their garden

Sunday, 12 September 2021

BUZZARD PASSAGE

Common buzzards were on the move over Mersea Island during Sunday 12th with at least forty birds seen. The first group seen was above the Mersea Barns car park in East Mersea about mid-day when a mewing buzzard made me look skywards and saw five buzzards soaring with a sparrowhawk.

During an afternoon walk along the north side of the Island from Shop Lane to the Strood, another flock of buzzards were seen whilst walking the seawall with 22 buzzards counted in the air together over the Shop Lane area about 12.30pm. Most drifted westwards. At least another 13 buzzards were counted whilst walking Reeveshall to Bower Hall and it seemed they were heading off the Island near the Strood northwest towards Peldon. The only other report of buzzards was of five over the Dabchicks seen by Mark Farrant. Other large buzzard counts in Essex reported during Sunday of birds on passage were 16 at Holland Haven and 31 over Chelmsford city centre.

Other birds of prey noted were the osprey was still fishing the Pyefleet channel at the west end near Maydays mid afternoon, also a peregrine flying low over the Strood channel towards Ray Island, three marsh harriers and 6+ kestrels seen during the walk.

The tide was coming in at the saltmarsh near Bower Hall farm on Sunday, two Sandwich terns were fishing along the channel, four common seals were also seen in their usual place. Two whinchats were beside the seawall here, earlier a wheatear was in the Reeveshall seawall and on the Maydays section were three meadow pipits flying west and a yellowhammer seen on a bush.

On the Strood section were 12 Mediterranean gulls, fifty golden plover in a field, three yellow wagtails and three sand martins in a flock of fifty swallows.
A clouded yellow butterfly and 20+ small heaths were on the Reeveshall seawall and a painted lady on the Maydays section.

Earlier on Sunday near the Oyster Fishery, Martin Cock reported 16 wigeon, a few Sandwich terns, seven yellow wagtails, two blackcaps, lesser whitethroat and two Cetti's warblers.
At Maydays farm on Sunday evening a little owl, two kestrels, hobby, Sandwich tern and two common seals were seen by Steve Entwistle.

A wheatear was photographed by the Reeveshall seawall by Shaun Bater on Saturday 11th - one of three seen there. Also seen there were four marsh harriers, 200 redshank, two shelduck, great crested grebe, little egret, kestrel, common tern, turnstone, ringed plover, stock dove and green woodpecker
There was no sign of the osprey in the Pyefleet on Saturday.

Martin Cock had two green sandpipers flying over Reeveshall on Saturday and a male pintail flying over Langenhoe.

A walk along the Shop Lane seawall to East Mersea Point on Saturday provided views of waders as the tide came in in the middle of the day. There was a large flock of 220 black-tailed godwits, three knot and 12 avocets feeding near the Oyster Fishery while nearer Ivy Dock were three curlew sandpipers with 60 dunlin, bar-tailed godwit and 150+ redshank. Fourteen Sandwich terns were resting on the mud by the Golfhouse and ten common terns were on a raft. A hobby was flying about on Langenhoe.

A second hobby was seen chasing one of the birds from the 200+ mixed hirundine flock of sand martin, house martin and swallows by the Golfhouse. A swift was also seen flying with the hirundines. Eight yellow wagtails and 30 goldfinches were by the Golfhouse while six wheatears were reported at the Point, also 70 linnets here.

Andy Goodey reported from his walk round the Cudmore seawall to Shop Lane on Saturday a buzzard, two Sandwich tern, 7 turnstone, little grebe, Cetti's warbler, 3 yellow wagtail, leucistic starling with thirty starlings, also a grey squirrel seen in Shop Lane.

At least three clouded yellows were along the seawall between Shop Lane and Ivy Dock on Saturday. A red squirrel was seen crossing Shop Lane near Fishponds Wood.

At Coopers Beach on Saturday Andy Field reported 500 golden plover, 50 redshank, 20 dunlin, 30 turnstone, five curlew, 20 ringed plover and seven black-tailed godwits.
A wheatear was seen along the Strood seawall on Saturday by Jonathan Bustard.

The osprey spent most of Friday 10th morning perched on a post in the Pyefleet Channel near Pewit Island. 

The view from Reeveshall looking across to Pewit Island showing the distant osprey perched on top of the thin post in the middle of the picture. The osprey switched posts a couple of times, watching the tide coming in below its perch. At one point the osprey looked up to see two buzzards passing overhead. After mid-day it took off and went fishing behind the island before being lost to view.

A peregrine flew down channel, five marsh harriers were seen on Langenhoe, four buzzards in total, three Sandwich terns, ten common terns, 100 black-tailed godwits, 80 grey plover, 15 avocets and two knot were along the Pyefleet.

An obliging wheatear perched on a fence on the Shop Lane seawall on Friday. Also on Reeveshall were 15 stock doves and a snipe flying over. A clouded yellow butterfly was flying about.

At the Rewsalls Marshes on Friday, Steve Entwistle reported a few Mediterranean gulls, ten golden plover, 20 little egrets, 30 redshank, eight mallard and a common gull, while offshore were lots of gulls and terns by the shingle island.

Andy Field photographed the osprey on Thursday 9th perched beside Pewit Island in the Pyefleet Channel and then it was seen flying around the ranges and the Geedons.
Also in the area were a hobby, stonechat, four green sandpipers, marsh harrier, two Sandwich terns, two common terns. A kingfisher was along the borrowdyke near Shop Lane and a chiffchaff in Fishponds Wood.

Birds noted at Rewsalls Marshes by Martin Cock during the Thursday high tide included 210 redshank, 50 turnstone, 20 ringed plover, 20 black-tailed godwits, 3 dunlin, 3 little grebes and 14 little egrets
In Meeting Lane Steve Entwistle reported ten greenfinch, two lesser whitethroats, two whitethroats a pair of blackcaps and a linnet.

Along the Strood channel on Thursday morning were three greenshank, fifty golden plover, fifty grey plover, 100 black-tailed godwits, five teal, mute swan, two common terns and a little grebe. In the fields were 12 reed buntings, three yellow wagtails, buzzard and twenty linnets.

On Wednesday 8th a spotted flycatcher, garden warbler and two blackcaps were seen beside Meeting Lane by Martin Cock. Along the Reeveshall seawall Martin reported the osprey seen briefly, hobby, three marsh harriers, six green sandpipers, five teal, two Sandwich terns and also two clouded yellow butterflies.

Steve Entwistle reported on Wednesday 3 lesser whitethroats, whitethroat, five blackcaps, two kestrels, buzzard, marsh harrier and stock dove in Meeting Lane, while in Shop Lane two red-legged partridges and a stoat was seen chasing a baby rabbit.
Michael Thorley watched two yellow wagtails feeding on his floating pondweed in his garden near Meeting Lane.

Along the Strood seawall on Wednesday were seen five wheatears, three corn buntings, 20 linnets and a yellow wagtail in the fields. In the Strood channel were four greenshank, ten golden plover, 25 grey plover, two Mediterranean gulls, little grebe and two common terns. A willow warbler was heard calling from birch trees in Feldy View.

A hummingbird hawkmoth visited abelia flowers in Andy Field's West Mersea garden on Friday morning.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

PYEFLEET OSPREY

The osprey that has been frequenting the Colne estuary in recent days, was photographed by Richard Brown when he visited the Langenhoe ranges on Monday 6th. The bird shows a pale blue ring on its leg which sadly couldn't be seen closely enough to read the number.

It turns out the same osprey had been photographed five days earlier by Simon Cox at Colne Point. The ring number of 677 reveals this is an osprey born this spring and was ringed by the Tweed Valley Project in the Scottish borders.

At Cudmore Grove on Monday 6th, there were 66 little egrets roosting in the trees behind the park pond with a further four birds standing on the saltmarsh near the Point. The first wigeon back for the winter were seen with three birds, also three teal on the pond. Three mistle thrushes were seen flying over the car park and a sparrowhawk was seen flying to the north of the park.

Four Sandwich terns were in the Colne and 20 common terns were resting on a buoy. A wheatear fed by the pillbox at the Point, 12 ringed plovers flew west along the foreshore and a green sandpiper was heard calling in flight. Butterflies of interest were two clouded yellows on the grazing fields, also a brown argus and common blues seen. A large number of sea aster mining bees were buzzing low amongst the sea purslane at the Point.

On Monday afternoon Steve Entwistle visited the park and also noted the wheatear, a pair of gadwall, 7 teal and 3 wigeon on the pond, singing Cetti's warbler, lesser whitethroats, whitethroats, reed bunting as well as chiffchaff, willow warbler and long-tailed tit to the north of the park.


A male redstart was found in Feldy View cemetery on Tuesday 7th, staying all day this picture was taken by John Ward in the early evening, when it gave good views. The bird was first glimpsed in the birches early morning and proved elusive at times, calling occasionally. When the redstart did show, it had a faded orange chest, greyish head and face and the distinctive orange tail. It seemed to spend most of the time in the same north-west corner of the cemetery where a male was seen back in the spring.

There seemed to be a small influx of warblers here with six willow warblers, chiffchaff, two blackcaps and a whitethroat feeding in the trees, while a yellow wagtail flew over.

Along the Strood seawall on Tuesday morning 70 black-tailed godwits were feeding, also 25 grey plover, five grey plover, common tern and also three mute swans were seen in the Ray Channel. Three wheatears were feeding in a stubble field along with two yellow wagtails.

Martin Cock visited Maydays on Tuesday morning and noted sedge warbler, yellowhammer, greenshank, two knot and a brown argus. Later on in the evening at the Oyster Fishery he noted a kingfisher and three marsh harriers.

At least twenty red admirals were feeding on a flowering ivy bush along a footpath near Feldy View on Tuesday.

A brimstone butterfly was photographed by Rusty Marshall in his Firs Chase garden on Sunday 5th.

A speckled bush cricket was photographed inside Michael Thorley's house near Meeting Lane.

Monday, 6 September 2021

TERN FLOCK

There was a large flock of Sandwich terns in the Pyefleet Channel on Sunday 5th.

The main flock of Sandwich terns was resting on a pontoon at the east end of the Pyefleet channel with 42 birds counted here with at least another ten fishing nearby. A couple of common terns was also seen.

Some of the Sandwich terns were providing close views as they flew close to the Reeveshall seawall.

I don't think there's been a previous flock of Sandwich terns round Mersea that has ever been in double figures. There has often been a family group seen in the past, with regular individuals but this big flock has come into the Pyefleet to rest up and fish during their passage south. 

The main highlight during a walk along the north side of the Island on Sunday was seeing an osprey flying slowly down channel opposite Bower Hall and Maydays in mid afternoon. A phone call to Steve Entwistle saw him rush to the Shop Lane seawall where he was rewarded with this view of it perched on a withy in the mud near Pewit Island, when he took this photo. The bird was seen dropping into the water a couple of times unsuccessfully for fish.
Earlier on Sunday the osprey was seen fishing by Pewit Island by Martin Cock before it headed up the Pyefleet. It was first seen on Sunday further up the Colne estuary by Fingringhoe by Glyn Evans.

A flock of forty black-tailed godwits roosted on the edge of the saltmarsh by the Shop Lane seawall on Sunday. A Cetti's warbler was singing to the west of the Oyster Fishery, two yellow wagtails flew over calling. A clouded yellow butterfly fluttered over the yellow flowers of bristly ox-tongue by the seawall.

Waders seen in the Pyefleet off Maydays as the tide dropped were 40 dunlin, 170 grey plover, three greenshank, three knot while three green sandpipers flew over calling. 
Later on Sunday afternoon along the Strood channel were three greenshank, whimbrel, five golden plover, 20 black-tailed godwit and 100 redshank.

Three whinchats were seen at Maydays, three were also seen by the Strood seawall and two were on the Shop Lane seawall along with a juvenile stonechat. Two yellowhammers were seen on the Bower hall section of seawall

A little owl was perched on a fencepost at Maydays farm on Sunday afternoon with the calls of either this bird or another bird being heard a bit later. A sparrowhawk, two marsh harriers and buzzard were seen over Maydays while a hobby was hunting over Langenhoe and perching on a bush there.

As well as seeing the osprey fishing in the Pyefleet on Sunday, Martin Cock also saw two whinchat, three green sandpipers, four snipe, five teal, 250 golden plover and four Sandwich terns. Steve also visited Reeveshall early evening and reported the stonechat, two whinchat, three green sandpipers and two snipe as well as a muntjac deer and a red squirrel near Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane.

A reed warbler was an unusual visitor to Michael Thorley's East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane on Sunday.

On Saturday 4th along the Pyefleet channel, the osprey was seen by Martin Cock perched on a post near Pewit Island, also at Maydays were two whinchats, two little owls and four Sandwich terns.

Andy Field found a curlew sandpiper in the Pyefleet channel on Saturday morning, as well as the distant osprey over the Geedons towards Fingringhoe and the Colne. Also seen during his walk along the Reeveshall seawall were five whinchat, stonechat, 3 green sandpipers, 4 snipe, 2 greenshank, 4 knot, 200 golden plover, 50 grey plover, 100 ringed plover, 50 dunlin, bar-tailed godwit, 100 black-tailed godwits, 18 avocets, two Sandwich terns, common tern, four marsh harriers incl. 3 juveniles, A visit to the Coopers saltmarsh revealed a few golden plover, redshank, curlew, turnstone and 2 yellow wagtails on the football pitch.

Birds noted by Steve Entwistle from the Shop Lane seawall area on Saturday afternoon included four Sandwich terns, two avocets, four marsh harriers, two kestrels, grey heron, sparrowhawk, whinchat and stonechat. Also a clouded yellow, common blue and small heath butterflies.

A quail was flushed from the Reeveshall seawall by Chris Lindsell at 11.30 on Saturday 4th but not seen or heard subsequently. The last quail recorded on the island was in August 1999.

On the shingle island offshore from Waldegraves holiday park on Friday 3rd were 90 common terns, two Sandwich terns, sanderling, 30 ringed plovers, 150 herring gulls and ten cormorants with a great crested grebe in the water nearby. Ten Mediterranean gulls were in a field beside Waldegraves and a brown hawker was flying over one of the fishing lakes.
In Cross Lane a sparrowhawk, chiffchaff, 25 swallows and 20 house martins were noted. 

At the Rewsalls marshes on Friday morning were three common sandpipers, forty redshank, 20 golden plover, 20 little egret, a black-tailed godwit, while 300 starlings were by Coopers beach. A marsh harrier flew east offshore towards Colne Point.

Steve Entwistle visited Cudmore Grove on Friday afternoon and noted 3 gadwall, teal, whitethroat, green woodpecker, sand martin, with four little terns ands six common terns seen in the Colne. A willow emerald, small copper, common blue, holly blue, speckled wood and six red admirals were also seen.
Earlier on Friday two lesser whitethroats and a whitethroat were seen by Steve near Meeting Lane. Two swifts flew over Steve's house in Empress Drive on Friday morning.

On the side-lake and Rewsalls marshes next to the East Mersea boating lake on Thursday 2nd were the little stint, two common sandpipers, 100 golden plover, 120 redshank, 50 ringed plover, 8 teal, two gadwall, 25 little egrets, 40 Mediterranean gulls, three sanderling on the beach. Offshore a big count of 140 common terns on the shingle island off Waldegraves also six little terns and two Sandwich terns.

Martin Cock reported seeing at the boating lake on Thursday evening two Canada geese, 3 teal, 5 gadwall, common sandpiper, six turnstone, 45 redshank. East of Meeting Lane were five whitethroats and 2 lesser whitethroats. A swift flew over Martin's West Mersea house.

On Thursday afternoon Steve Entwistle visited Maydays and reported waders everywhere including a curlew sandpiper and little stint in the Pyefleet channel. Also 80 grey plover, 25 dunlin, 100 redshank, 40 curlew, whimbrel, four knot, bar-tailed godwit, ten black-tailed godwits, grey heron, little owl, 4 house martins, as well as a painted lady and there were three common seals on a floating pontoon.

A morning high tide on Wednesday 1st at Coopers Beach meant it was worth a look to see what waders were roosting on the nearby Rewsalls marshes. The little stint found the previous evening by Steve Entwistle was still present, along with 100 ringed plover, 10 dunlin, 200 golden plover, 40 redshank, snipe, two black-tailed godwits, ten Mediterranean gulls, 15 little egrets, four teal, little grebe, a marsh harrier came in off the sea, while offshore were two Sandwich terns and a common tern. In nearby bushes were a willow warbler, 2 lesser whitethroats, four whitethroats, two blackcaps and 16 linnets and two yellow wagtails were flying about.

Andy Field and Martin Cock also visited the Rewsalls marshes on Wednesday and as well as seeing the little stint, saw a common sandpiper, two snipe over, and a few Mediterranean gulls. In the evening Steve Entwistle visited the boating lake area and found the ruff back on the island on the side-lake for the second day running.

Also on Wednesday, Steve, Andy and Martin visited the Shop Lane seawall at various times of the day and noted two whinchat, stonechat, 2 sedge warblers, reed warbler, 4 marsh harriers, 2 buzzards, 2 common terns, 4 Sandwich tern, 2 green sandpipers, 4 whitethroats, 30 grey plover and a linnet.

At West Mersea in the Firs Chase garden two willow warblers were feeding, a swift flew over and it was the third evening with at least 30+ swallows feeding over the nearby gardens with 70+ on Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday 31st Steve Entwistle found a little stint and a ruff on the side-lake beside the East Mersea boating lake, also there were two little ringed plovers, common sandpiper, five dunlin, 22 redshank, six turnstone, two teal.

Along the Strood seawall on Tuesday were two whinchats, two greenshank, green sandpiper, three knot, 160 black-tailed godwits, marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, 3 yellow wagtail, and ten ringed plover.
At Maydays on Tuesday Martin Cock reported a whinchat, wheatear, common sandpiper, greenshank, two buzzards, yellowhammer and six common seals.
In the Firs Chase garden were a willow warbler, song thrush and 70 swallows feeding overhead in the evening.

A wheatear perched on a fencepost by the Maydays seawall on Monday 30th with two whinchats in the area. A barn owl flew out of a copse by the seawall mid morning, a kingfisher perched on the sluice, also a hobby, two greenshank, four avocets, 200 grey plover, 70 ringed plover, 70 dunlin, two knot, two greylag geese, two great crested grebes, eight shelduck, 22 stock doves, two buzzards and three marsh harriers.

Steve Entwistle visited Maydays on Monday afternoon and noted  4 whinchat, wheatear, Sandwich tern, two greenshank, 51 grey plover and kingfisher. Later at the Shop Lane seawall four whinchat, stonechat, 13 avocet, 22 black-tailed godwit, green sandpiper, 14 goldfinches were seen by Steve. Martin Cock saw similar birds on a walk from Shop Lane to Maydays including six whinchat, stonechat, wheatear, kingfisherSandwich tern, two marsh harriers, whimbrel, green sandpiper and also a hobby.

At Cudmore Grove on Monday morning Andy Field reported seeing a hobby taking one of the 100's of sand martins over the fields, also two Sandwich terns, two common terns, greenshank, 11 bar-tailed godwits, two wheatears at the Point and four yellow wagtails.

On Sunday 29th Martin Cock saw at Reeveshall a whinchat, two green sandpipers, two Sandwich terns, five common terns, three marsh harriers, 300+ swallows and two grey seals.

Two Sandwich terns and two mistle thrushes were seen on Saturday 28th by Martin Cock near the Oyster Fishery.

At Reeveshall on Saturday two little ringed plovers flew over the pool calling before flying away. Also two hobbies noted separately, two whinchats, 170 grey plovers, 36 golden plovers, 15 avocets, 50 dunlin, two bar-tailed godwits, knot, whimbrel, five common terns, 100 swallows, grey seal and also a willow warbler in Fishponds Wood.

Two willow warblers were in the Firs Chase garden on Saturday as was a brimstone butterfly. A chiffchaff was seen in Martin Cock's West Mersea garden.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

SPOT FLY SURPRISE

Five yellow wagtails were feeding in the horse paddock by the East Mersea Golfhouse on Friday 27th.
A spotted flycatcher was a surprise sight from the new bird hide overlooking the park pond. The bird was feeding in the lee of the hedgerow, swooping from tree to bush and back to tree again. Also in the hedge were four lesser whitethroats, five whitethroats, willow warbler and three blackcaps. A buzzard flew past the hedge and at the pond were a little egret and three teal.

A greenshank was heard calling as it flew off the mudflats, two snipe flew over the seawall calling while on the mud were 18 golden plover, three ringed plover, six dunlin and one black-tailed godwit. A pochard was seen in the dyke and a Cetti's warbler called briefly from a bush.

Half a dozen willow emeralds were seen at the corner of the park near the old pillbox surrounded by bushes. This willow emerald photographed by Andy Field was resting at the west end of the borrowdyke. Also a couple of small red-eyed damselflies seen by the bushes here. Two clouded yellows were flying together by the seawall sluice.

A brimstone butterfly visited the flowers of the everlasting peas in the Firs Chase garden for the second day running on Friday, also a nice showing of 20 red admirals on ivy and buddleia. A willow warbler was feeding in a birch tree in the garden.

On Thursday 26th there were 180 black-tailed godwits seen feeding along the Strood Channel with this juvenile bird the only youngster seen in a flock of 103 behind the Dabchicks. A hobby was watched circling above the godwits before it headed west off the Island. Also along the channel were 120 golden plover, 20 grey plover, 18 ringed plover and a greenshank. A buzzard perched on a straw bale and a sparrowhawk flew over the channel.

A swift was seen flying over Martin Cock's West Mersea garden on Thursday afternoon.

My wife Nolly had an unexpected wildlife encounter along the Strood seawall earlier on Thursday morning when this young fearless weasel came over to look at her brightly coloured trainers, at one point it appeared to have a nibble at the green laces. 

Later on Thursday morning the same young weasel was still on the seawall - curled up in a ball as it snoozed in the middle of the path, where it was lucky it hadn't been trodden on by a passing family a few moments earlier. The weasel soon woke up and jumped off scampering into the grass.

Having continued to the end of the path towards the Strood road end, I then turned back and the weasel was still running along the path ten minutes later. Hopefully it moved away from the seawall and away from people and dogs.


It was nice and sunny for a walk along the East Mersea seawall between Shop Lane and the Golfhouse on Wednesday 25th. On the mud were a bar-tailed godwit, 45 black-tailed godwits while on Langenhoe Point were six little terns, also 16 common terns in the Colne. A hobby was hunting after the 50+ swallows over the Fishponds Wood and two marsh harriers were flying over Reeveshall. Two green sandpipers were on the Reeveshall pool, a juvenile stonechat was by the Shop Lane dyke, a Cetti's warbler sang near the Oyster Fishery, a whinchat was in the park's grazing field and 16 yellow wagtails by the Golfhouse.

Martin Cock walked between the country park and the Oyster Fishery and noted two chiffchaff, two blackcaps, nine whitethroats, six lesser whitethroats, three Cetti's warblers, 12 yellow wagtails, a whinchat in the grazing fields, forty linnets, 25 common terns, as well as the same six little terns on Langenhoe Point.

Later on Wednesday Steve Entwistle also visited the Shop Lane seawall area and saw the hobby over the Oyster Foshery for ten minutes, three bar-tailed godwits, 20 black-tailed godwits, 15 grey plover, whimbrel, a little tern, grey heron and also at dusk a tawny owl in Shop Lane.

A small tortoiseshell landed on the seawall path by the Golfhouse on Wednesday.

At least six swifts flew over Andy Field's house in High Street North on Wednesday morning.

A blue-tailed damselfly was photographed by Andy Field on Tuesday 24th during his walk along the Strood seawall. Also noted by Andy were six common terns, 25 ringed plovers, a corn bunting, yellow wagtail and also 37 pintail that flew over towards the Dabchicks.

Other birds seen earlier along the Strood included a marsh harrier, 70 golden plover, 120 black-tailed godwits and a calling willow warbler in Feldy View.

At Maydays late Tuesday afternoon a kingfisher by the sluice and little owl by the yard pond were seen by Steve Entwistle.

On Monday 23rd Steve Entwistle reported from the Ivy Dock area of East Mersea seeing 2 or 3 Sandwich terns fishing with six common terns, 28 black-tailed godwits, five dunlin, two turnstones, an avocet, five golden plover, two grey plover, juvenile common gull with a yellow ring on its left leg and also four calling whimbrel.

At Reeveshall on Monday morning Martin Cock reported 245 grey plover, 95 golden plover, 12 dunlin, two greenshank, three green sandpipers, snipe, bar-tailed godwit, eight avocets, two teal, marsh harrier, six yellow wagtails, little tern and also a brown argus. A swift flew over his West Mersea house.

Martin visited Maydays on Monday early evening and reported three marsh harriers, two greenshank, two green sandpipers and three common seals.

On Monday morning along the Strood were a little grebe in the channel, 180 golden plover, 170 black-tailed godwits, five ringed plover, sparrowhawk, while in the fields were four linnets and three reed buntings.