Monday, 22 February 2021



A male yellowhammer perched in a bush near the Maydays seawall on a sunny Sunday 21st. A corn bunting was also in the same area with ten reed buntings, while 30 linnets were beside a game crop near Haycocks Lane.

A large flock of 1000 brent geese on Sunday were alternating resting in the Pyefleet channel for half an hour or so before returning to a wheat field at Maydays to feed. A pale-bellied brent goose was also with the dark-bellied brent flock. 

Four male pintail could be seen amongst a distant flock of wigeon at the top end of the Pyefleet, also three red-breasted mergansers, 365 shelduck, 700 knot, 105 avocets were along the Pyefleet channel during the low tide. Three marsh harriers and five buzzards were the main raptors seen.
Other wildlife of interest seen in the sunshine by the Maydays seawall was a stoat running up and over and also a brimstone butterfly that fluttered along the dyke before heading low across the saltmarsh.

Later in the afternoon Martin Cock saw at Maydays a barn owl, green sandpiper and a spotted redshank that was only heard but not located.
At the eastern end of the Pyefleet Steve Entwistle and Shaun Bater watched the harriers going into the Langenhoe roost and were rewarded with good views of a male hen harrier flying low over the reedbed before dropping down at dusk. Also 15 marsh harriers also going into roost, while other birds noted in the area were buzzard, 1000 lapwing, 1000 dunlin, 60+ avocets, 13 grey plover, 25 black-tailed godwits and 13 red-breasted mergansers.
A woodcock was reported by Tom Fleetwood flushed from a hedge to the north-west of Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane on Sunday.

Andy Field managed to catch a glimpse of the shy little owl perched in a poplar tree at the front of the East Mersea Youth Camp on Sunday morning.

On Saturday 20th the little owl was seen flying from a large Cypress tree and perching in one of the poplar trees at the Youth Camp - spooking a flock of 24 meadow pipits that were feeding in the nearby grass.

At the Rewsalls marshes on Saturday a kingfisher was seen at the back by a pond, three buzzards were in the area, a sparrowhawk flew past the boating lake. On the marshes were 60 curlew, bar-tailed godwit, five shelduck, five teal and a little egret.

A flock of 80 brent geese was feeding at the deserted Waldegraves caravan park on Saturday and a Mediterranean gull and redshank were on the pond. Along the beach and offshore shingle island were 55 sanderling.

On Friday 19th nine red-breasted mergansers were seen from St Peters, near Cobmarsh Island as were four Mediterranean gulls, two bar-tailed godwits and 200 brent geese.
At East Mersea on Friday afternoon two barn owls were seen by Shaun Bater near the Oyster Fishery.

A woodcock was flushed from the hedgeline down the side of the Firs Caravan Park on Thursday 18th. The alarm calls of a few birds in the trees above suggested there was something upsetting them close-by. Later along the Strood seawall 40 avocets, 45 curlew, 150 redshank, 3 little egrets and a grey heron were the birds of note.
In Mersea Avenue two blackcaps were at feeders in Ian Black's garden and a buzzard flew overhead.

On Thursday afternoon Martin Cock and Andy Field watched the Langenhoe harrier roost from the Shop Lane seawall and saw the male hen harrier over Reeveshall and then onto Langenhoe, also 15 marsh harriers, while ten red-breasted mergansers were in the Pyefleet and a buzzard in a nearby field.

Two Canada geese were on Pewit Island on Wednesday 17th, while ten red-breasted mergansers, 120 avocets, 180 black-tailed godwits, ten knot were along the Pyefleet. On Reeveshall were 400 lapwing, little egret and buzzard while near the Oyster Fishery a pochard was on a pond. Two goldcrests were in Fishponds Wood.
At West Mersea a blackcap was in the garden in Firs Chase on Wednesday morning.

Michael Thorley took this set of sanderling pictures at East Mersea Point on Wednesday 17th.

A sanderling with a turnstone.

Flock of sanderling coming into land on the beach at the Point.

Sanderling in flight.

Birds noted along the Strood seawall on Tuesday 16th were two buzzards, kestrel,1500 brent geese, 145 shelduck, 30 ringed plover, 300 golden plover, 35 avocets, three bar-tailed godwits and 12 black-tailed godwits. Small birds of interest were 13 corn buntings on wires, 35 meadow pipits, two rock pipits and three reed buntings.

The little owl was seen perched in a poplar tree at the front of the Youth Camp on Tuesday by Martin Cock. On Monday 15th Martin saw a peregrine tucking into a wader on one of the fields at Maydays, also marsh harrier, buzzard and two red-breasted mergansers.

At Cudmore Grove on Monday 15th a woodcock flew out of the ditch by the park entrance. The purple sandpiper was feeding on the mud near the Point, while on the fields were 54 greylag geese, 1000 wigeon, 20 snipe and 150 black-tailed godwits. Three pochard were on the pond and nearby were four redwing, also sparrowhawk and six fieldfare noted.

The moth trap was dusted down and brought out of winter storage in the Firs Chase garden on Wednesday 17th - catching this single Chestnut Moth.

The first common quaker moth was trapped on Sunday 21st - the first of many hopefully over the coming weeks.

A dotted border was the only other moth in the trap on Sunday night.

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