Tuesday, 2 February 2021


A short-eared owl was seen hunting over the grass beside the Reeveshall seawall on Monday 1st. After flying the full length of the seawall, it stopped to rest on this old traffic bollard. It would seem this bollard might be a regular perch for it judging by the dropping stains down it.

Despite attracting the attention of a carrion crow, the short-eared owl perched on the bollard for about ten minutes, whilst I watched it from about 70 metres away. It then flew back along the inside of the seawall following the line of the overflowing ditch.

Also noted at Reeveshall were two buzzards, one which crossed over the Pyefleet to Langenhoe, also on the fields were 200 lapwing, 300 starlings, fourteen stock doves, 70 jackdaws and a corn bunting singing on a bush.

Later on Monday Steve Entwistle visited Maydays farm and also saw the short-eared owl hunting over Reeveshall as well as a barn owl flying about. A peregrine was seen perched on the Langenhoe seawall and also a merlin sitting on a post on Langenhoe. The kingfisher was briefly seen over the Maydays marsh and a rock pipit noted too.

At the country park on Monday Martin Cock saw the pochard was still on the pond, four white-fronted geese were feeding near the Golfhouse and a peregrine flew over the grazing fields

This rock pipit was photographed by Michael Thorley on Monday as it perched on the seawall sluice near the Golfhouse.

An unusual sight for Mersea was this quail which a cat brought into the house near Colchester Road  belonging to Ron Harvey's daughter, early on Monday morning. It was soon repatriated with its rightful owners who keep quail in captivity in nearby Upland Road, seemingly unscathed!

A grey squirrel was trapped in Seaview Avenue, the day after one had been trapped near Triangle Wood.

A male blackcap was photographed by Phil Passfield at his garden feeders in Yorick Road whilst he was doing the RSPB garden birdwatch survey on Sunday 31st. The next day two male blackcaps were seen at the feeders on Monday.

Along the Bower Hall seawall on the north side of the island on Sunday morning a kingfisher flew over the saltmarsh, three marsh harriers were seen flying about, two little egrets, stonechat and a noisy flock of 150 jackdaws flew over. Beside Haycocks Lane a flock of 100 linnets and 70 chaffinches were feeding in a game crop. A brown hare was seen running over the saltmarsh and across the nearby field.

Steve Entwistle reported seeing on Sunday morning at the country park three snipe, a pochard while at the end of the afternoon a barn owl flew across the field to Bromans Farm. In Haycocks Lane 150 linnets and 30 chaffinch were noted.

In fields to the west of the East Mersea church on Sunday morning, Andy Field saw the black brant feeding with 500 brent geese, also the rare sight of two grey partridge in a stubble field and 120 curlew.

Saturday 30th was a very wet day with lots of rain flooding the fields beside the Strood seawall even more. On the wet fields during the high tide were 1000 dunlin, 50 ringed plover, 25 redshank and 30 grey plover. A pair of stonechat was still by the seawall while near the caravan site were a pale-bellied brent goose and a male red-breasted merganser.

This green woodpecker visited Michael Thorley's East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane on the wet Saturday 30th morning, photographed through his window.

A recent high tide dumped this boat on the old polder at an odd angle along the Strood channel on Friday 29th. The boat is named aptly - or prophetically, "Get wrecked"! 
Birds noted during the seawall walk were marsh harrier, two buzzards, sparrowhawk, stonechat, pale-bellied brent goose, Mediterranean gull, as well as 1000 dunlin, 50 ringed plover, 50 golden plover, 50 redshank and 20 grey plover on the wet fields.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday four white-fronted geese were seen in the fields by Martin Cock, also noting two stonechat, Cetti's warbler by the central ditch while offshore were two Slavonian grebes and two red-throated divers. Michael Thorley saw the purple sandpiper for a few minutes near the East Mersea Point on Friday afternoon.

On Thursday 28th a female kingfisher was perched at the back of the old Rewsalls marshes in a small pond, also 11 snipe seen while in the wheat field near Coopers Beach were 300 brent geese and 160 curlew. Four sanderling were on the beach by the Youth Camp and five Mediterranean gulls were amongst the gull flock feeding in the fields west of the church.

At Cudmore Grove on Thursday Andy Field reported a pair of pintail, four white-fronted geese, Cetti's warbler by the dyke, four colour-ringed black-tailed godwits among the flock of 400, also a mistle thrush by the Golfhouse and the purple sandpiper on the mud.

A buzzard was seen by Ian Black flying over the High Street on Thursday.

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