Wednesday, 31 March 2021


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


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.

Monday, 22 March 2021


Sunshine on Monday 22nd brought this peacock butterfly into the Firs Chase garden with the first small white butterfly also flying round the garden a few times.

The overwintering female blackcap visited the Firs Chase garden feeder again on Monday. A pair of stock doves has been regular too as well as a few greenfinches and goldfinches.

Two great white egrets were seen by the Strood fields on Monday, one of them feeding in the dyke while the second bird feeding at the pond at the back of the fields. The latter one stayed hidden at the pond despite a buzzard and a marsh harrier passing low over the area.

The sunny weather saw two pairs of buzzards flying together and calling to each other - one over the Strood fields and the other over Feldy marshes on the mainland. A second marsh harrier was seen passing through while a peregrine circled over the channel near the Firs caravan site.
Birds of note along the channel were 180 wigeon, 60 curlew and four black-tailed godwits

A chiffchaff was calling in the Feldy View cemetery on Monday morning while two others were heard earlier by Martin Cock - at the fishing lakes and also the Strood dyke. A Cetti's warbler was also singing at the fishing lakes. A red kite was seen flying north-east over Ray Island by Martin.
Two Egyptian geese were seen in the Strood fields first thing on Monday by Steve Entwistle but not seen subsequently.

At Cudmore Grove on Monday, Andy Field reported three buzzards, two chiffchaffs, two Cetti's warblers, five red-breasted mergansers and also four basking adders.
A buzzard was seen circling high over Coopers Beach by Michael Thorley on Monday.

On Sunday 21st along the Maydays seawall four marsh harriers, two buzzards were seen flying over the fields and nearby Langenhoe, while three lapwings looked like they might breed in one field. Of interest in the Pyefleet channel were two red-breasted mergansers, 180 shelduck and a common seal. Four redwing, two yellowhammers and two corn buntings were also seen in bushes near the seawall.

A great white egret was seen feeding at the pond at the back of the Strood fields on Sunday morning by Shaun Bater.
At East Mersea the little owl was seen perched in a tree at the Youth Camp on Sunday by Steve Entwistle.
A firecrest was seen at Cudmore Grove country park near the old bird-hide by Charlie Williams on Sunday.

A fishing boat coming back to the Mersea Quarters on Saturday 20th attracted the attention of around 300 herring gulls, fighting for fish scraps being thrown overboard.
Two great northern divers were seen from the St Peters beach, while a third great northern diver was offshore from Waldegraves and a fourth bird off East Mersea opposite Coopers beach. A red-throated diver and forty-five great crested grebes were also seen offshore opposite Coopers beach / Rewsalls.

At Rewsalls marsh a buzzard and sparrowhawk were noted flying over, the black brant was with 800 dark-bellied brent geese. Around 250 brent and the black brant were feeding in the wheat field before flying onto the sea where they joined hundreds other brent. A bar-tailed godwit, fifty curlew, 30 redshank and two little egrets were on the marshes.

The little owl was perched on a poplar tree at the front of the East Mersea Youth Camp on Saturday early afternoon.
At Waldegraves a flock of 200 linnets was feeding in an empty field on the caravan park as well as on an adjoining stubble field.

Along the Strood seawall on Saturday birds noted by Steve Entwistle were two buzzards, 19 ringed plover, 45 golden plover, three mute swans and four pairs of skylarks.

The aptly named March moth made an appearance at the garden moth trap at Firs Chase on Saturday 20th along with an oak beauty, clouded drab, common quaker, small quaker, early grey and hebrew character.

Saturday, 20 March 2021


On Friday 19th a great white egret was stalking along the edge of the pond at the back of the Strood fields. Later on Friday morning a second great white egret was seen beside the borrowdyke, close-by to a little egret for a good size comparison.
A peregrine circled over the fields scattering some of the birds before landing in a field for a few minutes. 
Later in the afternoon ten white-fronted geese were seen flying over Ray Island towards Copt Hall by Ian Black.
A chiffchaff was seen in the Firs Chase garden on Friday morning amongst the cherry plum blossom.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday, Andy Field noted 29 snipe, buzzard, black brant, pale-bellied brent goose with 1000+ dark-bellied brent geese. Also two singing Cetti's warblers, singing chiffchaff and three adders basking in the sun.

A male hen harrier was seen over Reeveshall on Friday morning by Anne Cock

Two great white egrets were seen on both Thursday 18th and Friday 19th in the fields by the Strood. These three photographs were taken by Michael Thorley on Thursday of one of the birds that has spent some time at the back of the fields.

The great white egret kept on being chased off a pond by a grey heron, where it would fly to a flooded area of a nearby field to preen for a few minutes before flying back to the pond again.

Another of Michael's photos on Thursday of the great white egret. Whilst one of the birds fed at the back of the fields, a second great white egret was watched flying over the Strood causeway heading down channel, providing a nice close view as it passed overhead before dropping into the borrowdyke for a few minutes. It stalked the dyke for a few minutes before flying over to Ray Island. Three little egrets were seen nearby for comparison in size.

Also along the Strood seawall on Thursday, the bearded tit called from the main reedbed in the dyke, a buzzard perched in the tree, 20 corn buntings flew off the grass field, ten avocets were along the Strood, while a bar-tailed godwit was feeding at the Hard.

The pale-bellied brent goose was feeding in the country park grazing fields on Wednesday 17th, along with 800 dark-bellied brent geese. Also in the fields were a greylag goose and a hybrid greylag/ Canada goose, 700 wigeon, nine snipe and a leucistic starling with 200 starlings. Eight pochard, six tufted duck were present and two Cetti's warblers were singing as was a chiffchaff in the park. Six sanderling were on the mud just before high tide but no purple sandpiper.
Further round the seawall at the Oyster Fishery, the Cetti's warbler was showing well to Martin Cock on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday 16th along the Strood, the great white egret was seen at the back of the fields feeding in the pond but being chased off by the grey heron. Later it was seen flying away over on the mainland passing Feldy and heading towards Salcott Channel. Fourteen white-fronted geese flew south-west over the caravan site, a buzzard, ten avocets, six corn buntings, Mediterranean gull and the bearded tit heard calling, were the main birds noted in the area. Three red-breasted mergansers were feeding in the channel near Packing Shed Island.

At Maydays on Tuesday, Martin Cock reported a greenshank in the creek, four buzzards, four marsh harriers, 60 redwing and 20 corn buntings.

Seven moths were in the Firs Chase garden trap on Wednesday night included this clouded drab.

Three early grey moths were the first for the year, also noted were common quaker, hebrew character and a light brown apple moth.

Monday, 15 March 2021


A great white egret was found on Monday 15th in the fields beside the Strood channel by Charlie Williams. Later in the afternoon the bird was seen to fly back onto the grass field where it then slowly walked across. It seemed interested in a small pond but kept getting chased away by a grey heron, each time it landed in the nearby field to wait before having another attempt at visiting the pond.

Also from the seawall two common buzzards were perched on bushes, a marsh harrier flew up channel, a little egret was on Ray Island and 21 corn buntings flew off the grass field.

At East Mersea on Monday the purple sandpiper was photographed by Andy Field which showed well on the rising tide in its usual area just back from the Point. In the nearby grazing fields was the pale-bellied brent goose and a chiffchaff noted in the park too.

In Shop Lane a firecrest was feeding in bushes near Fishponds Wood, a chiffchaff was seen at Gyants Marsh while four buzzards, sparrowhawk and a marsh harrier were noted during the walk to Meeting Lane. Also seen were fourteen redwings, a pair of mistle thrushes, yellowhammer, great spotted woodpecker and a green woodpecker.

Ian Black heard a blackcap in subsong in his Mersea Avenue garden on Monday.

A black brant was seen in the river Colne near Ivy Dock in East Mersea on Sunday 14th, having flown off the park's grazing field with a pale-bellied brent goose and 800 dark-bellied brent geese.
On Reeveshall a pair of marsh harriers was flying over Broad Fleet and a buzzard seen nearby too. On the pool were a little egret, 15 shelduck, 25 wigeon and 20 teal.
Thirty rook nests were counted in the trees in Manwood Grove in Shop Lane.

Steve Entwistle managed to take this close-up photo of a Cetti's warbler sitting in the open near the pond at Cudmore Grove on Sunday - the picture off the back of his camera. Earlier Michael Thorley saw six pochard on the park pond and a goldcrest near the borrowdyke.

This great spotted woodpecker was photographed by Michael Thorley in his garden near Meeting Lane.

The pair of great spotted woodpeckers showed well for Michael and Sarah on a windy Saturday.

Several pheasants visited Michael's garden too.

Among the flock of 250 dark-bellied brent geese on Saturday near Coopers Beach was a black brant -  seen in the centre with head up. Also in the field during the high tide were 45 curlew, 10 turnstone, 10 dunlin, 10 ringed plover and three Mediterranean gulls

A black cloud over Bradwell on the opposite side of the Blackwater looked ominous and luckily missed Mersea early afternoon on Saturday. On the beach were 12 sanderling and a few turnstones while the little owl was on a tree at the Youth Camp.

On a windy Friday 12th along the Strood seawall a buzzard flushed a snipe off a field as it passed over, while in the fields were 100 golden plover, 100 brent geese, 10 ringed plover and 50 dunlin during high tide. The female stonechat was by the borrowdyke and 12 avocets were on the Ray saltings.

At Cudmore Grove the first singing chiffchaff was noted by Martin Cock on Friday, also two Cetti's warblers singing, while 200 black-tailed godwits looked impressive in their summer plumage.

On Thursday 14 white-fronted geese flew south-west over Firs Road cemetery  heading towards the Hard. A peregrine was seen flying south-west over the Strood fields, disturbing bird flocks as it passed. The pale-bellied brent goose was by the caravan site and eight avocets were in the channel. In the fields were 250 golden pover, 26 ringed plover, two grey herons and 30 corn buntings.
A buzzard was seen flying over St Peter's Road by Ian Black on Thursday.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021


The pale-bellied brent goose, pictured right, was feeding on the mud close-in to the car park at the West Mersea Hard on Wednesday 10th, as were thirty dark-bellied brent geese.
Along the Strood seawall five Mediterranean gulls, 200 golden plover, 20 ringed plovers and the female stonechat were all in the fields. A small flock of eight avocets on the saltmarsh were the only waders noted along the Strood channel during the high tide.

A wet sparrowhawk was seen feeding on a starling in Ian Black's Mersea Avenue garden on Wednesday.

Spring was in the air on Tuesday 9th at Cudmore Grove country park with this red admiral feeding on the sallow catkins as were lots of bees. Two adders were also spotted basking in the mid morning sunshine and a red squirrel in trees beside the horseride path on the north side of the park.

Above the grazing fields four buzzards circled high calling to each other, which scattered some of the 500 wigeon, 800 brent geese off the fields. Also noted were a pale-bellied brent goose, six snipe, ten shoveler, 70 teal, 50 redshank and one black-tailed godwit. Two Cetti's warblers were singing in the sunshine, while on the pond were seven pochard and nearby six redwing. A buzzard was seen flying  near the pond, while a marsh harrier was seen over the fields by Martin Cock. In the river Colne was a pair of red-breasted merganser.

The little owl near the front of the Youth Camp was photographed on Tuesday morning by Michael Thorley.

A little egret was feeding amongst the saltmarsh beside the Strood Channel on Monday and still managed to keep its yellow feet clear of mud!
Thirteen white-fronted geese flew south-west across the Strood fields and on past the Firs Caravan park. A merlin was watched trying to catch a small bird over Ray Island with the merlin trying several times to stoop and swoop after the lark or pipit. Both birds dropped fast down behind the trees and disappeared from view. Two buzzards perched on a bush at the back of the Strood fields.
A flock of 61+ corn buntings was perched on wires over the back of the fields, the female stonechat was by the dyke and twenty meadow pipits were feeding in a grass field. Also noted from the Strood seawall were 12 avocets, 120 golden plover and a Mediterranean gull.

At East Mersea the purple sandpiper was seen again on the mud near the East Mersea Point by Martin Cock on Monday.

A greenshank flew out of the Maydays creek calling as it flew north, on Sunday 7th. 
Two marsh harriers and five buzzards were seen over Maydays and on Langenhoe. A pair of red-breasted mergansers was in the Pyefleet along with 120 shelduck. In the bushes by the seawall were five corn buntings, 15 yellowhammers and ten reed buntings.

Later on Sunday at Maydays, Steve Entwistle saw peregrine, merlin, kingfisher, six corn buntings, two black-tailed godwits, two buzzards, five marsh harriers, 30 grey plover and a lesser black-backed gull.
On Sunday morning at the Esplanade a Mediterranean gull, five sanderling and 20 dunlin were seen by Steve also a green woodpecker and great spotted woodpecker on same tree in Empress Avenue.
Michael Thorley reported 200 brent geese and 75 golden plover along the Strood on Sunday morning.

At East Mersea on Sunday, Andy Field at Cudmore Grove saw six redwing, buzzard, six pochard, pale-bellied brent goose with 1000+ brent geese, 17 snipe, two Mediterranean gulls and also a red squirrel beside the horseride path.
The little owl was seen at the Youth Camp on Sunday morning by Shaun Bater.

Two Egyptian geese flashed their white wing patches as they landed in the wet fields by the Strood and were photographed by Jonathan Bustard on Saturday early evening, also there a short-eared owl, two buzzards, kestrel and a snipe flushed.

At Cudmore Grove on Saturday Steve Entwistle reported five redwing, buzzard, two pairs of tufted duck, pair of pochard on pond and a female on the dyke, pair of Canada geese on fields also 28 greylag geese while offshore was a pair of common scoter.

Twelve yellowhammers were feeding in game crops to the west of the East Mersea church on Saturday, as were ten reed buntings, 25 chaffinches and a calling chiffchaff being the presumed overwintering one seen a few weeks back. A peregrine circled over the East Mersea church before drifting over the Mersea Barns. while two buzzards were seen over the Rewsalls Marshes.

On the Rewsalls Marshes were eight teal, 16 mallard, three little egrets, rock pipit and a curlew.

The little owl was perched on a poplar tree in front of the East Mersea Youth camp on Saturday. At Waldegraves ten sanderling were on the beach and 80 linnets feeding in a stubble field.
From the Esplanade the great northern diver was feeding offshore and five Mediterranean gulls were seen too.

Steve Entwistle reported the great northern diver offshore from Seaview Avenue on Saturday morning and also a distant peregrine perched on Bradwell power station.

On Friday 5th three buzzards were seen flying north-west over Strood Channel, also a male and female marsh harriers and twelve avocets along the channel.
A buzzard was chased by crows over Firs Chase on Friday, also a blackcap visiting the garden feeder.

At Maydays on Friday a greenshank was seen by Martin Cock, two ravens heading south-west towards the Strood, four buzzards, marsh harrier and a corn bunting,

The moth trap was switched on in the Firs Chase back garden on Tuesday 9th for the fourth time this year.

An oak beauty was a nice sight in the trap, also three common quakers and a small quaker.