Wednesday, 14 April 2021


The black brant was seen again by the old jetty in front of the Firs Caravan park on Wednesday 14th. Most of the brent geese have already left with only about fifty being seen along the Strood channel

It was interesting comparing the blacker markings of the black brant alongside the lighter feathers of the pale-bellied brent goose and in turn both seen next to a dark-bellied brent goose.
At the back of the Strood fields on Wednesday were a yellow wagtail on the wires, five corn buntings on a bush and a buzzard perched nearby. A swallow was flying about near the Dabchicks sailing club.

Earlier on Wednesday two willow warblers were seen in Feldy View by Steve Entwistle who also saw a great northern diver on the sea from the Esplanade.
In the early evening at Maydays farm Steve reported a great white egret flying from the Strood direction towards Fingringhoe, a male marsh harrier putting up a short-eared owl and they had a go at each other before the owl dropped back into the ditch. A female marsh harrier was also seen, while a Chinese water deer was watched feeding out in the open showing well. 

Martin Cock walked between the Golfhouse and Reeveshall and reported the short-eared owl on Reeveshall, also two Canada geese and marsh harrier while a firecrest was in Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane. Also along the seawall were yellow wagtail, two Cetti's warblers, several blackcap and chiffchaff, a few swallows and the golden plover in the park's grazing fields.
Michael Thorley watched a buzzard over his house near Meeting Lane on Wednesday. 

A pair of shelduck was by the pond at the country park on Tuesday 13th with another thirteen on the grazing fields. Also at the pond were two singing sedge warblers, one of two Cetti's warblers singing, two pochard and three blackcaps singing along the horseride path.

Six buzzards were circling in the sky enjoying the sunny conditions, a sparrowhawk flew along the back of the fields, while the resident female kestrel sat in a tree keeping an eye on the nearby nestbox.
On the fields were 3 snipe, 12 lapwing, 70 teal, yellow wagtail and ten wigeon. Eight sand martins were flying over the cliff, while on the mud near the Point were 42 brent geese, four dunlin and a ringed plover. A pair of mistle thrushes and two swallows were near horse paddocks north of the park.

Later on Tuesday at the country park Steve Entwistle saw the golden plover, pair of Mediterranean gulls, a pair of chiffchaffs and a muntjac deer.
Two willow warblers were seen in Feldy View by Steve on Tuesday morning but there was no sign of the redstart seen the previous day.

A smart male common redstart was found in Feldy View in Monday 12th by Jonathan Bustard. It spent time feeding around the wooded area of the cemetery although flying to a different spot if someone walked nearby. It appeared to stay in view for a couple of hours before disappearing by mid afternoon and not seen again. It's not often a smart plumaged male redstart stop off on the Island in the spring.

Also by Feldy on Monday were a singing willow warbler, also a sparrowhawk and marsh harrier seen from here and a small tortoiseshell butterfly. Along the Strood seawall were two whimbrel, six common buzzards including one heading west over the West Mersea Hard, a marsh harrier over Ray Island, knot, ringed plover, 12 teal and six Mediterranean gulls. A marsh harrier was also seen flying north-east over Firs Chase being mobbed by local crows early evening.

At East Mersea on Monday morning Martin Cock reported eight chiffchaffs, six blackcaps, two Cetti's warblers, two golden plover and three swallows during a walk between Cudmore Grove and the Oyster Fishery, also two sedge warblers by the park pond.
A firecrest was reported in the East Mersea garden opposite the top of the Oyster Fishery track by David Bullock, who also reported seeing the barn owl nearby recently.

In Cross Lane on Monday morning a little owl was seen by Steve Entwistle, also pair of blackcaps, two chiffchaff singing, three singing song thrushes, goldfinch and three corn buntings along there.

There was a colourful copse at Waldegraves on Sunday 11th with the daffodils in flower.
Offshore were a great northern diver and 15 great crested grebes while a swallow flew past.

The sea was pouring in through the seawall breach during the high tide at Coopers Beach on Sunday 11th. Birds on the marshes were 100 redshank, 30 curlew, five little egrets, snipe with ten great crested grebes offshore. The little owl was at the Youth Camp, and a swallow, kestrel and buzzard were also seen.
A greenshank was seen by the Strood causeway on Sunday by Steve Entwistle.

Highlight of a walk along the Maydays seawall on Saturday 10th was watching a Chinese water deer walking slowly across the field. The Chinese water deer have only been on the Island for a year and half, with all sightings on the quieter north side of the Island.

Birds noted at Maydays on Saturday morning were two marsh harriers, buzzard, 20 shelduck, 70 redshank, three great crested grebes, three little egrets, three yellowhammers and four greylag geese.

A great white egret was seen by Steve Entwistle dropping into the saltmarsh at the bottom of the Strood Hill on Saturday afternoon. 
The black brant and pale-bellied brent goose along with nine dark-bellied brent geese were seen near the Dabchicks sailing club on Saturday morning by Andew Allen.

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