Saturday, 8 May 2021


After the morning rains this yellow wagtail was seen along the Strood seawall on Saturday 8th, seemed to have injured its left leg as it was being held in an abnormal position. Four other yellow wagtails were seen during the walk on a windy late morning visit. Along the dyke were two reed warblers, two little egrets, whitethroat and a male reed bunting, while a lesser whitethroat was singing by the caravan site.
Ten swallows and a swift were seen on the wing over the fields and seawall.

A handful of skylarks were singing over the Strood fields, this one was singing from a bramble bush. A cuckoo was watched fly along the length of the seawall, then half an hour later two others were seen flying from Ray Island towards the Strood Hill with one of the birds calling. Later a cuckoo was heard calling from the back of the Firs Caravan park - probably three different birds noted during the walk.

On the mud ten grey plover were feeding with forty dunlin while five whimbrel were also along the channel. Two Mediterranean gulls flew over the Feldy View field calling.

Two Egyptian geese were photographed in the country park's grazing fields on Friday 8th by Michael Thorley. They were later seen by Steve Entwistle with a greylag goose trying to frighten off a couple of foxes with a lot of noise.
On the nearby mudflats were four sanderling including one in reddy summer plumage, 45 dunlin, 25 ringed plover, nine turnstone and 55 oystercatchers.

At Coopers beach on Friday morning the tide was flooding into the marshes. A male wheatear was on the wet marshes, two whimbrel, redshank, pair of shelduck and two little egrets, while 25 turnstones were roosting on the caravan park frontage. A cuckoo called to the west of East Mersea church and a sparrowhawk circled nearby. Five whitethroats and two blackcaps were heard singing in the area.

Jonathan Bustard noted along the Strood seawall on Friday a cuckoo in flight, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, blackcap, reed warbler and reed bunting also a buzzard hovering.
A female cuckoo flew over Firs Chase doing its bubbling call as it headed towards the Dabchicks, also in the afternoon two buzzards flew over Firs Chase westwards.

On Thursday 6th the black brant was seen on Cobmarsh Island, pictured here on the right, along with the pale-bellied brent goose, on the left in the picture. A dark-bellied brent goose was in between which provided a good comparison of these three brent races. There were 120 dark-bellied brent geese on Cobmarsh and two great crested grebes seen offshore.

A great white egret was seen by Steve Entwistle on Thursday flying from the Strood channel south past the Hard / Firs Chase. A willow warbler was heard singing in Feldy View. Ian Black saw a hobby fly over the Lane near the caravan site.
At Maydays farm on Thursday evening, a stunning male wheatear was seen by Martin Cock, also five sedge warblers, six reed warblers, one Cetti's warbler and two yellowhammers were all heard singing while six whimbrel and 50 dunlin were seen in the Pyefleet.
A marsh harrier was seen over fields near Meeting Lane by Michael Thorley on Thursday.

Six species of bird of prey were seen on Wednesday 5th during a mid morning walk along the Strood seawall. A peregrine briefly over the seawall, a hobby low over the fields towards the Ray, two marsh harriers, three buzzards, a distant sparrowhawk over the houses and a kestrel by the seawall.
Twelve swifts, female cuckoo doing bubbling call, three yellow wagtails, singing sedge warbler, three reed warblers and a house martin over the reservoirs. On the mud were 100 dunlin, 15 whimbrel and two common terns, with a pair of Canada geese flying down channel.
Later an unidentified harrier was seen along the Strood by Jonathan Bustard.

Ay Maydays farm on Wednesday Steve Entwistle reported a common sandpiper, green sandpiper, greenshank, seven whimbrel, ten house martins, three swallows, two yellow wagtails, Canada geese pair, greylag geese pair, three male reed buntings, two buzzards, kestrel, whitethroat and lesser whitethroat.

Martin Cock walked the seawall between the Golfhouse and Cudmore Grove and noted a late fieldfare, five sedge warblers, three reed warblers, two Cetti's warblers, three lesser whitethroats, 25 dunlin, 20 ringed plover, ten sand martins and a pair of avocets. Later Steve Entwistle saw 30 ringed plover, 25 dunlin, 100 swallows, 20 sand martins, avocet pair and the fieldfare still in the fields.

Also out walking the East Mersea footpaths on Wednesday was Andy Field who reported from the Shop Lane to Meeting Lane area - three lesser whitethroats, "more whitethroats than you can shake a stick at!" cuckoo, marsh harrier, two buzzards, two yellowhammers, numerous chiffchaffs, blackcap and swallows and most unexpected was flushing a woodcock from an orchard to the west of Shop Lane. Also four brown hares seen in the fields.

Several large white butterflies showing their pale yellow underwing were resting on the side of the house in Firs Chase, having recently emerged from pupation. An orange-tip butterfly was seen in the garden on Thursday and Friday.

The moth trap on Friday 8th produced ten moths with eight of them being shuttle-shaped dart, pictured above, also common quaker and a clouded drab

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