Thursday, 14 October 2021


A nice surprise on Thursday 14th at the country park pond for Steve Entwistle and me, was a pair of bearded tits calling and perching on the tops of the reedmace. The distinctive sound of the "pinging" call notes from the birds made us scan the reeds and reedmace around the park pond and we were relieved to be able to see them. The pale grey head of the male was easier to pick out than the well-camouflaged female. Luckily they were doing lots of "pinging" to help us locate them. The birds flew away a couple of times but soon came back again and were still present just after mid-day. John Fell reported counting 23 bearded tits on the nearby Langenhoe Point on Monday when he was doing the monthly WeBS count.

Earlier a lesser redpoll flew over nearby horse paddocks calling and was presumed to be the same bird seen again later at the park flying over. Three siskins flew over the pond calling, a redwing was feeding on rowan berries and three great spotted woodpeckers flew over the bird-hide. On the pond were 22 shoveler, a pair of gadwall, 20 wigeon and a few teal and mallard. Two water rails were heard squealing from opposite ends of the pond and a Cetti's warbler was singing loudly. Another Cetti's warbler was singing by the park dyke and another by the Golfhouse.

A handful of wigeon were on the park dyke on Thursday with another fifty on the Golfhouse pools, as were ten teal. A stonechat, ten linnets, two rock pipits and a reed bunting were on the saltmarsh and four swallows flew west over the Point.

A male tufted duck was also on the park dyke on Thursday.
On the mudflats were eight bar-tailed godwits, forty black-tailed godwits while in the Colne estuary were 500 brent geese and 15 great crested grebes.
During the periods of sunshine on Thursday morning at least 16 clouded yellows were seen flying over the the park's grazing fields.

The saltmarsh by the Firs Chase caravan park is showing autumnal red colours of samphire.
On Wednesday 13th a flock of twenty redwings dropped down into the birch trees at Feldy View, also four others there and a single one in a nearby berry bush showed that some thrush migration was taking place. Also ten blackbirds, a mistle thrush, three chiffchaffs and two blackcaps were also present in the area while a sparrowhawk flew over The Lane.

Along the Strood seawall on Wednesday were seen a marsh harrier, two buzzards, sparrowhawk, stonechat, 30 linnets and a rock pipit while along the channel were a great crested grebe, 110 golden plover, 50 wigeon, 50 teal and three brent geese.

At Cudmore Grove on Wednesday Andy Field reported two common scoter drifting out of the Colne and a nicely marked male marsh harrier hunting over the fields - also a red squirrel near the park toilets too. Martin Cock saw two chiffchaffs and a swallow at the country park, a tawny owl calling and a redwing by an East Road garden opposite the Fox pub while at Maydays there were two buzzards, marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, two Cetti's warblers and a green sandpiper. A red squirrel was seen near Mersea Barns by Martin.

Steve Entwistle visited the park on Wednesday and reported seeing ten long-tailed tits, two buzzards, three swallows, male marsh harrier, mistle thrush, two Cetti's warbler and a calling tawny owl. Later in the day at Coopers Beach four great crested grebes and 320 golden plover were seen by Steve.

In Firs Chase late Wednesday afternoon a grey wagtail and three redwing flew over and two kestrels were seen near to the garden.

A walk along the Strood seawall on Tuesday 12th produced a greenshank, 70 wigeon, ten dunlin, 20 teal buzzard and 100 linnets, while a blackcap was by Feldy View.
At Coopers Beach Steve Entwistle and Martin Cock watched six common scoters flying east and a red-throated diver flying west, also a common seal seen.

A grey wagtail flew over Feldy View calling on Monday 11th, then later along the Strood seawall were four buzzards, marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, 100 linnets, two rock pipits, 11 avocets, greenshank, 80 golden plover, 80 wigeon, 30 teal, six little grebes, fifty black-tailed godwits and five dunlin. A male great spotted woodpecker was watched hacking into a corn on the cob for a quick snack in the maize crop near Feldy View.

At East Mersea between Ivy Dock and the Point, a chiffchaff, blackcap, stonechat, rock pipit, grey wagtail, 150 brent geese and a marsh harrier were noted by Martin Cock. Later in the afternoon Steve Entwistle saw a pintail, 70 dunlin, two marsh harriers, two herons, five ringed plovers and 35 black-tailed godwits.

There were patches of blue sky on Sunday 10th for a walk along the north side of the island, coinciding with the high tide at the Strood which covered the saltmarsh. Birds noted at high tide here were nine golden plover, sparrowhawk, 100 linnets, three rock pipits, 20 little egrets and by the Hard were 100 turnstones. Earlier along the Bower Hall seawall were seen two grey partridge and two marsh harriers. Later on Sunday 11 grey partridges were seen here by Steve Entwistle, also three chiffchaffs and sparrowhawk.
Two corn buntings were by a game cover crop at Maydays on Sunday, also a yellowhammer, fifty linnets and a little owl by the farmyard.

Several wader flocks were gathered along the Pyefleet channel as the tide came in on Sunday with a flock of 1000 golden plover the largest - some pictured above. Also 500 dunlin, 20 ringed plover, 10 avocets, 70 black-tailed godwits, 100 redshank, 80 shelduck and two Sandwich terns along the channel. A peregrine watched proceedings from a fencepost on the Langenhoe seawall, four marsh harriers were flying around including a red wing-tagged individual, while on Reeveshall were 500 starlings with a leucistic bird, 80 lapwing and a rock pipit.

A Sandwich tern was seen off Coopers Beach on Sunday by Steve Entwistle and a chiffchaff was seen by Michael Thorley in his East Mersea garden.

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