Saturday, 29 January 2022


A male blackcap spent a few minutes feeding on the fat-balls after tucking into some sunflower hearts in the back garden in Firs Chase on Saturday 29th. It's a few weeks since the male has been seen in the garden although the female was seen four weeks ago. The plastic cup seen in the picture is to stop the mice that had been clambering down to feed on the fat-balls.

A bright but very breezy Saturday 29th made birdwatching along the Maydays seawall tricky with the buffeting wind trying to blow the telescope and tripod over. Sitting down to scope through 1500 brent geese on Reeveshall revealed two pale-bellied brent geese feeding side by side. A peregrine flew west along Broad Fleet, a pair of marsh harriers was also seen hunting over here earlier and two buzzards noted too.

A kingfisher flew away from the Maydays seawall sluice, while in nearby bushes were 8 corn buntings and two redwings flying about. In the Pyefleet were four red-breasted mergansers, 100 avocets while 30 golden plover flew off Reeveshall. A Chinese water deer was seen running across the Maydays field towards the reed-filled borrowdyke, emerging soon after to trot back along a ditch.

At Cudmore Grove on Saturday, Shaun Bater saw the male pintail on the pond, also two pochard, tufted duck, 12 gadwall, three calling water rails, mistle thrush and green woodpecker near the Golfhouse and six greylag geese in the park fields. Steve Entwistle visited the park pond and also noted 33 mallard, 3 tufted duck, 72 teal, coot, little grebe, 3 shoveler and a pair of wigeon.

Thirty shelduck were along the Strood channel on Friday 28th, as were 300 teal, 71 avocets and 200 golden plover, while 500 brent geese flew into Ray Channel. Three marsh harriers, two buzzards, two kestrels were seen from the seawall while a sparrowhawk flew over Firs Caravan park. Ten meadow pipits and three rock pipits were along the seawall. A brown hare was flushed off a field by a tractor and ran to safety into the middle of the big grass field.

Andy Field noted from the Esplanade on Friday morning two great northern divers, two red-throated divers and a probable shag towards the Mersea Quarters , two other diver sps flew upriver.

Later at Cudmore Grove Andy noted six red-legged partridge before Bromans Lane, pintail on the park pond, calling water rail by the dyke, rock pipit, displaying ringed plover, buzzard, a merlin on a post on Langenhoe Point and 15 red-breasted mergansers in the Colne.
Jonathan Norgate visted Cudmore Grove on Friday and noted sparrowhawk, stonechat and 15 knot.

On Thursday 27th at Cudmore Grove two shoveler were along the park dyke with a further 30 on the saltmarsh pools by the Golfhouse. A male stonechat, four reed buntings and ten linnets were near the saltmarsh while on the mud by the Point were 15 ringed plovers.
A distant male hen harrier was watched through the telescope flying over Rat Island before it dropped down there, while in the Colne were 24 red-breasted mergansers

A flock of 200 wigeon were grazing the grass inside the park seawall on Thursday with some feeding in the nearby corner of the grazing field - a first sight this winter of them doing so. Five greylag geese were at the back of the fields as were a few curlew.

On the country park pond on Thursday were the male pintail, 12 gadwall, 50 teal and two tufted ducks, while nearby was a buzzard perched in a tree and a water rail called.

Steve Entwistle saw a water rail and heard a second, in the dyke near Ivy Farm on Thursday and a red-throated diver close -by in the Colne.

A redshank was stepping over the mud near the Dabchicks on Wednesday 26th. Along the Strood channel were 70 avocets, bar-tailed godwit, 15 black-tailed godwits, Mediterranean gull, 150 lapwing, 150 teal and 15 little grebes. A peregrine was mobbing a marsh harrier over Feldy Marshes, also 700 brent geese flew off here,  while a marsh harrier was also seen over Ray Island and a buzzard perched by the Strood fields. Two corn buntings perched on a bush by the Strood dyke and five stock doves feeding in a field.

Three great spotted woodpeckers were following each other over Firs Chase, a sparrowhawk, mistle thrush were by the Firs Caravan park.

From the Esplanade Steve Entwistle saw two great northern divers and a red-throated diver on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday 25th along the Strood channel, there were 65 avocets, bar-tailed godwit, ten black-tailed godwits, also marsh harrier, two buzzards and a stonechat seen, also a mistle thrush by the caravan park. A red squirrel was seen scrambling through the trees beside the path along the top of the Firs caravan park.

At Maydays on Tuesday Steve Entwistle saw the kingfisher by the sluice, 72 knot and 38 linnets.

A stock dove was photographed through the kitchen window as it fed on the driveway in the Firs Chase garden.

Andy Field and I walked the north side of the Island on Monday carrying out the monthly WeBS count from Maydays to Cudmore Grove. Highlights seen were 2000 brent geese, four pintail, 48 red-breasted mergansers ( 37 in a flock off Cudmore), 237 avocets, 2300 dunlin, 280 curlew, 104 knot, 48 shoveler, 5 sanderling, 2 snipe, 6 greylag geese, sparrowhawk, 6 marsh harriers, four buzzards, 20 fieldfares, six redwing, 20 corn buntings, three rock pipits and a stonechat. A common seal rested in a pontoon in the Pyefleet.
Earlier in the day a shag perched on a post opposite the West Mersea Hard.

Steve Entwistle and Martin Cock walked the Maydays seawall together on Monday morning and noted 30 fieldfare, six redwing, 3 corn buntings, 2000 dunlin, 2000 brent geese, two kestrels, possible merlin, corn bunting, marsh harrier, buzzard, 25 black-tailed godwits, 52 avocets, 7 little grebes and lots of shelduck.

John Fell and Richard Brown visited the neighbouring Langenhoe ranges on Monday and reported a short-eared owl, at least 20 bearded tits in one 100m length of reeds, also the remains of a dead cattle egret with no cause of death evident.

The black brant and pale-bellied brent goose were feeding with twenty other brent geese behind the Dabchicks sailing club on Sunday 23rd.

Near the East Mersea Golfhouse on Sunday Steve Entwistle reported seven snipe on the saltmarsh pools, also 38 shoveler, 250 dunlin, grey plover and two rock pipits. Later at Coopers beach there was a mistle thrush, also eight Slavonian grebes and ten red-breasted mergansers were offshore.

Saturday, 22 January 2022


After an afternoon's walk along the Pyefleet seawall on Saturday 22nd, the setting sun poked through the bottom of the clouds to the west of the Maydays saltmarsh. A male hen harrier made another appearance flying east over the marsh, then flew low over the Maydays and Reeveshall fields flushing 24 snipe off the ground in the process. Four marsh harriers were flying over Langenhoe, as was a short-eared owl, while a little owl perched on a fencepost at Maydays.

On Reeveshall were 400 brent, 40 golden plover and 24 greylag geese seen flying over while at Maydays were 30 fieldfares, two redwings, ten corn buntings, yellowhammer, stonechat, Cetti's warbler, three song thrushes and 25 reed buntings. Of note in the Pyefleet channel were six red-breasted mergansers and a bar-tailed godwit.

Earlier on Saturday four buzzards were watched circling above the garden in Firs Chase, the loud mewing calls were first heard whilst inside the house.

On Friday 21st along the Strood seawall, the great white egret was checking out the ditches on three sides of the large grass field. Also seen were 700 brent geese, 48 shelduck, 250 golden plover, marsh harrier and two buzzards.

There have been regular views of the mistle thrush high in the poplar trees beside the Firs caravan park but the views have always been of the underside showing the heavy spotting. Two mistle thrushes were in the trees on Friday beside the clumps of mistletoe.

A little further along the path from the mistle thrushes perched high in the trees was this song thrush perched in the hedgerow enjoying the sunshine.

On Friday morning the male hen harrier was seen at Maydays by Martin Cock, also four marsh harriers, forty fieldfares, greenshank and three bar-tailed godwits.

At the end of Friday Steve Entwistle visited the Shop Lane seawall and watched the male hen harrier flying around the Langenhoe marshes for about five minutes before dropping into roost at about 4.25pm. Driving back home a barn owl flew in front of his car lights at Bocking Hall which was a nice surprise.

The shag spent most of Thursday 20th in the area near the jetty at the West Mersea Hard - here photographed in the middle of the day by Andy Field. It had been watched earlier by Steve Entwistle feeding close to the jetty.

This colour-ringed first winter herring gull was photographed by Andy Field as it perched in front of the Hard car park on Thursday.

A check of the letters on the ring tell us this herring gull was ringed as a chick on the River of Life Church roof in Felixstowe, Suffolk on the 28th June last year.

A walk along the Strood seawall on Thursday 20th revealed two separate sightings of sparrowhawk, two marsh harriers, three buzzards, while along the channel were 62 avocets, 40 golden plover, 12 black-tailed godwits, bar-tailed godwit, 100 wigeon, 100 teal and also two song thrushes near the seawall.

Shaun Bater visited the East Mersea boating lake area on Thursday and reported ten redwing, two fieldfare, mistle thrush, flock of sanderling, turnstones and dunlin, also black-tailed godwit, fifteen little grebes and a great northern diver.
At East Mersea two mistle thrushes and 12 goldfinches were seen by the track to the Golfhouse on Thursday by Steve Entwistle.

A barn owl was reported by Mike Edwards flying over the West Mersea allotments late on Thursday afternoon - apparently it has been seen a few times in this area recently.

There was the nice surprise of watching a great white egret feeding close-by along the borrowdyke by the Strood seawall on Wednesday 19th. Presumably the same bird was also seen earlier in the morning by Martin Cock flying west from Bower Hall marsh towards the Strood.

When the great white egret took off, it soon dropped back down beside the dyke, just a short way further along.

The large yellow bill showed up clearly as the great white egret stalked its way through the reeds. For handy comparison five little egrets were also seen in the area during the walk along the Strood seawall.
A marsh harrier, buzzard, stonechat, 51 avocets and three sparrowhawk sightings were also noted.

The black brant was feeding close into the shore near the Dabchicks sailing club on Wednesday along with a dozen brent geese, with another 200 along the Strood channel. The shag was seen feeding in the channel amongst the boat moorings near the Dabchicks.

Martin Cock reported seeing at Maydays on Wednesday morning 30 fieldfares, 3 redwing, yellowhammer, 40 linnets and 12 corn buntings - along with the great white egret mentioned above.

At the Rewsalls Marshes / Youth Camp area visited by Andy Field on Wednesday were 125 curlew, 150 dunlin, 50 ringed plover, 100 redshank, 30 turnstone, 10 grey plover, black-tailed godwit, 18 little grebes on side-lake, two buzzards and two yellowhammers, while offshore were the black brant, Slavonian grebe, great northern diver and a pair of red-breasted merganser.

Conditions on Tuesday 18th at Cudmore Grove started still and sunny but changed quickly late morning when everywhere was enveloped by fog. This male stonechat perched close enough to the seawall to be seen through the fog.

Visibility on Tuesday along the Cudmore Grove seawall dropped down to less than a hundred metres.
Birds that were seen near the Point and on the saltmarsh pools were 20 avocets, 150 wigeon, 25 shoveler, four sanderling, five knot, bar-tailed godwit, three snipe, 12 skylarks and a buzzard.

A male pintail stood on the ice on the park pond on Wednesday morning, also here were 120 mallard, 50 teal, 12 gadwall and two little egrets. A buzzard perched on nearby trees and a goldcrest was seen in bushes to the north of the park.

At Maydays on Tuesday Martin Cock noted just before the morning fog rolled in - kingfisher, 15 fieldfares, six redwing, 12 corn buntings and a Chinese Water Deer

Monday, 17 January 2022


A flock of 70 sanderling fed along the beach at high tide near Waldegraves caravan park on Monday 17th. It was the perfect weather for a winter's walk along the shore between Cross Lane and Rewsalls marshes with little wind and lots of blue sky.

Most of the sanderling were on the Waldegraves beach with another small group roosting during the high tide on the shingle island just offshore.

The calm waters offshore from Rewsalls revealed 557+ great crested grebes, four Slavonian grebes, two red-throated divers, while a great northern diver was seen offshore from the bottom of Cross Lane.

A visit by Stuart Read, Jeff Higgott and Darren Underwood to Coopers Beach earlier on Monday produced 680+ great crested grebes, seven Slavonian grebes, two red-throated divers and a great northern diver. Later they saw two great northern divers from Kingsland Road and a shag at the Hard. The two great northern divers were also seen from the Esplanade by Steve Entwistle in the morning.

The black brant was with a flock of 100 brent geese on the East Mersea boating lake on Monday, later being seen feeding in the middle of the Waldegraves caravan park.

A juvenile dark-bellied brent goose swam away from the rest of the family along the old dyke at Rewsalls marshes.

A female kingfisher was seen perched beside the Rewsalls marshes on Monday as the high tide came in through the old seawall to flood the marshes.
Birds seen on the side-lake were a greenshank which flew off high to the north-west, 70 turnstone, 50 dunlin, 8 ringed plovers, 12 little grebes, while on the main marshes were 80 curlew, 2 snipe, 30 redshank and 100 brent geese.

Two rock pipits perched in front of the Youth Camp on Monday, while in the field to the west was a mixed flock of 70 fieldfare and 30 redwing, also fifty linnets, sparrowhawk and buzzard noted here.
From Cross Lane a buzzard perched up  and 30 redwing had been feeding in a rape field.

Michael Thorley visited Shop Lane on Monday afternoon to watch the harrier roost and counted 14 marsh harriers and a male hen harrier at 16.40, also 1200 brent geese on Reeveshall and 800 starlings beyond Langenhoe. Earlier six pied wagtails and a white wagtail were seen at Coopers Beach.

David Allen visited West Mersea on Monday and reported a black-throated diver off the Esplanade, also 18 sanderling, Mediterranean gull, 16 dunlin, 7 redshank, 3 ringed plover, 6 turnstone, 60 brent geese and 12 little grebes from the Hard.

There was a nice sunset from the West Mersea Hard on Sunday 16th - the sound of the 700 brent geese flying off Feldy marshes adding to the atmosphere. There were 15 little grebes, a male red-breasted merganser and 65 avocets in the Strood channel along with a stonechat and two buzzards beside the Strood fields.

At Maydays farm on Sunday there were ten corn buntings, 20 fieldfare, two redwing and a Cetti's warbler while along the Reeveshall seawall were 700 brent geese, 30 greylag geese, 8 red-breasted mergansers, three marsh harriers and three buzzards. A goldcrest was feeding with long tailed tits in Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane.

At the end of Sunday afternoon, Andy Field watched the Langenhoe harrier roost from the Shop Lane seawall and noted 17 marsh harriers, the male hen harrier at 16.40, short-eared owl, barn owl, peregrine, sparrowhawk and buzzard. There were 500 brent geese on Reeveshall and a goldcrest in Fishponds Wood.

Martin Cock on Sunday reported seeing from Coopers Beach two Slavonian grebes, 300+ great crested grebes and a red-throated diver.
A song thrush was singing from a tree in the Firs Chase garden on Sunday morning.

A goldcrest was photographed by Steve Entwistle on Saturday 15th beside Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane, also great spotted woodpecker and two red squirrels showed well twice. A woodcock was reported seen during the local pheasant shoot near Shop Lane.

In Cross Lane on Saturday a female blackcap, ten redwing were seen, while at Waldegraves caravan park were 55 mallard, 2 coot, 30 moorhens, kestrel with prey, 8 pied wagtails, 100 brent geese and 12 sanderling on the beach.

Shaun Bater saw a sparrowhawk with a starling in his Estuary Park Road garden also a greenfinch on Saturday.

Oliver Cottis reported seeing from the Esplanade on Saturday great northern diver, 50 brent geese, 9 shelduck, shoveler, 2 great crested grebes, 25 oystercatchers, four ringed plover, grey plover, 30 turnstone, 25 sanderling, 55 dunlin, 3 redshank, five common gulls, 3 Mediterranean gulls and 8 cormorants. A marsh harrier was seen by the Strood.

Liz Huxley walked east from the Strood towards Maydays on Saturday in the fog and noted 10 rock pipits, 20 fieldfare, two corn buntings, 50 reed buntings, 30 linnets, 800 brent geese, 9 red-breasted mergansers, 50 lapwing, 30 golden plover, 2 avocets, three buzzards and a marsh harrier.

A male pintail was feeding by itself on the side-lake next to the East Mersea boating lake on Friday 14th.

The over-wintering greenshank was roosting on the side-lake next to a couple of shelduck on Friday during the high tide.

Ninety turnstone were roosting on a small island in the side-lake at Rewsalls marsh, also seen here on Friday were 50 dunlin, 130 curlew, 4 snipe, 12 little grebes, 2 teal with 30 sanderling on the beach.
Offshore from Rewsalls were 364 great crested grebes, 3 Slavonian grebes and a great northern diver

Around some of the nearby fields and hedgerows at Rewsalls were 12 fieldfares, 2 mistle thrushes, four redwing, two yellowhammer, 30 reed buntings, Cetti's warbler, 30 goldfinches, seven pied wagtails, two buzzards and 34 skylarks.

At the end of Friday a visit to the Shop Lane seawall produced views of the male hen harrier seen flying west over Langenhoe at 16.00 then coming back to drop into the reedbed to roost at 16.35. Also 15+ marsh harriers, two buzzards, short-eared owl, while in the channel were five red-breasted mergansers and 200 lapwing. On Reeveshall 700 brent geese were grazing, a water rail called to the west from the rushes at the pool, with a second bird calling east towards the Oyster Fishery. A sparrowhawk was seen in Shop Lane.

At Maydays on Friday morning Martin Cock saw four buzzards, four marsh harriers, peregrine, sparrowhawk, nine red-breasted mergansers, eight pintail, four redwing, six fieldfare, singing corn bunting and a probable jack snipe seen in flight near the Maydays sluice.
There was no sign of the velvet scoter in the Pyefleet channel.

Matt Turner on Friday walked from the Strood east along the Pyefleet seawall noting 22 fieldfare, 8 redwing, 3 corn buntings, 9 red-breasted mergansers, buzzard, 6 avocets, red-legged partridge and also a short-eared owl flying south-east off marshes by the Strood late afternoon.

Sunday, 16 January 2022


A busy red squirrel was seen collecting nesting material beside Firs Chase on Friday 14th. After it had begun to carry it away, it paused briefly on top of the roof of a nearby bungalow, catching the early morning sunshine while it pondered its next move.

The red squirrel had spent a moment wrapping the strips of bark into a tight ball so that it could carry it in its mouth.

The red squirrel had first been spotted from the kitchen window stripping the bark from a thin branch on the opposite side of the road. I grabbed a camera and managed to take these pictures as I watched it over the passing traffic between us! It paused once and retreated a short way when a dog-walker passed close-by along the road but then came back to strip more off the branch.

The squirrel was watched for about five to ten minutes stripping the bark off and another five or so minutes as it carried it off through the trees.

Lime bark, also known as bast, is perfect for nest material as it strips off easily in long dry strips.

The red squirrel was thinking of crossing the road at ground level which is dangerous with all the traffic passing by. I went and stood in the entrance to our driveway so that it would be deterred from running across the road towards me. It did look at me from the low fence pictured above and then decided to turn back and use the longer route but safer aerial crossing using the branches high over the road. Once over the road, it scampered along the roof of our chalet bungalow - a regular route for it, dropped down into a tree in our patio and then away into the neighbour's garden, still carrying the ball of bark!

Thursday, 13 January 2022


Plenty of sunshine and a light breeze on Thursday 13th provided perfect conditions for a walk along the north side of the Island from Shop Lane to Maydays. On the calm waters of the Pyefleet channel were 13 red-breasted mergansers including this male, while the velvet scoter was seen feeding on a crab mid channel - has been present for the last fortnight here, also two great crested grebes and six little grebes noted too.

Also along the channel during the low tide walk were 165 avocets, 120 black-tailed godwits, 300 lapwing, 1000 dunlin, 3 bar-tailed godwits, three knot and five ringed plovers - amongst lots of other regular waders. 

Four buzzards were enjoying the sunshine with this one perched on top of the seawall, also six marsh harriers seen while a short-eared owl was seen hunting over Langenhoe. A flock of 600 brent geese were grazing Reeveshall. In Fishponds Wood at Shop Lane a goldcrest was feeding with long-tailed tits.

On Wednesday 12th Andy Field walked the Reeveshall seawall to Maydays and saw the velvet scoter in the Pyefleet channel. A short You Tube video of it is at -

Other highlights were two peregines - with one chasing a merlin, six buzzards, three marsh harriers, short-eared owl on Langenhoe, eight red-breasted mergansers, two corn buntings, six redwing and a little owl at Maydays farm. A  male merlin was watched sitting on the Maydays saltmarsh in the sun preening itself for 45 minutes.

Andy photographed this red squirrel on Wednesday beside Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane.

A second red squirrel photographed by Andy in Fishponds Wood on Wednesday was a bit shyer.
Two brown hares were seen boxing on the Reeveshall / Maydays by Andy.

In West Mersea a female blackcap and a great spotted woodpecker were seen in Shaun Bater's garden in Estuary Park Road.

It was also calm on Wednesday morning along the Strood channel where a great northern diver was feeding among the boats behind the Dabchicks sailing club. Over in the Ray Channel 1000 brent geese sought refuge after being disturbed off the Feldy Marshes. 
Birds noted along the Strood channel were 100 teal, 10 little grebes, 60 curlew, 44 avocets, one bar-tailed godwit, eight black-tailed godwits, a knot, two marsh harriers, two buzzards, a yellowhammer and a pair of mistle thrushes behind the caravan site. A fox was seen running over the Ray Island saltmarsh late morning.

There were sunny conditions on Tuesday 11th along the Strood Channel and this stonechat perched beside the Firs Caravan site. Four great spotted woodpeckers were around the caravan site, while over the fields were two buzzards and a marsh harrier over Ray Island. Fifteen snipe flew off the grass field, while in the channel were 83 shelduck, 200 teal, 50 wigeon, 50 avocets and 20 black-tailed godwits.

Steve Grimwade visited Mersea on Tuesday morning and caught up with the velvet scoter in the Pyefleet off Maydays, also female merlin, 87 avocets, 500 dunlin, 11 red-breasted mergansers, two marsh harriers, three buzzards, five corn buntings and also a kingfisher by the Strood layby. Two great northern divers were later seen offshore through the gloom from the Esplanade. The presumed same two great northern divers were seen earlier on Tuesday close in off the Esplanade by Jonathan Norgate.

A white-fronted goose was photographed by Richard Brown during his visit with permission onto the Langenhoe ranges on Monday 10th. Also seen out there were three short-eared owls in the air at the same time and at least thirty bearded tits feeding on the reed-tops in the early morning frost.

At Maydays on Monday the velvet scoter was seen in the Pyefleet again by Martin Cock and Steve Entwistle. Martin noted mid-morning a merlin, short-eared owl, two buzzards, three marsh harriers, seven pintail, two red-breasted mergansers, stonechat, yellowhammer, 12 corn buntings, seven redwing and 15 fieldfare.

Steve also noted during his visit to Maydays on Monday eight red-breasted mergansers, four little grebes, two bar-tailed godwits, five pintail, 15 golden plover, 200 dunlin, 50 avocets, corn bunting, three male yellowhammers, Cetti's warbler and four marsh harriers.

Jonathan Norgate photographed the velvet scoter in the Pyefleet channel on Sunday 9th, also seen were a male hen harrier, three bar-tailed godwits and three corn buntings.

At Cudmore Grove Andy Field on Sunday morning reported two pairs of stonechats, water rail calling from the clubrush in the fields, 60-70 greylag geese flew north over the park, a snipe on the Golfhouse pools and a mistle thrush by the Golfhouse.

Steve Entwistle spent most of Sunday on the Maydays seawall and saw two short-eared owls, possibly three - one on Reeveshall and another one maybe two on Langenhoe, velvet scoter, four red-breasted mergansers, four buzzards, four marsh harriers, two kestrels, little owl, 27 linnets, 20 fieldfares, eight redwing, two rock pipits, two meadow pipits, two greenfinch and a red-legged partridge in Haycocks Lane. Also a Chinese Water deer was seen twice at Maydays.

A kestrel perched over Charlie and Nicola Pollard's garden in Shop Lane on Sunday 9th.

The kestrel seemed used to people passing close-by.

A great white egret flew out of the reeds along Broad Fleet at Reeveshall before dropping back down again on Sunday. fourteen red-breasted mergansers were feeding with the velvet scoter in the Pyefleet, and two female pintail were near the top end of the Pyefleet. Four fieldfare, redwing and thirty reed buntings were at Maydays.

The male hen harrier was photographed by Paul Rowe from Old Hall, as the bird flew low over the saltmarsh at the entrance to Salcott Creek- pictured here with the toilet block at the West Mersea Hard in the background.

The sun set over the jetty at the Hard on Sunday 9th accompanied by the sound of 1000 brent geese heading off the Feldy fields to roost. Along the Strood channel late afternoon were 65 avocets, two marsh harriers, two buzzards, sparrowhawk, two stonechats while thirty goldfinches chattered away from tree-tops ready to roost.

On a drizzly Saturday 8th at Maydays, the velvet scoter was in the Pyefleet channel with 14 red-breasted mergansers, 70 avocets, 50 knot, 500 dunlin, two great crested grebes, three marsh harriers, sparrowhawk, Cetti's warbler, corn bunting, ten redwing, a leucistic starling, 30 reed buntings and 50 chaffinches.

David Bullock reported seeing a red kite flying over the north end of Dawes Lane on Saturday morning. At the south end of Dawes Lane Steve Entwistle saw 11 blackbirds, 11 pied wagtails, song thrush, six linnets, and two goldfinches in the field nearby.

Andy Field had a brief look out to sea at the Esplanade from the comfort of his car before the rain started blowing inside the car late Saturday morning. There were brief views of two great northern divers, Mediterranean gull and a few great crested grebes.