Tuesday, 26 April 2022



A sedge warbler posed nicely to be photographed by Andy Field as it sang from the reedbed beside the Strood seawall on Tuesday 26th. A second sedge warbler was also heard singing further along the Strood dyke.

Apart from the sedge warbler showing its back to Andy, two reed warblers were heard singing along the Strood dyke, a yellow wagtail, six whimbrel, three Mediterranean gulls, as well as the shag on a buoy opposite the Firs caravan park were seen.

The most notable bird found by Andy on Tuesday morning was a female black redstart seen briefly beside the Firs caravan park. It perched up briefly on a bush but disappeared presumably into the caravan park and not seen again.

Thousands of St Marks flies were flying about during Andy's walk along the Strood seawall on Tuesday.

At Coopers Beach on Tuesday morning, a sedge warbler and Cetti's warbler were singing by the football pitch. Also noted were three whitethroats singing, grey heron, two swallows while offshore was a marsh harrier flying east to Colne Point and also two great crested grebes on the sea.

The green-winged orchids were putting on another nice display in Dave Chadwick's back garden on the Esplanade on Tuesday. However the very dry spring appears to have brought the flowering season forward a fortnight and also most plants looked very stunted and shorter than in previous years, presumably due the dry soil.

There were probably over 300 flowering spikes of the green-winged orchids while the distinctive leaves of the common spotted orchids were getting ready for their flowering season later next month.
The immature shag was perched on a buoy behind the Dabchicks sailing club on Monday 25th, the bird was last seen about three weeks previously.
Birds seen during a walk along the Strood seawall included a pair of gadwall, 11 whimbrel, black-tailed godwit, four Mediterranean gulls, greylag goose, two sedge warblers, Cetti's warbler, reed warbler, lesser whitethroat, house martin, yellow wagtail, five corn buntings, 42 carrion crows in a field, also two jays flying high to Ray Island. 

At Maydays farm on Monday Steve Entwistle reported a pair of grey partridge, common tern, reed warbler, greylag goose, two cuckoo, three whimbrel, two whitethroat and a hobby perched on a sign on Langenhoe marshes.

Martin Cock walked from the East Mersea church to the Rewsalls boating lake on Monday and noted a willow warbler, three lesser whitethroats, many whitethroats, two yellow wagtails, five whimbrel, six turnstones, two great crested grebes offshore and a Cetti's warbler near the church.

On Sunday 24th along the north side of the Island there were 11 whimbrel seen in the Pyefleet channel and another ten in the Strood channel just prior to the high tide. Also along the Pyefleet were 120 shelduck, ten grey plover, two bar-tailed godwits, while a hobby was swooping after insects on the Langenhoe seawall and a cuckoo heard calling from there too. Also five marsh harriers, two buzzards, five lapwing on Reeveshall and a nightingale still singing in Shop Lane. 

Lots of scurvy grass was in flower on the saltmarsh below Bower Hall farm on Sunday. Also two yellow wagtails, buzzard, lesser whitethroat, singing corn bunting and two reed buntings on this section.

Steve Entwistle walked the Shop Lane section of seawall on Sunday afternoon and noted three Canada geese, two greylag geese, two marsh harriers and a buzzard.

A green hairstreak butterfly rested beside the back door of the Firs Chase garden on both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, sheltering from the wind whilst enjoying the sun.

The nightingale was heard singing from the scrubby field near the north end of Shop Lane on Saturday.

Steve the red squirrel was busy handing out small hazel trees to local residents outside the Life in Eco shop on Saturday. As well as some home deliveries, 650 hazels were eventually handed out to help the red squirrel population to thrive.

At Cudmore Grove on Friday 22nd, Andy Field photographed one of the two knot seen close into the beach at the East Mersea Point. Also at the park were four avocets, buzzard, kestrel sitting in the box, two lesser whitethroats, two swallows and seven pochard.

Andy photographed the sedge warbler when it appeared on a bramble bush in front of the park pond.

In Shop Lane a sparrowhawk and kestrel was seen over Chris Burr's garden on Friday as well as an adder heading to a pile of brash.

A male pied wagtail stood on the edge of the Strood saltmarsh on Thursday 21st.
Birds noted along the Strood seawall included a whimbrel, brent goose, yellow wagtail, corn bunting, yellowhammer, three black-tailed godwit, Cetti's warbler, 30 linnets, buzzard, sparrowhawk, 16 Mediterranean gulls and three common terns.

Martin Cock also walked the Strood seawall on Thursday and noted six whimbrel, two yellow wagtails, two Mediterranean gulls, whitethroat and Cetti's warbler.

Steve Entwistle photographed this green hairstreak at St Peters by the well decking on Thursday, also the Cetti's warbler showing well there too, 54 brent geese and greylag goose on Cobmarsh Island. Over Old Hall were seen two marsh harriers and two greylag geese.

Later on Thursday Steve noted at Maydays two great white egrets flying over, two grey herons, 32 stock doves and nine yellowhammers.

Moth trapping continues to be very quiet in the Firs Chase garden due to the cold nights. This purple thorn was one of only half a dozen moths seen in the evening of Wednesday 20th.

A coronet was an unexpected early sighting for the season in the moth trap on Wednesday 20th

Wednesday, 20 April 2022


A pair of adders was seen to mate at Cudmore Grove Country Park on a sunny Wednesday 20th. The male with the bright silvery-grey markings was seen lying on top of the larger and browner female.

After a few minutes the male adder wriggled together with the female and then coupled up. They were then left to do their business undisturbed at the base of some bushes. The live young would be born later in the summer.

Three other adders were seen at the park on Wednesday, including this male basking in the long grass.

Two knot were feeding on the mud near the East Mersea Point on Wednesday.

Another of the knot seen beside the East Mersea Point, also 15 ringed plover, while also at the park were a black-tailed godwit, ten redshank, seven lapwing, ten Mediterranean gull, sparrowhawk, two sand martins, three sedge warblers, three lesser whitethroats, two whitethroats and a meadow pipit.

A female pochard was on the park pond with six other pochard, six tufted ducks and two gadwall, while on the fields were 15 greylag geese, ten shelduck, eight teal, a wigeon and ten brent geese on the saltmarsh.

A female black redstart was seen flying over the horse paddocks to the north of the park on Wednesday morning but not seen again.

A patch of bluebells added some colour under an oak tree at the country park on Wednesday.

In Shop Lane the nightingale was heard still singing by Martin Cock on Wednesday morning with a second one singing to the west near Gyants Marsh. Also noted were cuckoo, two Cetti's warblers, three Mediterranean gulls, blackcap and whitethroat.

Eight slow-worms were put to one side for safe keeping in the Firs Chase garden while the compost heap was turned. They were then placed back in the newly formed heap and covered over with old vegetation.

On Tuesday 19th along the Strood seawall, there were two whimbrel, 13 black-tailed godwits, two dunlin, 40 redshank, buzzard, with Cetti's warbler, sedge warbler, reed warbler and whitethroat singing, while three corn buntings and a yellow wagtail also seen.

Martin Cock visited Maydays on Tuesday afternoon and saw two house martins, common tern, blackcap, lesser whitethroat and a whitethroat.

The familiar male swallow with the rusty belly was perched on the Dabchicks Sailing Club on Monday 18th. This is the third summer this distinctively coloured bird has been seen here. Two other swallows flying about here too.

Two red kites flew west over the Firs Caravan park towards the mainland on Monday morning, also eight buzzards and a sparrowhawk seen. Along the Strood seawall were seen two common terns, ten Mediterranean gulls, whimbrel, 15 black-tailed godwits, a dunlin, 25 redshank, yellow wagtail and a whitethroat.

A green woodpecker posed low down in Feldy View on Monday, while a willow warbler was seen flitting about the nearby birches singing during the morning. A chiffchaff was heard in the Lane and also Firs Chase where blackcap was also singing.

The nightingale was proving elusive and staying inside thick cover in Shop Lane on Monday morning being heard by Martin Cock who also noted cuckoo, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, blackcap, chiffchaff and Cetti's warbler.

Andy Field heard the nightingale singing on Sunday 17th near the north end of Shop Lane in thick cover. Also noted were 2 swallows, two common terns in the Pyefleet, two Cetti's warblers, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, numerous chiffchaffs and blackcaps, buzzard, sparrowhawk and four marsh harriers.

At West Mersea on Sunday the sedge warbler was singing in the reedbed corner of the Strood borrowdyke, 24 black-tailed godwits, two avocets, 14 Mediterranean gulls, buzzard, pair of common terns by the Hard, the rusty swallow back again at the Dabchicks and a distant Egyptian goose flying over Old Hall marshes.

On Saturday 16th during a walk along the Maydays and Reeveshall seawalls, two common terns were seen in the Pyefleet channel with one perched on a pontoon. Also seen from the seawall were ten great crested grebes, greenshank, 15 black-tailed godwits, 15 grey plover, 40 dunlin, six lapwing, eight Mediterranean gulls, six marsh harriers, two buzzards, sparrowhawk, two swallows, two sedge warblers, three whitethroats, two corn buntings and two yellowhammers.

A common lizard was sunning itself on the top of the Maydays seawall on Saturday.

A comma butterfly was resting on a bush sheltered from the strong breeze at Maydays.

A yellowhammer was seen by Michael Thorley just west of Meeting Lane on Saturday, while a lesser whitethroat was seen by Steve Entwistle near Shop Lane.

A male yellowhammer perched with a second bird in a bush to the west of Shop Lane on Friday 15th, in the same area where a ring ouzel was heard calling several times but not seen.
A lesser whitethroat was heard near Shop Lane as were three whitethroats, four blackcaps, five chiffchaffs, three Cetti's warblers (including one singing near North Farm), also buzzard, sparrowhawk, marsh harrier and four Mediterranean gulls flying over.

A male swallow perched on wires over Shop Lane on Friday 15th.
A brimstone, orange-tip and large white butterflies were seen on the wing near Shop Lane.

A red kite was seen by Michael Thorley flying east over Meeting Lane on Friday, also a blackcap singing here.

Martin Cock reported from Maydays on Friday morning a whitethroat, blackcap, sedge warbler, chiffchaff, two Cetti's warblers singing, cuckoo and two Canada geese.

A red squirrel made another visit to the nut feeder in the Firs Chase garden on Friday.

A Cypress carpet was the only macro moth in the back garden moth-trap on a chilly night of Thursday 14th, along with a couple of common plumes.

Thursday, 14 April 2022


A pair of garganey was found at the country park pond on Thursday 14th by Shaun Bater - the male pictured here by Andy Field. At times the birds disappeared into the reeds at the back of the pond. They were still present up to dusk, the male heard calling its short rattle notes. This is the first record on the island since 2013.
Shaun also noted ten avocets and a swallow near the Golfhouse, while Andy Field saw a whitethroat at the park.

At dusk a barn owl was seen a couple of times near the nestbox at the back of the park pond - one occasion perching at the box. A greylag goose looked like it was sitting on a nest, two sedge warblers and a Cetti's warbler were singing and a water rail was squealing. A pair of gadwall was feeding on the pond.

A pair of avocet was at the Rewsalls side-lake on Thursday, also greenshank, 80 redshank, 48 golden plover, two little egrets, four shelduck, Mediterranean gull and sparrowhawk.
Offshore was a great northern diver and twenty great crested grebes.

A flock of 110 turnstones roosted on the island at the Rewsalls side-lake on Thursday.
Two willow warblers, chiffchaff and a blackcap were singing at the Youth Camp, also a weasel and brimstone butterfly seen.

Offshore from Cross Lane were two great northern divers, Mediterranean gull, while along the Lane were a whitethroat, song thrush, four blackcaps, three chiffchaffs. A Cetti's warbler sang briefly at Waldegraves fishing lake and a kestrel seen near here.

Four speckled wood butterflies were enjoying the dappled sun at the bottom end of Cross Lane, orange-tip, small white, peacock, comma, also a brimstone seen along here and also in Waldegraves.

Michael Thorley reported a buzzard and swallow over his East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane.

A vividly marked male adder that had recently shed its skin was lying beside a path at the country park on Wednesday 13th - right beside a willow warbler that was singing in a nearby bush. A second willow warbler was singing from the trees in the north-west corner of the park. Three whitethroats were newly in that morning at the park too, and Martin Cock reported a further four between the park and Ivy Dock.
Seven sand martins were flying around the park cliff.

A greylag goose appeared to be settling down onto a nest on the park pond on Wednesday morning - the first ever nesting attempt for greylags at the park. Two pairs of greylag geese made a lot of noise squabbling with each other. A water rail squealed from the reeds, two sedge warblers were singing, four pochard, two gadwall and seven tufted duck were present.

On the park fields were eight greylag geese, four shoveler, thirty teal, wigeon, twenty mallard, five lapwing, 30 curlew, black-tailed godwit and a snipe. Four avocets, ten brent geese, two knot, four ringed plover, wheatear, five Mediterranean gulls and a whimbrel were near the Point and saltmarsh pools. Three buzzards flew west and two sparrowhawks were seen and ten linnets were near horse paddocks. A swallow was at the Golfhouse and another by North Farm.

The first cuckoo onto the island was reported on Wednesday from three different locations near the Strood - Claire Lee near the Barrow, Kevin Payne at the reservoirs and Janey Martin near the Firs Caravan park.

A Chinese Water deer sadly came to an untimely end, after being hit by a car in Chapmans Lane on Wednesday morning. The short length of the tusks would indicate this is a one year old buck.
A buzzard was seen circling in the air nearby, maybe eyeing up the recent road-kill.

Andy Field photographed a silent warbler at the country park on Tuesday 12th that was either a willow warbler or a chiffchaff, showing a brightish plumage, pale legs but with a short primary projection. Also at the park were a wheatear on the beach, two sedge warblers at the pond and five sand martins by the cliff.

Two lesser black-backed gulls were photographed by Andy at the park on Tuesday.
Angela Buckley saw seven avocets and a lone brent goose by the Golfhouse pools in the afternoon.

Michael Thorley saw a sparrowhawk over his East Mersea garden on Tuesday.

A pair of Egyptian geese was a surprise sight on the saltmarsh of Cobmarsh Island on Tuesday, also there were two greylag geese, snipe, six ringed plover and four sanderling.
Steve Entwistle at St Peters reported a Cetti's warbler, blackcap, six greylag geese flying and greenfinch.

Helped the RSPB put up No Landing signs on Packing Shed Island and Cobmarsh Island to help the birds nest undisturbed over the coming weeks.

Eight black-tailed godwits were along the Strood Channel on Monday 11th, also two whimbrel flew past, yellow wagtail flew along the seawall, great crested grebe, seven brent geese, four Canada geese and 12 mute swans seen in flight. The Cetti's warbler sang by the reservoirs, four corn buntings and four linnets by the seawall, a buzzard, also a blackcap and chiffchaff by the caravan park.

At East Mersea Martin Cock visited the park on Monday and reported two sedge warblers, two sand martins, three blackcaps, black-tailed godwit, three avocets, three Cetti's warbler and a swallow by North Farm.
A whimbrel was seen flying over the Cudmore car park by Steve Entwistle late afternoon.

On Sunday 10th along the Maydays and Reeveshall seawalls, Martin Cock and I noted a great white egret flying along the Pyefleet towards Langenhoe, four red-breasted mergansers, five great crested grebes, five golden plover, 30 grey plover, four black-tailed godwits, 100 dunlin, four Mediterranean gulls, ten buzzards and two sparrowhawks in the air at the same time, four marsh harriers, Cetti's warbler, yellowhammer and six linnets. Also an adder and a brimstone along the seawall.
A brimstone butterfly was seen at Bower Hall farm on Sunday by Steve Entwistle.

In Firs Chase a swallow flew west over the garden on Saturday early evening.
Michael Thorley reported from his East Mersea garden greenfinch, chaffinch and green woodpecker.

Friday, 8 April 2022


The male wheatear was still on the Strood seawall on Friday 8th, present for its second day after being blown about on its first day. It was sometimes feeding in the fields, sometimes along the top of the seawall, while other times it fed on the saltmarsh side of the seawall, covering a distance of 200 metres along the wall.

Other birds seen along the Strood seawall were a male marsh harrier, pair of Mediterranean gulls, 50 linnets, 300 wood pigeons and a singing corn bunting in the fields, two grey herons, greylag goose, great crested grebe, ten black-tailed godwits and 180 redshank. A  blackcap was singing by the Firs caravan park and another in Firs Chase as was a chiffchaff.

Despite an almost gale-force wind blowing on Thursday 7th, this wheatear was hopping along the top of the Strood seawall. It was a job to stand upright to take a steady picture of the bird. It was found late morning in the area near the seawall sluice and was seen again late afternoon by Steve Entwistle nearer the road-end.

The Strood Channel was devoid of birds in the strong wind with many not bothering to feed on the exposed mud. A single black-tailed godwit, a few redshank and curlew were all that were seen, along with 16 shelduck and a greylag goose in flight. Four little egrets were sheltering behind a hedge while fifty carrion crows and four stock doves fed in the cultivated field.

A male reed bunting was singing beside the Strood seawall on Wednesday 6th. Along the channel were two avocets, eight black-tailed godwits, 15 dunlin and three grey plover. A marsh harrier and a buzzard were seen while in the fields were 30 carrion crows.

At Cudmore Grove Country Park on Wednesday, Andy Field found a very flighty male wheatear at the Point, also six red-breasted mergansers in the Colne, four pochard on the park pond, along with five blackcaps, two Cetti's warblers and two chiffchaffs at the park

On Tuesday 5th along the Strood seawall were two avocets, great crested grebe, 15 black-tailed godwits, 20 dunlin, three teal, grey heron, four little egrets, marsh harrier, two corn buntings and a flock of fifty linnets in one of the fields. The shag was feeding in the Mersea Quarters near Packing Marsh Island. A chiffchaff was in Feldy View and a red squirrel crossed the top end of Firs Chase near Firs Road carrying a walnut.

Shaun Bater watched a male blackcap and a great spotted woodpecker in his Estuary Park Road garden on Tuesday morning. Later Shaun reported at Cudmore seeing two chiffchaffs, song thrush, 14 tufted ducks, two gadwall, six lapwing, wigeon, teal, six shelduck, 25 brent geese, five little grebes in the dyke, a coot on a nest, buzzard, three avocets on the Golfhouse pools.
Two corn buntings were seen singing from the telegraph wires along Dawes Lane by Shaun.

On Tuesday afternoon Steve Entwistle visited Cudmore Grove and reported lots of common species giving good views such as three long-tailed tits, two wrens, 30 teal, 22 wigeon, green woodpecker, skylark, two little grebes, two greylag geese, five lapwing on the fields, pair of gadwall and nine tufted ducks on the pond and a red-throated diver on the sea.

A song thrush has taken up residence in the Firs Chase garden over the last few weeks, singing loudly each morning.
Along the Strood seawall on Monday 4th there was a buzzard, greylag goose, 20 brent geese, 15 shelduck, three teal, 15 black-tailed godwits, 20 dunlin, three grey plover, two meadow pipits and a singing corn bunting.
On Monday afternoon a snipe and kestrel were seen from the Strood causeway by Steve Entwistle.

Lots of broken sunshine on Sunday 3rd whilst walking the north side of the Island. The highlight was a great white egret flying east over Langenhoe before dropping down near the Point. Five marsh harriers, six buzzards, 90 golden plovers, ten lapwing, three red-breasted mergansers, five great crested grebes and eight greylag geese were seen along the Reeveshall section.

Along the Bower hall seawall a Cetti's warbler sang, two red-legged partridges, two teal, 15 wigeon, five little egrets and three buzzards were noted, while along the Strood at high tide were seen a buzzard, kestrel, great crested grebe, four stock doves, as well as twenty turnstones at the Hard.
The chiffchaff, blackcap and song thrush were in the Firs Chase garden on Sunday.

The male adder was basking in its usual spot on the Maydays seawall on Saturday 2nd. Also seen from the Maydays and Reeveshall seawalls were seven marsh harriers, eight buzzards, greenshank, 16 golden plover, nine lapwing, two black-tailed godwits, 15 teal, three red-breasted mergansers, Cetti's warbler, chiffchaff and two meadow pipits.

Andy Field visited East Mersea on Saturday morning and walked from Shop Lane to Gyants Marsh as well as onto the Reeveshall seawall. Highlights were four pairs of marsh harrier, three buzzards, two Canada geese, four greylag geese, 100 golden plover, six pairs of lapwing, six chiffchaffs and a muntjac deer.

Steve Entwistle also visited the Reeveshall seawall from Shop Lane and noted three red-breasted mergansers, two pairs of greylag geese, four marsh harriers, two buzzards and a Canada goose. Earlier a red-legged partridge was seen in Chapmans Lane.

A Dark-edged Bee-fly was photographed by Andy Field on Saturday near Shop Lane.