Saturday, 30 March 2013


The cold weather continues and a sunny start on Saturday 30th, soon turned cloudy. It was high tide early in the afternoon covering most of the mud off West Mersea by late morning as this view above shows, across to Packing Marsh Island.

Two great northern divers were feeding together at the entrance to Besom Creek near Cobmarsh Island, while a third great northern could be seen further offshore. Also offshore were 25 great crested grebes and two red-breasted mergansers. Closer to the Hard one shag was preening itself in the water amongst the moorings while a second bird was perched atop one of the buoys.

Other regular birds noted were 50+ brent geese along Cobmarsh Island, marsh harrier over Old Hall to the west and a small flock of 30 dunlin close into the Hard.

The short walk along the Pyefleet seawall close to Shop Lane in East Mersea on Friday 29th coincided with the high tide which had all of the saltmarsh covered. No mud was on view and many of the waders had already flown to roost elsewhere. Those noted included 70+ dunlin, 20 redshanks and a little egret on the Reeveshall pool while feeding on a flooded field were another 200+ dunlin.

Also seen on Reeveshall were 20 greylag geese, 10 linnet and a reed bunting with one of the five marsh harriers on Langenhoe seen crossing over to the Island. Feeding along the edge of the Pyefleet were 50 teal, 200 dunlin and 50 redshank with 50 shelduck forced onto the water as Pewit Island flooded.

At the end of Friday a barn owl was perched by the East Mersea road near Church Lane while a sparrowhawk flew along the length of Bromans Lane at dusk.

Andy Field found a silent chiffchaff in bushes near the Youth Camp on Friday while Steve Entwistle saw a Mediterranean gull on the beach near Seaview and a little owl in Dawes Lane.

On Thursday 28th a marsh harrier crossed high over the seawall and grazing fields at the park heading north in the afternoon. Also on the seawall was a sparrowhawk disturbed whilst attending to a recently caught bird. A kestrel was also hovering over the long grass on the seawall before perching on a nearby tree.
In the fields a wisp of 12 snipe flew down into the rushes while 300 wigeon continued to graze near the dyke.

From the East Mersea road 30+ fieldfares fed in a field near Weir Farm and 200+ golden plovers were in the Chapmans Lane field on Thursday afternoon.

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