Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Mersea Magic - The Freshwater Pools

Time for another visit to East Mersea, but first the compulsory breakfast stop at Abberton. Nothing much doing here, but from my favourite a nearby hedge I could hear the familiar call of a Yellowhammer. Sure enough, just a few yards down the road, there he was sitting up on a bush, unfortunately partially obscured, but still irresistible.

But now on to East Mersea and the main business in hand. I walked down the east side of the park, past the hide and on down to the floods behind the sea wall. As usual, they were full to overflowing with birds. There were about 400 Black-tailed Godwits this time, with some giving reasonable views and a few photo opportunities. The third photo shows quite nicely the black tail, white rump and wing bar which separates the Black-tails from the Bar-tails.

A few Snipe were also present, scuttling along the margins and in between the rushy tussocks. I was a little bit unlucky here as two days later a couple of bobbing Jack Snipe appeared. Unfortunately, the birds I saw were all Common Snipe as can be seen from the central crown stripe.

Duck were also well represented, predominantly by Teal and Wigeon. This male has now come out of eclipse but was still giving some final adjustments to his new attire whilst showing off his brand new green speculum.

The Wigeon were more of a mixed bunch with some of the males displaying full plumage while others were still moulting through, either adults coming out of eclipse or young birds moulting through for the first time.

Well, the pools never disappoint, now on to the sea wall.

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