Saturday, 29 November 2014

Time for another Tour of Mersea

10th November 2014

Time for another trip to Mersea, this time with fellow photographer Paul Moss who wanted to get to know his way around this superb island. We started at Cudmore Grove as this would give us three hours before high tide and therefore some chance of bird activity. As we walked down to the sea wall the flooded grazing fields were fairly quiet, presumably because most of the  birds were still out feeding on the mud flats.

We therefore headed along the sea wall to The Point. On the tidal pools on the beach a lone Sky Lark was feeding along the edge and, although slightly too distant, gave the first opportunity of the day for a shot.

Out on The Point there were a number of Pied Wagtails but this male gave the best views. Also feeding along the water's edge were some Turnstone but no sign of any Sanderling. Although some have been seen this winter, it is probably a little too early for them to be a reliable sighting.

Shelduck were starting to move in with the tide and a number of waders were building up on the pools on the saltmarsh. These were mainly Grey Plover with some Turnstone and Dunlin, and a single Teal

Walking back along the sea wall small flocks of Wigeon were being pushed up from the rising tide to the grazing fields, joining the Black-tailled Godwits that were already there.

Having exhausted East Mersea we moved on to Seaview to try our luck with the Med Gulls. By now the tide was right in so no mud for the birds to loaf on and the only Med Gull in sight was one sitting on the sea a hundred yards out. However with a few slices of bread thrown on to the beach, another two or three appeared from nowhere and started flying around in a feeding frenzy with 30-40 Black-headed Gulls. This is very tricky. Not only do you have to pick out the Med Gulls from the melee, but get them in focus as they whizz past at high speed.

The final port of call today was the jetty at the western end of West Mersea. This too was very quiet as the exceptionally high tide was still covering all the beach and was lapping up the wall of the car park. We walked out to the end of the jetty where Stacey was sitting aboard Lady Grace awaiting customers for a trip round the bay. I really must treat myself to one of these boat trips one day, perhaps a slightly longer trip for some bird photography. Perhaps during the winter when there are some grebes out on the sea provided that it is not too choppy!!

However, today the only consolation prize was this juvenile Herring Gull sitting on one of the jetty posts.

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