Saturday, 31 January 2015

Serin at Gunners Park Essex

Breaking news shortly before 9am this morning of two Serin again present at Gunners Park. Plans for a visit were hastily made.
A quick phone call to Brian who was working and arrangements were quickly made to meet at 10.45. The 37 miles was much slower to cover at this time of day.
Pulling in to the main car park off Campfield Road, the signs were not looking good. Birders were scattered about and were obviously trying to relocate the birds.
We decided to take another route and head towards the seafront, searching any likely looking habitat on the way. 
The only birds seen during this time were Redshank, Turnstone, Sanderling, Little Egret and a single male Stonechat.
While heading back towards the car park, news filtered through that the Serin had re-appeared again in the scrub Northeast of the main car park.
A brisk walk later and a very smart looking Serin is found perched on an outer branch of the nearest tree to us. Not only that but while watching it, the second Serin flew in to join it.


We spent the next 15-20 minutes watching them feeding among the trees and vegetation before they decided to fly over the car park and alight on bushes in the Southwest corner.

The trip was made even more enjoyable with the presence of some familiar faces. Giving us the chance to catch up before leaving.

From Gunners Park it is only 3.5 miles to Southend Pier, a brief stop along the seafront a short distance from here and it wasn't long before Mediterranean Gull was added to the year list. Having found one Med Gull several more were soon added. Also along the water's edge were large flocks of Dunlin and smaller numbers of Sanderling and Redshank.

Wallasea Island has in recent years become a regular site visited, and it was too close today not to drop in.
Pulling into the car park we were greeted by the sound of a noisy flock of Corn Buntings that were busily feeding amongst the short grasses close by.
The weather was by now taking a turn for the worse, with a freezing biting wind and light rain falling. Brian then spotted the Rough-legged Buzzard away in the distance moving along the far bank, as it flies along the bank it disturbs a Short-eared owl. It flies along the bank for a short distance then drops back down out of sight.
The Rough-legged however continues it's search for food, giving superb scope views as it flies straight into the wind and with a couple of wing flaps just hangs in the air.
Moving around to the gate for another scan there was a huge flock of Linnet flying across the field and the Rough-legged Buzzard is also quickly re-found flying low along the bank, it then dropped onto the bank, giving fantastic views through the scope again.
The weather by now was rapidly getting worse, with the rain now turning to sleet and snow. It was time to head for home.

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