Saturday, 7 February 2015

Serins @ Gunners Park

Yesterday I managed to get across to Gunners Park, Shoeburyness to see the two Serins Serinus serinus which have been there since last Thursday. Been there a week! and a life tick! shocking commitment to my life list!

But seriously these are cracking little birds and both appear to be males. Smallest of the finch species to be found in Europe and breeds right across the continent except the British Isles where they are scarce but recorded annually.

They showed well either feeding very low down on seeding weeds or perched up in the nearby trees. They were more often than not obscured by vegetation, while they were feeding close to the ground they would tantalisingly climb the vegetation becoming clearer to view but then the strong wind would almost pluck them from the plants!

They were favoring an area to feed beside the car park in the north-east corner occasionally flying up in to the tree beside the lamp post. They would also feed just south of the car park around the newish pond. I also bumped in to Joan a lovely lady who I knew from my days working for the RSPB, we had a great catch-up chat, and it transpired that Joan was the original finder. Although unsure as to there identity she was hoping they were Siskins! Great find Joan and thank you!

Whilst waiting for the serins to show an amazingly confiding male Stonechat kept us entertained!

A little Goldcrest also showed well while I was looking for the serins.

In the afternoon I went across to the RSPB's Wallasea Wetlands where a large flock of 200+ Corn Buntings and probably 300+ Linnets were present. The wintering Rough-legged Buzzard showed very distantly hunting along the southern seawall while a ringtail Hen Harrier eventually showed at a reasonable distance, no views today of any Short-eared Owls possibly too windy! A male Merlin was seen going low across the island though.

ringtail Hen Harrier

ringtail Hen Harrier

ringtail Hen Harrier