Monday, 13 June 2022


An oystercatcher chick was being anxiously watched over by the parents by the beach behind the Dabchicks sailing club on Monday 13th. The chick has left the dinghy but the high tides don't leave it much dry land to get onto that's safely away from walkers and their dogs. One dog walker was asked to put his dog on a lead after it ran along the shoreline chasing after the oystercatcher parents.

Along the Strood seawall on Monday a hobby was seen briefly catching insects, a male marsh harrier and a buzzard were seen over the fields, while a yellow wagtail, corn bunting, three reed warblers and two reed buntings were noted. Five common terns were fishing along the channel, five little egrets, 15 curlew, two lapwing and a pair of redshank were on the Ray saltings. A buzzard and a marsh harrier flew over Coast Road.

A female ruddy darter was seen in Feldy View on Monday - the first report of the season for the Island. Two holly blues, three small tortoiseshells and half a dozen meadow browns were also seen.
Steve Entwistle saw a painted lady, black-tailed skimmer, emperor dragonfly, along the Strood seawall on Monday, also two linnets, reed warbler and two whitethroats.

On Monday afternoon Steve visited Cudmore Grove and noted eight sand martins, mistle thrush, Cetti's warbler, two reed warblers, a pair of pochard and three tufted duck on the pond, two meadow browns, male brimstone, black-tailed skimmer dragonfly.

The regular cuckoo was calling again in Firs Chase early evening on Monday. It has been calling very early in the mornings recently and throughout the day too, then some late calling just before dark.

On Saturday 11th a common tern was fishing up and down the Maydays creek at high tide.

The common tern dived down several times into Maydays creek after small fish.
Also seen were a male marsh harrier, buzzard, cuckoo, great crested grebe, two redshank, lapwing, displaying meadow pipit, four reed warblers, five whitethroats, three reed buntings, also three house martins over the buildings and a Cetti's warbler singing at Haycocks yard.
A common seal was resting on saltmarsh, also four small heaths and five meadow browns.

Andy Field photographed a crab spider with prey on a common spotted orchid near Shop Lane on Saturday morning. The nightingale was calling by Shop Lane, also two chiffchaffs, ten swallows, three reed warblers in the dyke, two marsh harriers, two buzzards and a yellowhammer on the walk to Reeveshall.

Andy Field photographed this aptly named swollen-thighed beetle on a rose flower.

A bit horrified to see a grey squirrel at our bird feeders in the Firs Chase garden on Saturday evening. A trap was quickly set even while the grey squirrel was hiding in the tree, although it still remains at large.

Only about thirty moths in the trap in the Firs Chase garden on Saturday night including this strikingly marked barred yellow.

The once scarce evergestis limbata has become a regular through the last couple of summers.

The beautiful plume was also seen.

Friday, 10 June 2022


Managed to track down the common spotted orchids in a field near Diary Lane off Shop Lane on Friday 10th - first found the previous week by Andy Field.

The three common spotted orchid spikes were still in full flower, surrounded in the grass by the the small red-pink flowers of grass vetchling.

Several meadow brown butterflies were seen in the grassland as well as small heath, common blue and a burnet companion day-flying moth.

A buzzard perched on the north side of Gyants Marsh near Shop Lane on Friday, another buzzard was seen flying over fields, a sparrowhawk was being mobbed by 15 swallows, two green woodpeckers, Cetti's warbler, yellow wagtail, six whitethroats and four blackcaps were noted.

A chiffchaff singing in Shop Lane on Friday was one of three heard singing on the walk.
A muntjac deer ran through a crop of wheat.

At Cudmore Grove the barn owl was seen by Simon Patient hunting over the field near the park pond before entering the nestbox carrying prey at 9.30 on Friday morning.

At St Peters on Friday Steve Entwistle noted a greylag goose on Cobmarsh Island, 3 common terns and also a distant peregrine perched and flying about the Bradwell power station.

On the Rewsalls marshes from Coopers Beach on Thursday a pair of avocets, two oystercatchers, six shelduck, three little egrets and a reed bunting were noted, while five common terns were offshore.

One of the shelduck having a rest on the marshes near Coopers Beach on Thursday.

A male linnet was singing from a bush on Thursday by Coopers Beach, three others seen too. The Cetti's warbler was singing as were three whitethroats heard too, a grey heron flew over.

A female common blue butterfly was resting on some birdsfoot trefoil by Coopers Beach on Thursday.

The day-flying Mother Shipton moth was also seen on Thursday at Coopers Beach.

At West Mersea three buzzards drifted north-west over the Firs Chase garden with the resident crows chasing them onwards, also the cuckoo was calling regularly and the blackcap singing.
A house martin was seen going to its nest on a house opposite the vets near Queens Corner.

On Wednesday 8th one of the oystercatcher chicks was visible in the dinghy by the Dabchicks sailing club. The rusty swallow was flying about the Dabchicks area too.

Along the Strood seawall on Wednesday were two cuckoos, 25 curlew, buzzard, sedge warbler singing, three reed warblers singing and one whitethroat too. A meadow pipit was displaying over the saltmarsh, two pairs of yellow wagtail and two reed buntings singing. Two green woodpeckers were in Feldy View.
Twenty four swifts were over the West Mersea houses, while a buzzard flew over Firs Chase and the cuckoo calling through the day here. A painted lady was briefly seen in the garden.

A corn bunting perched beside the Strood seawall on Wednesday.

An elephant hawkmoth was the first hawkmoth of the season in the Firs Chase garden on the night of the 10th.

Beautiful hook-tip

Miller moth

Tuesday, 7 June 2022


A male sparrowhawk made a sudden appearance in the Firs Chase garden clutching a blue tit, on Tuesday 7th.

The sparrowhawk quickly started to pluck the blue tit on top of a pergola in the back garden before flying off after about five minutes. 

Amongst the various young birds in the Firs Chase garden was this young robin which seemed to insist it wanted to sit in the middle of the driveway. This meant it had to be carried off the driveway a couple of times so it didn't get run-over. It appeared to have left the nest before it's flight feathers were properly developed.

A ringed plover was still sitting on the nest at East Mersea Point on Tuesday 7th - a relief it is still sitting considering how busy the beach has been over the previous week..

There were three pairs of redshank on the Golfhouse pools, with this bird here keeping a close watch over two small chicks on the pools.

A lapwing on the Golfhouse pools was keeping a close eye on a large chick hiding in the saltmarsh.
Nine avocets were on the pools with at least one bird sitting and another pair seen mating. Two shelduck were on the nearby mud, three common terns and two great crested grebes were in the river.

On the park pond were four pochard, two tufted duck, a cuckoo perched nearby, sedge warbler, reed warbler and Cetti's warbler singing. Earlier in the morning the barn owl was seen by the park pond by Andy Field. Five sand martins, two kestrels, two lesser whitethroats, three whitethroats were noted at the park while three buzzards together and two Mediterranean gulls were seen to the north of the park.

The first meadow brown of the summer at the park was seen on Tuesday, also a green hairstreak along the track by the Golfhouse. An emperor dragonfly was flying over the park pond and another three hunting over the sea-blite bushes at the Point.

Steve Entwistle walked the Maydays seawall on Tuesday afternoon and reported a hobby, two displaying cuckoos, two yellow wagtails, yellowhammer, reed warbler, five reed buntings, meadow pipit, two chiffchaffs, Cetti's warbler, three marsh harriers and five house martins by the farmhouse.

Two pairs of yellow wagtails were along the Strood seawall on Monday 6th. 
There was a continuous steady flow of swifts during the morning with at least 300 seen heading west over the houses and fields and over to the mainland. Two male marsh harriers were also seen heading west off the island, while along the Strood channel were ten avocets, eight curlew and a great crested grebe. Along the seawall were seen two sedge warblers, two reed warblers, four linnets, a meadow pipit displaying, kestrel and a little grebe in the dyke.

In East Mersea Michael Thorley also noted a movement of swifts on Monday morning with forty flying west over his garden near Meeting Lane.
Martin Cock walked the Cudmore Grove circuit on Monday morning and saw three avocets, black-tailed godwit, ringed plover still sitting on eggs at the Point, two cuckoos and four pochard.

A few more moths were seen in the moth trap in the Firs Chase garden later in the night on 7th June with a Blotched Emerald always nice to see.

Waved Umber

Marbled Brown


Light Brocade

Green Pug

Half a dozen Green Oak Tortrix at the trap on Wednesday was more than usually seen here. 

A lesser stag beetle was found beside the garden moth trap.

Sunday, 5 June 2022


A male linnet showing its colourful pink chest perched on a bush beside the Bower Hall seawall on Sunday 5th.
A meadow pipit was feeding amongst the saltmarsh opposite Bower Hall on Sunday. Two yellow wagtails were seen nearby, in the area of the old red-hill.

Two male yellowhammers were singing alongside the Bower Hall seawall, two fields apart from each other.
A golden plover flew over the seawall calling as it headed inland - an unusual record for early June. A common tern was hunting up the channel and six redshank were feeding along the mud.

At least two oystercatcher chicks were seen with the parent in a dinghy behind the Dabchicks sailing club on Sunday. This is the third year running at least, that a pair has nested in this boat with the adults bringing lugworms regularly to the chicks for the first two or three weeks.

Along the Strood seawall on Sunday were two gadwall, pochard, two little grebes in the dyke, great crested grebe, male marsh harrier on the Strood Hill, three yellow wagtails, singing corn bunting and a distant Cetti's warbler heard singing on Ray Island. At least twenty-five swifts were flying high over the West Mersea houses.

 Earlier on Sunday during the walk along the Reeveshall and Maydays seawalls, five avocets were feeding along the edge of the mud, three grey plover, dunlin, two lapwing, three great crested grebes, two gadwall, four Mediterranean gulls, two common terns and two great black-backed gulls on Pewit Island. Four marsh harriers, two buzzards, cuckoo, two yellow wagtails, yellowhammer, meadow pipit, single singing corn buntings at Reeveshall and Maydays and a grey partridge that was nearly stood on along the top of the Maydays seawall before flying quickly off into the nearby fields.

The northerly breeze was carrying the sounds on Langenhoe of a cuckoo, Cetti's warbler and a few marsh frogs, across the Pyefleet to Reeveshall. In Shop Lane a great spotted woodpecker and chiffchaff were heard in Fishponds Wood. Along the seawall walk along the north side of the Island six red admirals and at least five yellow shell moths were disturbed from the grass.

Martin Cock reported on Sunday morning seeing a brent goose, an avocet still sitting near the Golfhouse and six redshank during his walk from the Oyster Fishery.

The resident song thrush was seen in the Firs Chase garden again on Sunday morning.

A singing reed warbler was an unusual visitor to Adrian Amos's garden on Sunday near the East Road /Oakwood Avenue junction.

A flock of 300+ starlings was feeding along the Maydays seawall on Saturday 4th, later the flock moved onto the saltmarsh to feed. Along the Pyefleet were 62 shelduck, two avocets, 15 grey plover, 16 curlew and a great crested grebe, while two marsh harriers and three buzzards were seen. 

The cuckoo was heard calling, two lapwings over Reeveshall, two swifts over, two house martins, three reed warblers, two yellow wagtails, six stock doves, four whitethroats, meadow pipit displaying and a singing yellowhammer were the main birds noted from the seawall. A painted lady butterfly was seen briefly.

Lots of the purple flowers of salsify were open up during the morning walk along the Maydays seawall on Saturday.

A pseudoscorpion was found at Cudmore Grove near the old fort on Saturday by Andrew Jewels.