Friday, 10 August 2007


The hot weather on Friday has seen the gardens of West Mersea invaded by thousands of painted ladies. There have been some good years for painted ladies in the past but I've never seen so many in every garden. No buddleia, lavender, verbena, hebe was free of them. Very eye-catching. Some will be home bred but such vast numbers must point to a big influx from the continent.
The postman told me that a buddleia bush in Rosebank was swarming with painted ladies which burst into life when he walked past. The big bush on the corner of Rosebank and Victory Road must have seen a cloud of 100 rise into the air when a van sped past.
Also on the bush were large white and red admiral.

Amongst a few of the other insects on this bush was this very striking and colourful hornet-hoverfly. Looking just like a hornet with near similar markings but without the pinched in waist.
The golden samphire along the Coast Road was also alive with painted ladies. The tide was still up in the Mersea Quarters and the flat blue waters made for a very tranquil scene.

One of the more unusual plants growing out of the concrete along Victory Road was this wild carrot. It is normally found along the grassy seawalls on the Island not in the streets. This is the wild ancestor of our familiar vegetable

The young sparrowhawks continued to call near Firs Chase and both the green woodpecker and the great spotted woodpecker called out loudly

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