The moth trap hasn't been put outside this year yet as the weather has been either too wet, too windy or too cold. However this fresh dotted border with its rich brown colours, was fluttering on the outside of the sitting room window, attracted by the lights inside the room. It's quite a common moth so I should see a lot more in the coming month.
It must have been a good evening for moths as this spring usher pictured below, was found resting on the side of the building during the day. Last year there were a handful that came to the trap in the middle of February, so hopefully there will be more of them to admire in the coming weeks. Finding this spring usher on a sunny day is an early sign that spring is just round the corner.
The main bird highlight on the park were some snow buntings on the beach at the Point with six present again for the second day. A couple of birdwatchers had seen a bigger flock totalling 20 birds on the beach in late morning but the 14 other birds had flown off by mid-day and were not seen again. This is certainly the largest group of snow buntings to have been reported on Mersea this winter.
The only thing of interest in the river Colne was a common seal swimming powerfully up-river. It had a very dark colouration and as it regularly came up for air as it swam along, it had me thinking it was a porpoise to begin with.
The tide was coming back in and by mid-day, there were big flocks of dunlin swarming back up the river. The incoming tide also forced about 200 knot closer to the shore.
The sunny weather meant you could see from the Point, at least three marsh harriers flying around Langenhoe Point. The bright markings of the male stood out in the sunshine even at a distance of over a mile away.
On the grazing fields, the usual 500+ wigeon were feeding in various parts, especially where there were pools of standing water in the old winding creeks. Fifty black-tailed godwits, 20 redshank, 30 golden plover, 50 lapwing and 25 curlew were the main waders present. A little egret was huddled up behind a hedge, enjoying the sun out of the cold wind.
Also enjoying the winter sun was a fox having his afternoon nap in his regular spot by the pond. The familiar ducks of recent days were still present with tufted duck, shoveler, gadwall and mallard being the main ones seen.
On Tuesday a brightly marked male sparrowhawk with its orange chest and slate-grey upperparts flashed low in front of the hide. After that threat had passed, ten long-tailed tits fed out in the open in front of the hide, perching on weed stalks as they looked for food.
There was a good count of grebes on Tuesday offshore from the neighbouring caravan sites with 300 great crested grebes and 3 Slavonian grebes seen. On Monday Michael Thorley had a red-throated diver in the river Colne and he also reported a brambling in his East Mersea garden. A couple of brambling have also been seen in a garden near the Dabchicks area at West Mersea.
The black redstart was seen at the Wellhouse Green development again on Monday by Richard Brown and has also been seen yesterday and again today by Alastair Cock.
Graham Ekins made his weekly visit to West Mersea on Sunday and saw 10,000 gulls, mainly black-headed gulls feeding on the sprats offshore. There was a distant view of a possible arctic skua amongst the gulls. Also seen were 14 shag by Bradwell, 2 kittiwake, Med. gull, 190 cormorant and 17 red-breasted mergansers. Over Old Hall were 2000 golden plover, peregrine and 2 marsh harriers.
On the nearby Langenhoehall marshes, 6 short-eared owls, barn owl, marsh harrier and 11 pink-foot geese flying south-west, were also seen on Sunday by Graham.