Thursday, 23 April 2009


The sunny weather has continued for the last few days helping to dry out the park grazing fields. On Tuesday 21st four tiny lapwing chicks could be seen on the wet muddy patches beside the pools in the middle of the photo above. The parents were keeping a close watch over them nearby and hopefully they'll grow quickly with the amount of muddy pools around. There are also 3 other pairs of lapwing in the same field, trying to make the most of the flooded pasture this breeding season.

Eighteen teal were also feeding on the flooded field and 2 snipe were seen flying off calling. In the dyke there were 12 tufted duck and a pair of pochard have been seen on the pond at times.

As the tide was coming in during the early evening of Tuesday, various waders were seen close-in with 70 black-tailed godwits, 50 dunlin, 40 golden plover being the main groups. A whimbrel flew off with some curlew and there was the sight of 50 brent geese flying high out of the Colne estuary as if on their way back to Siberia for the summer.

The faint calls of the cuckoo could be heard in the evening, appearing to come from about a mile away to the north-west of the park. Just before nightfall the barn owl was seen doing a circuit of the small thicket at the park entrance where the nightingale was singing loudly. For a moment the nightingale stopped singing until the owl had passed it by. Two pipistrelle bats were out hunting beside the hedges and trees near the park entrance.

On Wednesday morning two common terns were seen sitting on a buoy in the mouth of the river calling out loudly. A Mediterranean gull could be heard calling as it flew past the park on Wednesday morning. A whimbrel flew over the park whistling as it passed by and by the cliff, a sparrowhawk was seen briefly. Around the park the songs of several whitethroats and a couple of lesser whitethroats can be heard, also single blackcap and chiffchaff.

Butterflies enjoying the sunny weather have included orange-tip, peacock, small white and several speckled woods.

Despite it being a clear night-sky on Tuesday night, 14 species of moth turned up at the trap at the country park with this pebble prominent, pictured above, one of the first appearances this year. The big "pebble" disc-like markings on the wing show up clearly on this fresh individual.

This pale pinion was the most unusual moth found and is supposedly only recorded occasionally in East Anglia. It is listed as a rare vagrant in Essex although there were at least 3 recorded during the spring last year in the county, including 2 only about 3 miles to the east of the Island at St Osyth.

Other moths found in the trap included mullein, swallow prominent, angle shades, early thorn, herald, lunar marbled brown and early grey.

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