Monday, 13 April 2009


The generally cloudy and still conditions over the last few days have been good for moths. The moth trap operated at the country park on Friday 10th catching about 60 moths of 11 species, although it had to be hurriedly dismantled at 6am when rain began to fall. There was a better showing through Saturday night into Sunday with 120 moths of 16 species noted. Several of the common red chestnut moth pictured above were seen with 8 seen on the second night.

Other moths seen included streamer, engrailed, early grey, powdered quaker, twin-spot quaker, common quaker, small quaker, early thorn, clouded drab, shoulder stripe, blossom underwing, dotted border, March moth and Hebrew character.

The common frosted green moth pictured above, was seen on both nights and although it has been recorded here in April before, it wasn't recorded last year.

A short late-night walk past a flowering blackthorn hedge revealed one or two moths with the help of a torch, feeding amongst the mass of white flowers, such as the early thorn, herald, pine beauty and brindled pug. The peace of the late evening by the park entrance was disturbed by the very loud song of the nightingale, newly returned back from its winter break in Africa for the third summer. Also joining in the Bromans Lane late-night chorus was the male tawny owl near Bromans Farm.

On Monday 13th two nightingales were singing with one male heard from the back of my garden at the park, presumably the bird from near the cliff. Other migrants heard singing during the morning were a willow warbler, 2 blackcaps, 2 chiffchaffs, 2 whitethroats while 3 swallows passed overhead. Later 4 sand martins and another swallow headed west over the park.

Some of the other regular birds sharing the park with the Easter crowds were the skylarks, meadow pipits, linnets, goldfinches and long-tailed tits.

A sparrowhawk flew across the pond and two green woodpeckers were seen here too. A cormorant circled above the pond before flying off, while the only ducks of interest on the pond were 6 tufted ducks.

On the grazing fields up to four pairs of lapwing are very obvious with lots of flying around as they display and call out loudly. A pair of redshank are also showing interest in the fields. Duck numbers have dropped right down with all the brent and wigeon now gone in recent days although there were still 10 pairs of teal on Saturday. The pair of mute swans are nesting again beside the seawall path near the Golfhouse, with the female now sitting for over a week.

A male wheatear was seen at the Point on Sunday morning and a pair of red-legged partridge were seen in the wheat field near Cosways caravan park. A male marsh harrier was seen flying north up the river Colne, heading to the evening roost on Langenhoe on Saturday night. Also on the same evening in the Colne were 250 black-tailed godwits and a pair of avocets.

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