Thursday, 16 April 2009


Several toads and frogs went walkabout on Firs Chase in West Mersea on a wet evening of Thursday 16th. This common frog pictured above was just sitting in the road in the darkness. Luckily it posed for a few photos seemingly unfazed by several close-up flashes from the camera and then sensibly leapt into the safety of the nearby verge. Nearby a common toad also had the sense to get off the road before the next car came along. A few toads had already met an untimely end a short distance away on the same road.

At the country park the latest migrant back, a lesser whitethroat was singing from bushes near the car park, a day after the first bird was heard back from their wintering grounds in East Africa. The nightingale by the park entrance has been singing regularly over the last couple of days. Single yellow wagtails have been flying over the park on both Wednesday and Thursday, as have one or two swallows.

A goldcrest was seen in the car park bushes on Tuesday morning but still no sign of any spring firecrests yet. The loud song of a mistle thrush has been heard beside the car park, while the song thrush has been singing loudly by the park pond. A willow warbler was heard singing from bushes near the Golfhouse, a bird presumably just stopping briefly off for a migration re-fuel.

Two corn buntings were perched on bushes along the East Mersea roadside on Thursday morning and a couple of swallows were flying around the Chapmans Lane area next to West Mersea.

The night-time weather on Monday evening was not good for moth activity as it ended up being quite misty with a cool easterly breeze. Only a handful of moths made it to the trap including this lunar marbled brown moth. This is reasonably common and is usually recorded in ones or twos each April. The only other moths noted were clouded drab, early thorn and hebrew character.

The warm weather on Wednesday encouraged a few butterflies out with peacock, small white and speckled wood noted. There have also been several of the distinctive small bee-flies seen around the park over the last fortnight on sunny days.

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