Sunday, 24 May 2009


The beach at Cudmore Grove Country Park was nearly deserted during the morning of Sunday 24th. The picture above shows an empty beach with no-one enjoying the sunshine, sand and sea. The beach didn't stay deserted for long as the fine weather soon brought the mass influx to the park by lunchtime and through the afternoon.

The small group of nesting sand martins would've noticed the numbers of visitors to the beach. The birds spend more time hawking insects over the fields when there are too many people on the beach.

There were a number of painted lady butterflies around the park, especially in the evening as they basked in the sun. At least a dozen were seen around the park with all being very territorial, whilst basking. A few others were seen during the day passing over the park.

It appears as if this painted lady influx into the country is taking place in huge numbers with many reports both on the coast and inland of masses moving north-west through the country. An observation made on Sunday along the south side of the Blackwater river not far from Mersea, estimated between 700 - 800 heading north-west in a 3 hour period.
There was also a recent report of huge numbers of painted ladies amassing on the Dutch coast, ready to make the crossing to England. There have been reports of migrant clouded yellows and hummingbird hawkmoths in Essex in recent days too.

Other butterflies seen at the park included a brimstone butterfly which is the first for nearly 12 years here. Also a small heath, small copper small white and several speckled woods, also a mother shipton moth.

Not much else on the Island's bird front different from recent days. Andy Field saw 2 hobbies on the nearby Langenhoe Marshes on Saturday, while Richard Brown and Richard Hull noted 4 on an earlier visit.

No comments: