Friday, 24 July 2009


Amongst the many butterflies seen around the country park in recent days, several brightly marked commas have caught the eye. The sunshine on Thursday 23rd brought the butterflies out in numbers and the buddleia, bramble flowers and the thistles have been the most popular plants.

One white buddleia bush in the car park was host to several painted ladies, peacocks, red admiral, meadow browns, comma, large white and small white butterflies. Elsewhere around the park hedge browns, speckled woods, small skippers, Essex skippers and the colourful six-spot burnet moths have all been on the wing.

On the mudflats offshore from the park in the late afternoon 70 black-tailed godwits, 5 dunlin, 10 golden plover, 50 redshank, 2 little egrets and a few curlew were seen. On the grazing fields the limping "Portuguese" black-tailed godwit was still feeding on the pools along with 5 other godwits and 2 lapwing, 10 mallard and 5 moorhen. The pochard family of 4 ducklings were still present on the dyke.

This strange brown marbling effect on this small-leaved lime leaf at the park is a pattern I've not noticed before.

In the early evening the regular little owl perched up by the East Mersea road at Weir Farm. Above the fields and houses on the east side of West Mersea were thousands of black-headed gulls flying round feeding on the masses of flying ants. Amongst the gulls was an adult Mediterranean gull fading out of summer plumage swooped over the road as I drove along.

Martin Cock had a close view of a common buzzard flying low over the wood in Shop Lane on Wednesday. On the Reeveshall pool there were 2 avocets and a few black-tailed godwits but little else. A male yellowhammer was singing near the Shop Lane wood.

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