Tuesday, 4 August 2009


The new week started with this view above, of the sun rising to the east of the country park at about 5.30am on Monday 3rd. The last few days have been very warm and muggy at times.
The moth trap was run on both Sunday night and Wednesday nights with catches generally rather low but probably due to the bright moonlights and clear skies.

The most interesting moth was this small tree lichen beauty pictured above, which was in the trap on Thursday morning. It used to be a rare immigrant to Essex from the continent but appears to be more regularly recorded in recent summers. Last summer three turned up here at the park on the night of the 7th August while this year's beauty was just two days earlier on the 5th.

This great silver beetle has been annually recorded at the moth trap over the last 3 years. It's become scarcer in the south of England in recent years although it seems that quite a few are still turning up at various moth trap locations in the county.

The silver-Y moth pictured above, has been giving the moth trap a wide berth in recent nights and yet the nearby buddleia bush pictured in the previous posting has been teeming with them at night. Nearly 20 silver-Y moths were seen over the bush one night, disappearing during the day to be replaced by 20 painted ladies - and lots of other butterflies.

The swallow prominent pictured above was one of the larger moths seen along with poplar hawk, oak eggar, drinker, ruby tiger, magpie, coxcomb prominent, pale prominent, copper underwing, bulrush wainscot and large yellow underwing. Other moths included single-dotted wave, riband wave, peacock, white-spotted pug, mother of pearl, brimstone, latticed heath, clouded silver, blood vein, dingy footman, scarce footman, turnip, dark swordgrass, cloaked minor, rosy rustic, flounced rustic, rustic, uncertain, flame shoulder, shuttle-shaped dart, bright-line brown eye and scalloped oak.

The butterflies around the park in the last few days have been the varied selection of painted lady, comma, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, peacock, large white, small white, common blue, meadow brown, hedge brown and speckled wood. Dragonflies hunting around the park have been emperor, migrant hawker, southern hawker and ruddy darter.

On the pools on the grazing fields 2 green sandpipers were present on the 6th with a single on the 5th. A handful of black-tailed godwits are also on the fields although on the nearby mudlflats there have been at least 100 birds at low tide. Also on the fields have been a couple of lapwing, 6 teal with a pair of stock doves nearby and 3 green woodpeckers on the 6th.

A hobby flew over the pond as it headed westwards on Wednesday morning, while a couple of days earlier a juvenile marsh harrier crossed over the East Mersea road near the church, passing just a few metres above the car.

Passage waders heard in the last couple of days from the park have been greenshank, common sandpiper and whimbrel, while yellow wagtails have flown over on a couple of days.
Andy Field on a visit to Reeveshall on Wednesday noted a ruff as well as the usual number of waders there. He also reported seeing 2 hummingbird hawkmoths in his West Mersea garden on Tuesday.

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