Thursday, 29 April 2010


There were a few moths in the trap on the morning of Thursday 29th, although the catch seemed low in species and numbers. The moth pictured above is the very descriptively named Maidens blush, so called because of the pinkish smudge-marks on the wings like the colour of blushing cheeks. The moth is a regular visitor to the trap both in the spring and again later in the summer.

Although the recent nights have been still and the days warm, the nights have been chilly and the moon has been bright. Only about 20 moths of 8 species were noted including hebrew character, common quaker, red chestnut and frosted green.

There were three of these lunar marbled browns in the trap, the first individuals of the year here. Again a regular spring visitor to the trap here at the park.

This small and pale looking least black arches was resting on the trap in the morning. This is another moth recorded each spring, although normally only one or two individuals and usually much later into May or early June.

There was the welcome sight of a turtle dove in the car park of the country park on Thursday morning. It was also nice to hear it's soft purring song in the park again as none were heard here last summer - the nearest bird being 200 metres down the nearby Bromans Lane. On Wednesday morning this was where the bird was first heard singing from.

The two nightingales have been singing loudly and regularly near the park entrance with the occasional glimpse of one of the birds as it flits between bushes. Elsewhere around the park several common whitethroats are very much in evidence, while the chattering of a couple of lesser whitethroats can also be heard.

The flooded grazing field has become much quieter for birds in recent days with only a dozen black-tailed godwits and a few redshank being the only waders using it other than the several pairs of lapwing and oystercatcher pair. Amongst the wildfowl using it have been 2 pairs of greylag geese, several shelduck, teal , gadwall, shoveler and mallard. A little egret was noted on Thursday morning in the water, it's fine head plumes blowing in the breeze.

Two avocets were present on the saltmarsh pools near the Point on Tuesday. There was a report of 60 linnets in a field just north of the park on Monday and there was also a report of a marsh harrier flying over the park on Thursday. Two little terns were fishing just offshore from the park on Tuesday as were a couple of common terns. Three common terns also flew over the park on Wednesday, calling as they went.

Other sightings include a house martin flying near Chapmans Lane on Tuesday, 2 singing corn buntings near Bocking Hall on Wednesday, also a little owl at dusk near Bromans Farm and the rare sight of a East Mersea roadkill hedgehog near Shop Lane. Martin Cock saw 3 great northern divers off the West Mersea beach on Tuesday.

Several adders have still been seen around the park with 4 on Monday and 6 seen on Thursday. Butterflies enjoying the sunny days have been speckled woods, peacocks, small whites, large white and green-veined white while the first holly blue was seen just north of the park on Tuesday.

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