Friday, 9 April 2010


More sunny weather on Friday 8th provided a real sense of spring to the country park. This small tortoiseshell was a welcome sight on this blackthorn bush near the car park, especially as numbers of this once common butterfly have decreased sharply in recent years. A couple of peacock butterflies were also seen later on the same bush. Amongst the other kinds of insects buzzing about in the sunshine were several bee-flies enjoying the warmth.

The first blackcap at the park this spring was singing loudly from trees around the car park. In recent days the songs of several skylarks have been particularly evident all around the park.Neighbouring fields appear to have singing skylarks above them as well as a couple of vocal birds above the main part of the park.

A check of adders around the park on Thursday revealed 3 very close to the cliff-top, including one of last year's young adders. What was unexpected was seeing a male grass-snake basking in the long grass near the cliff-edge too. Nine adders were seen around the park on Thursday and six seen on Friday, resulting in the park's tally so far this spring to 11 individuals.
Scuttling through the long grass in various places were five common lizards.

A wheatear flew along the beach on Thursday morning and a couple of sand martins were flying around the cliff. A yellow wagtail flew in off the sea and headed inland across the fields where a couple of swallows were flying back and forwards. The resident pair of sparrowhawks appeared to see off a third sparrowhawk that had strayed too close to "their" park.

A ruff waded through the large pool in the fields where 140 redshank gathered to roost for the high tide along with 5 black-tailed godwits. Amongst the ducks were 32 teal, 15 wigeon, 4 gadwall, 6 shelduck a few mallard and some shoveler. On the pond there were still 10 tufted duck and a pair of pochard.

At the Point on Thursday 200 brent geese fed on some algae on the mud, 4 linnets and a reed bunting were noted on the sea-blite bushes, while an avocet was on the pools.

On Thursday a blackcap and goldcrest were heard singing in Firs Chase in West Mersea, while a swallow was noted at Haycocks Stables. On Friday a swallow was seen by the Pick-Your-Own and also at Bromans Farm, while a corn bunting was by the road near Bocking Hall and at dusk, a little owl flew along Bromans Lane.

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