Sunday, 16 May 2010


The Gardner moth trap was one of two traps checked just after dawn at the country park, having operated through the night of Saturday 15th as part of National Moth Night. Unfortunately the catch was disappointing, no doubt due to the clear night sky and low temperatures.

Two herald moths, one pictured above, were the most colourful with their orangey-brown colours. The herald has been one of the few moths that has alread been seen this spring at the park. Also seen were the pebble prominent, sallow kitten, muslin, clouded drab, common quaker, shuttle-shaped dart and hebrew character.

This great silver diving beetle was seen crawling through the grass towards the bright light of the trap. This big beetle has only ever been recorded at the park at night-time, when it's attracted to the moth trap and has been an annual visitor over the last four years.

An eye was also kept open on this National Moth Night for bats too and 3 or 4 common pipistrelle bats were seen near the park entrance and in the car park. Later the bat detector device was telling us that one or two were hunting above the moth traps. Also seen as daylight faded were a fox in the car park and a badger near the pond.

For a change of scene I had a walk along the leafy Cross Lane on the east side of West Mersea. The visit was certainly made worthwhile when a spotted flycatcher was seen feeding in the trees above the Lane. The little bit of shelter from the breeze inside the Lane, may've helped the flycatcher find some flies to feed on. Spotted flycatchers have become scarce migrants to the Island in recent years and only one or two stop off on their journey south in the autumn now.

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