Monday, 19 July 2010


Spent the last hour and a half on Saturday 18th at Reeveshall alongside the Pyefleet Channel, where the setting sun briefly shone before it dipped down for the night. There was a light breeze and the tide was low, so conditions seemed good.

The barn owl as usual was hunting over the fields at the north end of Shop Lane, while over Reeveshall, marsh harriers weren't quite so active although two birds were briefly seen. A further three birds were seen over Langenhoe marshes to the north of the Pyefleet.

On the Reeveshall pool the family of 3 avocets were still present as was a common sandpiper, 3 green sandpipers and a black-tailed godwit with a couple of lapwings. A yellow wagtail was heard calling in flight and towards dusk 100 sand martins passed overhead. A brown hare ran past the pool, while by Reeveshall farm a family of four foxes played in a field.

Along the mudflats 5 spotted redshank seen feeding was the main wader species of note although there were 100 black-tailed godwits, one summer plumaged bar-tailed godwit, 200+ redshank, 3 dunlin, whimbrel, as well as the usual curlew and oystercatchers. Along the Channel were one or two little terns, common terns, brood of 11 shelducklings and the summering brent goose.

At the park on Friday there was the unusual sight of 4 sandwich terns flying low over the park calling as they headed out onto the mudflats where they landed for a few minutes. The black-tailed godwits in their ginger plumage have been seen close in with up to 250 birds present. The pochard ducklings were still present on the park dyke while on the pools in the fields ony a few mallard, shoveler and lapwings present. A sparrowhawk flew low over the park near the pond and at dusk the nightingales have been calling out loudly to each other.

In the tops of the oak trees in the south-west corner of the park, were three purple hairstreaks flitting around the leaves. This is the regular corner for them and this is the first sighting this summer of these hairstreaks here.

On Saturday there were 3 females and a male adder tucked in the grass out of general view but still able to soak up the warmth from the sunshine.

The moth trap ran through Saturday night, attracting at least 32 species of macro moth, including this colourful lunar-spotted pinion pictured above. Despite the caterpillars feeding mainly on the diminishing elm, this moth is still turning up in small numbers.

The early thorn moth holds its wings like a butterfly when it is at rest, which makes it stand out from most of the other moths in the trap. This individual will be part of the second generation this year, with its parents being on the wing during April.

Some of the other moths noted included poplar hawk, latticed heath, barred yellow, magpie, browntail, pebble prominent, silver Y, broad-bordered yellow underwing, double square-spot and the dot moth.

This big furry caterpillar of the drinker moth was seen crossing a path in the park. The caterpillar is often seen amongst the low vegetation, as it feeds on grass. The first big brown furry adult moth was seen in the trap during Saturday night.

By the park pond 6 badgers were seen crossing the field, while elsewhere there have been reports received recently of one being seen by the East Mersea road near the pub, and sadly one found dead by the road a bit further west near Church Lane.

No comments: