Saturday, 7 August 2010


This common blue damselfly was resting amongst the long grass at the country park in the early evening of Saturday 7th. It is one of several damselfly species that are found around the park. A few migrant hawkers were hawking after insects beside some of the trees and bushes.

A painted lady graced the white buddleia bush for the first time this summer. Other than a couple of fast flyovers in the spring, this is the first painted lady to stop and feed at the park this year. The buddleia bush will be at its peak for flowering in about another weeks time. In the last couple of days small tortoiseshell, red admiral, comma and peacock have been on this bush along with the browns and whites.

Two marsh harriers were seen way offshore in the morning as they crossed over the sea between Colne Point and the Dengie coastline. In the evening another two marsh harriers, a tatty male and a juvenile, circled over the mudflats, upsetting the waders below.

Waders noted on the mud from the park included 50 black-tailed godwits, 20 grey plover, 200 redshank with a few curlew, oystercatchers and one or two dunlin and turnstone. Also noted were 6 little egrets and 6 little terns on the outer edge of the mud.

On the fields, 3 snipe were present again along with 30 lapwing and 5 black-tailed godwits. In the tree at the back of the fields were 4 stock doves.

This common blue butterfly was an uncommon visitor to the garden in Firs Chase, West Mersea, as you would normally expect to see it near areas of grassland. This one spent most of its time resting beside a lavender bush where amongst the other butterflies seen was a holly blue butterfly.
A hummingbird hawkmoth made a fleeting appearance in the same garden on Friday evening.

Joined members of the Essex Moth Group at Hugh Owens at Langenhoe, just to the north of Mersea for the annual look for the nationally rare white-spotted pinion moth.

The evening proved very fruitful when this white-spotted pinion moth turned up just after midnight. It was a well marked individual with a rich brown colouring and bright white spots. It has declined in the country because of the decline of elms, the foodplant of the caterpillars. As the traps were being switched off at 12.30am a second pinion moth was noted at one of the other traps.
The other moth of note seen on the evening was a very green looking tree-lichen beauty.

No comments: