Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Now that we've reached August, this little bit of water in the park grazing fields should stay wet for the rest of the summer. Although this summer there have been less passage waders around it than last summer, it is still worth the occasional glance to see what birds are present.

On Monday 2nd, there was a record count of 6 green sandpipers on the pool in the early evening.
The only sound that could be heard from the pools was that of the green sandpipers as they repeatedly called to each other. A short while later the group was seen flying away from the area. The next evening there were 3 birds seen flying over the pools again, maybe some of the same birds coming back again.
Also feeding around the muddy edges on both Monday and Tuesday evenings was a common sandpiper, its back-end bobbing as it walked about. A whimbrel was heard whistling as it passed over the park on Monday.

The black-tailed godwits are still the most regular wader using the site, after the lapwings, with up to 35 birds in recent days roosting during the evening high tide. Most of the 15 lapwings present during the day, spend the time snoozing amongst the low cover of docks. A few mallard, 2 shoveler, black-headed gulls and moorhens are the other birds often seen. Two little egrets were at the pools on Monday evening.

At the park pond the 5 tufted ducklings are still present as is the mute swan family and single cygnet, along with 15+ mallard, several young dabchicks and a single teal.

One or two willow warblers have been present at the park every day during the last week, some occasionally singing. The resident nightingales are still present as they are still calling out to each other especially in the late evening. One or two yellow wagtails have been heard calling as they flew over the park. Green woodpeckers seem to have had a successful breeding season with birds seen everywhere. Three birds were noted in Bromans Lane, an adult and juvenile were noted together on a park path, while one was sadly noted dead along the East Mersea road.

The adders have shown most days in their regular spot near the car park with 3 being seen on Sunday 1st.

Butterflies seen recently on the wing have included small tortoiseshell, peacock, red admiral, comma, speckled wood, hedge brown, meadow brown, small white, large white, common blue, small heath and large skipper.

Two young wasp spiders were seen on their webs amongst the long grass - the first ones seen this summer.

The moth trap was checked on Monday morning and amongst the 34 species noted was this large drinker moth. Several have already been seen visiting the trap during the last month or so. Their unusual profile helps them blend in well on the ground amongst fallen leaves.

This common oak hook-tip splayed its wings out nicely with the hooked tips to each wing showing well here. There have been some good numbers on some evenings this summer of the oak hook-tip.

The scarcest moth of the evening was this ground lackey which is found close to saltmarshes where the caterpillars feed on various saltmarsh plants like sea lavender or sea purslane.

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