Thursday, 16 September 2010


The sunshine on Wednesday 15th enticed 3 adders into view alongside this track in the country park. One was a brightly marked male, the second one a smaller duller male whilst the third one was a very young reddish small adder presumably just a few weeks old. A common lizard was also catching some of the warmth amongst the undergrowth. A weasel was seen in the nearby dell darting between bramble bushes.

The spotted flycatcher was still present in the hedgeline in the field near this adder-track. The bird was also seen on Tuesday and two birds were seen on Monday. Also in the sheltered corner were a couple of chiffchaffs, a blackcap and a mixed tit flock which all had to dive for cover when a male sparrowhawk flashed past. A willow warbler was heard calling from bushes in the car park. Three snipe were on the pools in the grazing fields along with lots of teal.

Despite the cool breeze, some of the butterflies seen in the morning were holly blue, small copper, comma, small white, speckled wood, small heath and red admiral.

Joined Martin Cock late in the afternoon on the Shop Lane seawall with the tide covering most of the mud. The osprey was seen in the far distance on top of its regular pole on the Geedons saltings, feeding on a newly caught fish. A marsh harrier was seen over Langenhoe where a sparrowhawk was seen crossing the Pyefleet towards, while a kestrel made the opposite crossing back to East Mersea. A sighting of a common buzzard at the back of Reeveshall added to the small list of raptors for the short session. Also seen beside the Pyefleet were a green sandpiper and 4 common terns.

The osprey was seen over the weekend of 11th and 12th flying over the Fingringhoe / Geedon saltings and perching on it's favourite pole.

Numbers are dwindling in the moth trappng sessions as we head into the autumn. This broad-bordered yellow underwing in the photo above was one of the larger moths in the trap on Tuesday morning. Despite the breezey night there were about 150 moths of 20 species of which the most striking one was a big red underwing. It has been a good season here for red underwing sightings, capped off with the rare sight of one actually in the trap.

The L-album wainscot is a regular visitor to the trap in September / October, so this first individual should be the beginning of several more sightings. Some of the other moths noted in the trap included lunar underwing, white-point, turnip, common wainscot, frosted orange, flounced rustic, uncertain, square spot rustic, silver-Y, setaceous hebrew character, large yellow underwing and light emerald.

This big hairy fox moth caterpillar was crossing the path on the top of the seawall. It has probably been feeding on some nearby bramble leaves and has set off to find somewhere to pupate. The big moth is seen on the wing in July with one or two seen each year visiting the trap.

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