Sunday, 5 September 2010


Hoped to find one or two butterflies feeding on this clump of common fleabane during a walk along the Coopers Beach seawall and nearby fields in East Mersea on Sunday 5th. Unfortunately there was quite a breeze blowing in off the sea, so none were seen here and there weren't many butterflies seen during the rest of the walk other than a few small whites, small heath and a holly blue.

No sign of any wheatears, whinchats or much other small bird activity. An adult Mediterranean gull was seen with some other gulls on the beach just as the tide was uncovering the mud. Waders were starting to arrive with one sanderling seen with a few dunlin and 10 ringed plover. Fifty golden plover flew past heading inland to one of the fields. A little egret was also seen flying along the shoreline.

Other birds noted were a kestrel, little grebe chicks calling from the dyke where 2 coots were also seen. A common whitethroat, chiffchaff, 20 swallows, 2 pied wagtails and a few greenfinches were seen near the Coopers caravan site.

There was quite a carpet of the prickly sea holly plants on the beach by the Youth Camp, although a few plants have been washed away by the sea.

Stopped to read some wildlife notices on the side of the Coopers reception building. This one has a reference for more wildlife information, to a particular Mersea Wildlife blog!

Whilst cutting the grass in the garden, this tiny toadlet had to be helped out of the way of the mower. Hopefully it will be able to cross the Firs Chase road safely next February on its way to breed in the nearby pond.

At the end of the afternoon, Steve Entwistle called me from the Reeveshall seawall to say he was watching an osprey perched on a post on Langenhoe. Unfortunately by the time I got there it had disappeared. The bird had first been found by Richard Hull on the Langenhoe Ranges in the morning and was later seen in the afternoon from Fingringhoe. Richard had also seen 7 wood sandpipers on the ranges in the morning.

In the early evening 4 marsh harriers and a barn owl were seen on Langenhoe with a greenshank amongst the waders on the Pyefleet and green sandpiper and common sandpiper on the Reeveshall pool. Five yellow wagtails were noted along the seawall.

Steve had earlier seen 2 hobbies at Maydays farm, 2 spotted flycatchers at Cudmore Grove (one at the pond and one just north of the park), also a whinchat and wheatear near the Point.

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