Thursday, 23 September 2010


Plenty of sunshine throughout Tuesday 21st made the day feel more like mid-summer rather than early autumn. The late brood of small coppers, one in photo above, were enjoying the warmth, with 5 seen along one of the grassy paths. This is probably the peak time of the year for seeing small coppers at the park. Other butterflies noted were red admiral, small white, small heath, holly blue, comma and speckled wood. There were lots of common darters about the park too.

Two goldcrests were amongst the tit flock foraging in trees near the overflow car park. Goldcrests have been thin on the ground on the Island this year although one or two pairs may've nested in gardens in West Mersea. There seemed to be several chiffchaffs around the park including one singing in the car park and a willow warbler called too.

On the park pond there was the usual selection of ducks with 25 mallard, 3 shoveler and 3 gadwall. There was the nice sight of another spotted flycatcher feeding at the side of the field near this pond on Tuesday. This continues the nice run of spotted flycatcher sightings in this general area of the pond, although not sure how many birds were involved.

On Wednesday the blue flash of the kingfisher was briefly admired, as the bird flew fast and low across the grazing fields towards the pond.

The moth trapped through Tuesday night included this smartly marked flounced chestnut, pictured above. Just under 100 moths of 14 species was a typical haul, although there was a clear sky overnight leading to fog at dawn, so not ideal for moth activity.

This sallow moth is one of the typical autumnal moths that turns up at this time of year, although normally just one or two of these individuals are noted each autumn. As the name implies its caterpillars feed on sallow, although there are other members of the sallow family that feed on other kinds of tree like lime or elm.

Some of the other moths noted were beaded chestnut, lunar underwing, broad-bordered yellow underwing, snout, frosted orange and L-album wainscot.

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