Thursday, 7 October 2010


The country park finally managed to record this beautifully marked and exotically named merveille du jour moth early morning on Thursday 7th. The pattern of jade colouring, mixed with black and white was brighter than some of the field guide illustrations and this moth still appeared to be in reasonable condition. It's one of the few moths in the UK with a French name - the "marvel of the day", and it certainly lives up to it's name by adding some colour to the start of the day.

The moth is scattered throughout the UK, occurring in woodlands and parklands where there are oaks. The colouring of the merveille moth matches the colour of tree lichen and so blends in well on the side of a tree.

The moth catch was a typical October haul with about 65 individuals of 19 species with a couple of new ones recorded for the year. This green-brindled crescent pictured above, is a regular visitor to the trap in the autumn in small numbers. Fresh specimens have a bright irridescent sheen on the wings, which this individual has worn off.

The big and plain large wainscot pictured above, is another regular visitor to the trap in the autumn in small numbers.

Other moths noted included the streak, L-album wainscot, orange sallow, dusky lemon sallow, barred sallow, mallow, feathered ranunculus, brindled green, beaded chestnut and yellow-line quaker.

Andy Field checked the birds out at the park today and noted the chestnut teal amongst the 250 Eurasian teal, 60 wigeon and 19 snipe. The wheatear was still present along the seawall, as it has been for several days now. A redpoll had been seen flying over the car park calling as it passed over in the morning.

A hobby was seen flashing over the East Mersea road just up from the Strood in the morning. Hugh Owen reported that the osprey was still in the area of Langenhoehall marshes just north of Mersea perched on a tree in the morning.

On Wednesday the kingfisher was at the pond in the morning as was a male sparrowhawk and 2 green woodpeckers, while 6 siskin and a redpoll flew westwards. There was a noticeable westwards migration of swallows and a few house martins throughout the day with lots of small flocks of 10 - 20 birds streaming though every 5 minutes or so. A pair of yellowhammers passed over the park, stopping off briefly in the grazing fields.

Martin Cock noted a little stint and a curlew sandpiper on the mud near the Point on Wednesday. Ian Black saw a fieldfare in the car park and the sight of an early woodcock flying over the East Mersea road near Bocking Hall farm.

Rosemary Dickson reported another sighting of a muntjac deer just north of the country park, feeding in her garden one morning.

No comments: