Thursday, 4 November 2010


Quick walk around the East Mersea Point on Wednesday 3rd, provided an unexpected view of a shorelark on the beach. The bird was feeding right at the eastern tip on the top of the shingle, calling every so often when it looked up. The colourful yellow and black markings on the face stood out in the morning sunshine. The bird was watched for a few minutes and while I distracted myself by making a couple of phonecalls, the birds disappeared and wasn't found again.
I believe there has been only one other shorelark in Essex so far this winter and that was almost a month ago at Walton on the Naze. The last shorelark here at the Point was seen for just one day last December.

A female stonechat was doing lots of flycatching off the tops of the bushes at the Point. A rock pipit was seen flying over the saltmarsh calling as it went. A late swallow passed over the grazing fields, as one did the previous day too.

There was much panic amongst the waders and wildfowl on the fields which was caused by a hunting peregrine. The bird was seen to stoop several times until a second peregrine appeared on the scene and started to harass it. The two birds tussled as the smaller male repeatedly tried to mob the bigger female accompanied by loud calls. Both birds passed overhead as they headed east over the Colne and when they reached the other side, the mobbing started again as they flew into Brightlingsea Creek.

Martin Cock saw the lapland bunting again at Maydays Farm on Tuesday, while Adrian Amos enjoyed a brambling at his feeder in his West Mersea garden along East Road on Wednesday.

This distinctive cloven-hoof footprint of a muntjac deer was discovered on the beach near the Point. The trail of prints seemed to follow some of the paths amongst the saltmarsh bushes which is an odd location for a deer. Two muntjac were seen last week near the park pond, so not that far away from this location of footprints.

Not only are many leaves turning to a nice mix of autumnal colours but many have already fallen to the ground, such as this path at the park, carpeted in yellow maple leaves.

In the trees around the park there are still several goldcrests feeding with the tits. Two siskin and a couple of redpolls flew over the park calling during the morning. A redwing was also heard near the pond.

This feathered thorn moth was one of three in the trap on Thursday morning after a breezy night for moth activity. The moth is a widespread moth although not as many this autumn in the traps as this time last year.

This dark chestnut is the first record for the year and usually is noted a couple of times in the late autumn here at the park.

The commonest moth at the moment is the aptly named November moth with five individuals being noted. Other moths seen were a large wainscot and a setaceous hebrew character.

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