Thursday, 14 April 2011


This young bunny has got a lot of survival learning to undertake quickly near the car park. It had no sense of potential dangers, as it didn't flinch when I drove the tractor a few feet away from it. A short while later I was able to crouch down and point the camera only half a metre away from it, as it nibbled the grass on Thursday 14th. Needless to say the rabbit population is increasing rapidly at the park since the end of the winter.

The car park overflow field is covered in the usual carpet of daisies, although probably not as impressive a display as some recent springs. Apparently they say spring has arrived when you can place your foot on top of at least twelve daisies.

Two Mediterranean gulls flew over the car park calling, while a willow warbler sang in the trees bordering this car park field in the morning. The cuckoo was heard calling to the north of the park in the afternoon, this bird had been reported singing the day before - the first of the year.
Three whitethroats are now singing from various corners of the park along with a few chiffchaffs and blackcaps. Ten linnets and also ten goldfinches were present near the park entrance and a kestrel was seen carrying away a possible lizard in its talons from the park.

At the park pond 14 tufted ducks were present with single pochard, shoveler and gadwall as well as two noisy pairs of little grebes. On the fields there was just a small number of a variety of birds with rough numbers of 25 teal, 12 shelduck, 6 gadwall, one brent goose, 2 wigeon, 4 snipe, 25 redshank,10 black-tailed godwits and 16 lapwing. There was no sign of the ruff which was present yesterday.

Late in the evening at 10.30pm, I just had to stand in the dark and enjoy the loud songs of the two male nightingales singing loudly to each other. The birds were only 25 metres apart and either side of the entrance track so I was treated to the song in stereo.

On Wednesday 6 eider were just offshore from the park on the morning high tide, a sparrowhawk perched in a tree by the park entrance, willow warbler by the pond, while a little owl was seen to the north of the park. At West Mersea 2 pairs of common tern flew past the Hard in the early evening with Martin Cock noting them for the first time this spring the previous day.

On Tuesday Andy Field saw a wheatear at the Point, an eider in the river and two muntjac deer near the park pond. A big female sparrowhawk was mobbed by crows as it flew north of the park, while the day before a sparrowhawk was seen diving into the clifftop trees. On Sunday a little owl called loudly in the car park as night-fell, while on the pond 4 pochard were seen.

Hugh Owen at Langenhoehall noted a short-eared owl on the marshes on Monday and a red kite from his garden on the Wednesday.

The caterpillars of the brown-tail moth are busy feeding on the leaves of several bushes at the park, tucked inside these silken tents for protection.

During a sunny middle of Thursday there was a brimstone butterfly spiralling round and round with a green-veined white butterfly. It was encouraging to see the brimstone close to a hedgerow where several alder buckthorn bushes were planted a few years ago as their foodplants. One or two peacocks have been seen in recent days around the park. At least one male adder was seen on the trackside this morning, as it has been in recent days.

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