Sunday, 1 May 2011


The continuing sunshine is great for the butterflies and this red admiral was enjoying some late afternoon sun in my Firs Chase garden in West Mersea on Sunday 1st. Looking a bit tatty after hibernating through the winter, it's only the second one I've seen so far this year. Other butterflies seen in the garden during the day were speckled wood, holly blue, large white, small white, orange-tip and green veined white.

Finding this hairy dragonfly resting low down amongst the garden plants was very unexpected. I've not seen them in West Mersea before although they do appear to have got closer in recent years. An afternoon walk by St Peters meadow provided views of another hairy dragonfly hawking along a ditch beside the saltmarsh.

Another surprise were at least three large red damselflies, one pictured above, in the Firs Chase garden during the day. One of them basked close to a water feature in the garden. Like the hairy dragonfly, they seem to be spreading across the Island. David Nicholls found one in his Queen Anne Road garden last week.

The bank alongside the St Peters meadow path is covered in cow parsley - one of the few stands not dominated by masses of Alexanders plants. During a very windy walk 2 common whitethroats, reed warbler, blackcap were singing while song thrush, juvenile blackbirds were out feeding and a cock pheasant flew to the edge of the saltmarsh.

A quick evening walk near the Strood Channel provided views of one swift, common tern, reed warbler singing, summer plumaged bar-tailed godwit, whimbrel, 2 reed buntings. Hardly any waders along a large section of the Channel at low tide except for 2 curlew, 4 oystercatcher, redshank and a turnstone were seen.

At East Mersea the little owl was seen on telegraph posts along Bromans Lane at dusk on both Friday and Saturday nights. A house martin was seen flying over Mersea Avenue on Saturday morning.

No comments: