Sunday, 17 July 2011


It was another day of showers on Sunday 17th with some torrential downpours at times. The sun managed to shine through on a few occasions such as with this view of the mudflats by the park.
As the tide receded in the early evening about 100 black-tailed godwits in summer plumage were feeding on the mud along with 25+ bar-tailed godwits. Also seen were the first group of grey plovers back after the breeding season with 8 counted. Two knot had been seen earlier in the day with 8 birds seen yesterday.

Enjoyed watching a harbour porpoise swimming about in the river Colne on Sunday morning. It was first seen heading up the east side of the river before it slowly fed it's way across to the Point coming to within about 50m of the beach. It would surface two or three times at a go, before dropping back down for about 30 seconds. It was a challenge trying to work out where it would come back up again because it was continually changing direction. It was last seen opposite the entrance of the Pyefleet Channel having been watched in the estuary for 30 - 40 mins.

Also seen feeding in the estuary was a common seal that appeared to swim out of the Pyefleet and out to sea. Lots of little terns flew up-river with about 30 birds seen in various flocks. Three avocets that were on the mud dropped briefly onto the saltmarsh pools and a closer look at them later revealed them to be two well fledged youngsters with an adult. A yellow wagtail flew across the Point calling.

The blustery conditions at the country park weren't so nice for the sand martins along the cliff. However some of the sand martins were heard calling anxiously near the grazing fields and after a few minutes a hobby was seen perched on the oak tree where the kestrels nested. It appeared to be a young hobby with duller markings and with very pale-red "trousers". Having surveyed the fields from its good vantage point and watched the martins flying about for about ten minutes, it flew off fast over the park. The 20 black-tailed godwits continued feeding in the pool. There was no sign of the two green sandpipers that had been at the pools the day before.

On the pond a new brood of 7 tufted ducklings swam out into the open water. These are a lot smaller than the three other older ducklings from an earlier brood. Ten teal were counted along with two pochard and about 20 mallard. A nightingale has continued to call quietly from the bushes in the car park over the weekend.

In one or two places at the park amongst the long grass are big clumps of the ladies bedstraw. Each stalk has hundreds of tiny yellow flowers which manage to attract various insects to them.

Not many butterflies on the wing over the weekend although meadow browns, hedge browns and the skipper sps were seen along with red admiral, speckled wood, small white and large white.

The first ruby tiger moth of the summer was found in the trap on Saturday morning. Several individuals are often noted during late July and early August and although it's a widespread moth, it always adds a bit of colour to the trap.

A handful of the common latticed heaths were in the trap, one in the photo above. Other moths of note amongst the hundred moths included the first drinker of the summer, white-point, small blood-vein, as well as the usual ones of recent nights.

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