Monday, 1 August 2011


There has been a good showing of red admirals, photo above, and peacock butterflies at the park especially on the flowering buddleia. The park missed out this June on the normal good showing of red admirals that usually feed on the cotoneaster flowers. Instead the best counts so far this summer appear to be coinciding with the buddleia flowering. Over the recent weekend there were 10 red admirals, 4 peacocks and 2 commas feeding on the buddleia. Also noted on Sunday 31st were brown argus, common blue, small copper, small heath, large white, small white, speckled wood, meadow brown, hedge brown and Essex / small skipper.

Also enjoying the sunshine near water were emperor dragonfly, migrant hawker, common darter, ruddy darter, small red-eyed damselfly and blue-tailed damselfly.

An adder was found hiding along the usual hedgeline by the gravel track in the park but proved to be very shy. An adder was also found on Sunday sadly run over by a car on the East Mersea road near Bromans Lane.

There was the great but increasingly rare sight at the park these days of a noisy feeding flock of about 350 starlings. Groups descend on the rowan trees or the bramble bushes quickly stripping off as many berries as they can with as much twittering as they can.

In the park fields on Sunday 4 little egrets roosted for high tide in the kestrel's oak tree, while in the pools 20 black-tailed godwits fed and there was a yellow wagtail flew near the cattle.

A hobby raced over low over the car park on Saturday afternoon where 5 mistle thrushes fed on the rowan berries and a nightingale called from the bushes. A sedge warbler feeding in one of the hedges near the park pond was a visitor to the site. Offshore 4 eider were seen close to the shore of the park.

On Friday 2 crossbills flew high north-east over the car park calling loudly. A turtle dove purred from the edge of the car park early in the morning but not heard after that.

The moth trap operating through Sunday night caught just over 100 moths including this common brown-tailed moth pictured above. The season is just about at an end for these brown-tails with numbers probably peaking about a month ago.

This twin-spotted wainscot wasn't the most eyecatching moth in the trap but it was one I hadn't seen at the park before. The photo above was taken just before the moth scuttled into a gap in the top of a picnic table. Each white spot on the wing has a second white dot close-by but I needed my glasses on to see the second dot. The species is listed as an Essex red data book species with previous county records being mainly beside marshes and along the coast.

There haven't been many chocolate-tip moths at the park this summer with this one only the second or third record this year.

This pale pyralid moth caught the eye as it sat on the edge of the trap. There's no common English name for this micro-moth Evergestis extimalis although it's a close relative of the garden pebble moth. It's a scarce resident in the south-east of England and sometimes a migrant and it's listed as an Essex red data book species with most previous records close to the coast.

Amongst the usual 30 species of macro-moth were poplar hawkmoth, least carpet, early thorn, flounced rustic, white-line dart, white-point and a drinker.

The annual moth trapping session at Hugh Owen's at Langenhoe took place on Friday night in the hope of finding the nationally rare white-spotted pinion moth. Sadly the skies were clear and there was no sign of the pinion. Some of the other moths noted were lesser-spotted pinion, latticed heath, straw underwing, white-point, rosy rustic, bulrush wainscot, red twinspot carpet and least carpet.

A walk around the Rewsall marshes on Saturday produced a willow warbler in sub-song, greenshank, 7 golden plover 25 linnets and a big flock of 400 starlings.

This female drinker moth was found along one of the grassy paths hanging from a grass stalk having laid a handful of eggs.

Both Martin Cock and Steve Entwistle visited Maydays over the weekend and noted a wheatear on Saturday along with 2 common sandpipers, 2 greenshank, 7 knot and good numbers of black-tailed godwits and avocets. Five common seals were also seen in the Pyefleet, the highest count this year so far.


chris nower said...

Hi Dougal

Saw seal and porpoise at the point whilst fishing on Tuesday pm just before high water. Fed seal with sqide and mackeral!

Dougal Urquhart said...

Chris - Sounds like you had a great time at the Point! Dougal