Monday, 19 September 2011


This common lizard was enjoying another sunny September morning on Monday 19th. It was basking on a wooden post alongside the path near the Firs Chase caravan site, probably watching lots of walkers go past without being noticed by anyone - well nearly no-one!

There was a bit of bird passage taking place during the walk along the Strood seawall with 250+ swallows, 70+ house martins and 20 meadow pipits seen crossing west off the Island. Also flying off the Island were a small flock of 8 siskins and a lesser redpoll, crossing over the Strood Channel.

The most interesting bird to catch the eye were several common buzzards in the air near Peldon. Five were seen circling low over a wood just east of Peldon, then 3 others circled over Copt Hall Grove near Wigborough, while at least another couple circled high in the sky in the general area. It seemed an ideal day for birds of prey to soar and for them to migrate south. However most of these buzzards didn't appear to be on the move away from the Peldon area.

Noted from the seawall were one wheatear, 25 linnets, common tern, 1 bar-tailed godwit, 30 black-tailed godwits and 5 little egrets.

Andy Field walked the north side of the Island on Monday afternoon and noted 6 common buzzards in the air over Langenhoe and Alresford areas. Also hobby, common sandpiper, wheatear and 4 red-legged partridges were seen. Martin Cock found a spotted flycatcher near the Golfhouse at East Mersea and a grey wagtail flew over. Ian Black reported hearing a few whimbrel flying over West Mersea during the last couple of nights.

The red admiral seems to be the most widespread butterfly around at the moment with a few seemingly heading west off the Island for the winter. The westerly passage was noted a few days ago at East Mersea Point, again yesterday along the Coopers Beach seawall and today across the Strood Channel. Although most of the ivy seems to have flowered, some clumps are still pulling in the wasps, bees, flies as well as a few red admirals too.

Several migrant hawkers are on the wing at the moment with this one pictured above, resting on leaves in the Firs Chase garden. A hummingbird hawkmoth was seen resting on a solar panel early in the afternoon, maybe trying to regain its energy! A goldcrest and chiffchaff were heard calling from nearby trees.

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