Friday, 3 February 2012


It may've been warm enough inside the Firs Chase house to rouse this small tortoiseshell butterfly from it's winter slumber but it would've got a shock once it fluttered free in the cold outside on Friday 3rd. I don't know where it appeared from but it must've sneaked into the house last autumn. Let's hope the brave butterfly found somewhere nice and sheltered from the freezing cold outside the house.

For a change, walked the footpath near Meeting Lane in East Mersea on a sunny but chilly Friday afternoon. A marsh harrier gave a close view as it flew over some of the fields. The most interesting sight were at least a dozen song thrushes flying around, perching up on the nearby bushes. Several of them were feeding in an area of long grass, flying out of it as I walked by. Unusually they outnumbered any other thrushes in the area with only a handul of blackbirds seen and a fieldfare too.

This little neatly woven grass nest was easy to spot amongst the dead grass. Positioned about a foot off the ground this looks like a harvest mouse's nest, which is an interesting find. The mice aren't often seen but the distinctive nests show up in the winter once the long grass dies back. Harvest mice nests were last seen at the country park about 3 years ago.
Also noticed along one of the main footpaths here were several cloven foot-prints of muntjac deer, dotted in the mud.

The search for the little owl at the Youth Camp was successful earlier in the afternoon. The owl was eventually spotted flying away from the log pile in this picture, located at the bottom of the East Mersea vineyard field.

Other birds seen in the area were 5 song thrushes, green woodpecker, little egret, kestrel, 300 brent geese feeding near Waldegraves while 2 stock doves and 30 linnets were seen near Rewsalls farm.

A stop on the beach at Seaview Avenue at the end of the afternoon, provided views of Mediterranean gull, 200 cormorants in mid-river, 100+ great crested grebes, 10 red-breasted mergansers and 5 sanderling.

No comments: