Monday, 30 April 2012


Finally there was some nice warm sunshine for a walk along the Strood seawall on Monday 30th. A quick visit to the Strood reservoirs pictured above, revealed a pair of great crested grebes, 10 mallard, reed warbler and whitethroat as well as a few coots and moorhen. A cuckoo perched on top of a tall tree calling near the East Mersea road and then called from trees near Strood Hill.

The hoary cress flowers are just about past their best alongside the seawall, although there haven't been many sunny days recently to enjoy them. The cuckoo first seen and heard near Strood Hill, flew low across the fields and perched in some bushes where it fed on some of the many tent-webs of brown-tail moth caterpillars. The cuckoo called a few times and then flew across off the Island towards the trees of Ray Island.

In the channel 2 avocets and 10 whimbrel were the main waders of note, while 2 common terns and a Mediterranean gull were noted too. A female marsh harrier was seen beside the Ray Channel but no sign of the short-eared owl on the Ray.

One wheatear flitted along the seawall, one corn bunting sang from one field while a second bird flew onto the Island from the Ray direction. One reed warbler, 2 whitethroats, yellow wagtail, 4 linnets and 3 reed buntings were seen along the walk.

The rape fields were looking very yellow and no doubt providing real misery for any hay fever sufferers at the moment. The sunshine brought lots more butterflies out and about than of late, with small tortoiseshell, peacock, small white, orange-tip, large white and green-veined white all noted on the wing during the walk. A common lizard was basking on an old wooden pole.

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