Thursday, 3 May 2012


The park grazing fields were even more flooded on Thursday 3rd after another night of heavy rain. Water has poured off the fields and filled up the borrowdyke, which in turn has flooded the path on the folding inside the seawall, as in the picture above. The last time this happened was after a period of heavy rain two winters ago but never in the spring before. The picture below was taken two days earlier.

A lunchtime walk along the seawall proved worthwhile as an osprey made an appearance just offshore. Fleeing curlews, upset oystercatchers and a mass of mobbing herring gulls drew attention to the osprey as it flew slowly along the edge of the receding tide about 100 metres from the beach. The bird hovered a couple of times over the water before leisurely heading across to the east side of the Colne with up to 50 gulls in attendance.

The osprey turned to head south out of the estuary and did a bit more flying around and hovering over the creek behind Colne Point. Having watched the bird in total for about ten minutes, I turned my attention elsewhere thinking the bird was heading into the distance. However a short while later the osprey was seen passing the East Mersea Point as it headed back up river.

Amongst the gulls on the flooded fields was a Mediterranean gull and also 50 black-tailed godwits, whimbrel and two pairs of redshank. The pair of lapwings that have the chicks were looking on anxiously as two foxes prowled along a nearby hedgerow. On the park pond 6 pochard, 12 tufted duck and 6 gadwall were seen along with the first coot chicks of the spring. In the car park a reed warbler sang briefly from bushes and a pair of sub-adult Mediterranean gulls flew over calling.

At the end of the day two little owls could be heard calling from Bromans Farm and Cosways. There was the rare glimpse of a tawny owl flying over the car as darkness fell, as it flew from a roadside bush near the East Mersea Glebe. A second bird also flew out of the bush at the same time and could've been another tawny owl.

The walk along the park seawall on Tuesday was quite pleasant in the afternoon when the sun decided to come out. A painted lady butterfly made a surprise appearance resting several times on the tarmac path but only for a few brief seconds each time. A brimstone butterfly was also reported near the car park and there was small white, green-veined white, peacock and speckled wood seen on the wing too.

A willow warbler sang from clifftop trees and a wheatear was seen near the clifftop too. Two lesser whitethroats were heard singing for the first time this spring and the two nightingales were in full song too. On the fields 3 lapwing chicks were being watched closely by their parents and 3 snipe, wigeon, pair of greylag geese and 20 black-tailed godwits were also present.

The following day on Wednesday 2nd, the willow warbler was still present singing on the park, 4 swifts passed over and six yellow wagtails were noted during the day including three on the fields. More whitethroats are singing about the park and also 4 lesser whitethroats singing too.

At the Point ringed plovers were found nesting as they do most years, three avocets were noted on the Golfhouse pools and 2 common terns were seen in the river.

Martin Cock missed seeing the willow warbler at the park but returned home to find one singing in his West Mersea garden along with lesser whitethroat, whitethroat and blackcap too. The previous day Martin had noted 100 black-tailed godwit, 2 bar-tailed godwits, 2 cuckoos and 7 pochard near Shop Lane seawall.

Another low turnout of moths in the trap on Tuesday night with 2 streamers being of interest, one in photo above.

Other than several Hebrew characters and a March moth, this swallow prominent pictured above, was also noted in the trap.

No comments: