Thursday, 10 May 2012


I've been scratching my head today Thursday 10th, trying to work out how this green hairstreak managed to get inside my car without me seeing it fly in. It was only as I started to drive out of the country park and glanced in the rear-view mirror, that I noticed a green butterfly on the back window! I didn't even know the green hairstreaks had emerged yet at the park as the weather has been so bad recently. It wasn't even a sunny day at the park although the wind was a lot warmer.

Last May was the best spring for green hairstreaks at the park when up to twelve individuals were seen in various corners about the place. Prospects don't look too good this year for a repeat showing because of the unsettled weather. For this individual pictured above, he went on a drive to West Mersea and then back to the park where he obliged with this photo opportunity. Only one other butterfly was spotted on the wing which was a small white in the car park. Martin Dence reported seeing a brimstone butterfly this week at Bromans Farm.

The two nightingales have been singing at various times throughout the day as have seveal blackcaps in the park. A swift flew over the car park in the morning and a cuckoo flew across the park to the clifftop late in the afternoon.

On the park pond the mute swan pair which appeared to have several eggs in the nest ready to incubate, weren't spending much time on the nest which seemed odd. A moorhen was seen to clamber onto the nest and appear to peck at something which could've been an egg. Has something happened to the eggs already and has the nest been abandoned?

On Wednesday 9th the hobby paid the park a couple of visits first successfully hunting down a sand martin over the grazing fields in the morning and then chasing after the 20 swallows in the afternoon. The small birds here had just settled down after a sparrowhawk had passed low over the fields.

The most unusual bird to catch the eye in the fields was a partial albino wood pigeon feeding with 50 other wood pigeons. This pigeon was the same large size of a wood pigeon rather than being a type of white feral dove. Only the grey head and the pinky chest were normal colours while the rest of the body, wings and tail were a creamy-white colour. The tail was pale banded like a wood pigeon but all cream-coloured. The wood pigeons flew off the fields and went and landed in the copse behind the pond.

Two reed warblers were singing quietly from the reeds in the dyke, the first ones back here. A whimbrel flew over the park calling and two little egrets landed in the fields at high tide.

On Tuesday 8th a hobby flashed over the car park providing a fleeting view of the first one back onto the Island this year. A marsh harrier also flew low over the car park, having passed over the fields and pond, as it headed west.

In the early evening on Tuesday there were two sedge warblers, a wheatear, singing corn bunting and two swifts noted during a walk along the Strood seawall. A pair of red-legged partridges have been seen several days this week in a Bocking Hall field near the East Mersea road. Three wheatears were also here on Tuesday morning. Forty linnets sat on the overhead wires above the ploughed field at Fen Farm. The little owl perched up in Bromans Lane on Tuesday night and the barn owl has been seen recently in Shop Lane a few times. A sparrowhawk flew over Firs Chase early on Thursday morning and another one over Upper Kingsland Road.

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