Sunday, 27 May 2012


Derek Chisnall took this picture of a cormorant on the dead tree in the saltmarsh in front of the Fen Farm caravan site. It's a very obliging bird holding out its wings, having just had a swim in the nearby creek.

Andy Field helped to check out the birdlife on the country park on a sunny Sunday 27th, while I got the place ready for the huge summer influx of visitors coming to soak up the sun. A turtle dove was heard calling near the park pond but could not be seen - the first record for the park this spring. The cuckoo made one of its frequent visits to the park with a fly-past in the morning. The kestrels nesting in the box had three young chicks appear for the first time as a parent came in with food.

On the pools in the fields, two common sandpipers were noted as were the two broods of lapwing chicks, both with three young each. In the reeds in the dyke were 3 reed warblers singing while on the saltmarsh a water rail calling is an unusual late spring record here. In the Colne a couple of little terns flew past while later in the day a common tern flew over the car park. On the mudflats 30 curlew were seen flying off as the tide came in and a whimbrel was also heard on the 26th.

In the evening one of the nightingales sang very briefly from the car park once all the masses of visitors had departed the scene. In Bromans Lane a brown hare jogged along the road in front of the car as darkness fell.

On Thursday 24th a marsh harrier flew over the grazing fields heading north while on the pools one black-tailed godwit and 4 gadwall were noted. On the saltmarsh pools 7 avocets were seen in the afternoon. At West Mersea Steve Entwistle located a turtle dove singing in Willoughby car park on Thursday evening. At Maydays Farm  3 sedge warblers were noted while around the farm were 8 house martin nests.

The recent heatwave has been good for the insects in recent days at the park with good numbers of small heath around, a green hairstreak seen on the 27th along with orange-tip, small white, holly blue, peacock, green-veined white and a comma on the 26th. A female broad-bodied chaser was seen by the park entrance on 26th and there was a hairy dragonfly hawking in the evening on the 24th.

At Maydays Steve noted 2 hairy dragonflies along the dyke along with 50 azure damselflies, while at West Mersea on 25th a hairy dragonfly and broad-bodied chaser were seen in Firs Chase.

Adders have retreated into the cover with all the heat but singles were seen on the 27th and also on the 24th. A muntjac deer was reported a week previously being seen near the East Mersea Golfhouse.

No comments: