Thursday, 14 June 2012


The sunshine on Thursday 14th brought this female broad-bodied chaser along with a second female, out at the country park. Both were keeping low down and out of the breeze along a reed-filled ditch. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to hold the camera about a foot away from this individual and click a number of pictures without it flying away.

The broad-bodied chaser used to be noted annually each late spring up until a few years ago. After several years of no sightings here at the park, it was nice to see one back again about a month ago. Now these two have appeared, and with all the water lying everywhere, they won't be short of a suitable wet breeding site.

A number of azure damselflies and blue-tailed damselflies were also seen at the park.
Butterflies seen in the morning were four speckled wood, small heath, and two small whites.

Around the park the cuckoo could be heard singing, the pair of kestrels were both busy hovering over the long grasslands finding food for their chicks, singing blackcap and lesser whitethroat in the carpark and a calling nightingale near the clifftop bushes.

On the fields a green sandpiper was the first sighting here this year, also 15 gadwall, wigeon, shoveler, redshank, 2+ chicks from each lapwing brood, 4 Canada geese, 2 little egrets, 6 mallard and also 2 coots. There were ten sand martins flying over the fields.

On the park pond the male swan is still incubating with still no interest in proceedings by the female snoozing nearby. Six tufted duck including a mating pair were the main ducks present as well as little grebes and lots of coot families. The reed warbler was singing from the reeds and a great spotted woodpecker flew past the pond.

Tucked inside the long grass beside the track were two well hidden adders.

Along the East Mersea road on Tuesday a yellow wagtail and 2 singing corn buntings were noted near the  Bocking Hall / Chapmans Lane area.

Lots of pretty purple flowers of these salsify plants were out in the morning sunshine. Like the yellow goatsbeard flowers, they close up in the afternoon.

Two recent dry nights made it possible to set the moth trap up on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Unfortunately the dry nights meant clear skies with a cold breeze blowing. This buff ermine was only one of four moths noted on the first night, along with vines rustic, common swift.

This shark moth that was in the trap during Wednesday night was the first one noted here for a couple of years despite it being quite a widespread moth. Also seen were poplar hawkmoth, common carpet, vines rustic, hebrew character and shoulder striped wainscot.

David Nicholls passed me this photo, taken by his wife Georgina, of a green hairstreak seen in their neighbour's garden in Queen Ann Drive at the beginning of the week. It's another interesting record of green hairstreak in the middle of the town, following the three in Firs Chase a few weeks ago.

No comments: