Sunday, 15 July 2012


Sunshine on Sunday 15th was a welcome break from the deluge of rain during the day before. Many more insects were on the wing during the day, making the most of the dry weather.
This colourful six-spot burnet moth is pictured having just emerged from its cocoon on a grass stalk. Up to five burnets were seen feeding on various flowers amongst the long grass at the country park. Numbers should increase in the next few days if the weather improves.

This pair of green-veined whites were locked together mating at the country park, making the most of the dry weather.

Other butterflies seen at the park were 3 purple hairstreaks in two opposite corners of the park fluttering high in some oaks. A handful of ringlets were on the wing again as were small tortoiseshell, comma, speckled wood, large white, small white, Essex / small skippers, large skipper, hedge brown, meadow brown and small heath.
An emperor dragonfly was hawking along one ditch near the seawall.

Good numbers of butterflies have been feeding on the colourful clumps of greater knapweed, photo above, that have spread amongst the areas of long grass.

Clumps of tufted vetch that were planted in the grasslands a few years ago are popular with many of the skipper butterflies.

This dead water vole was found near the borrowdyke with wounds on the back of the head suggesting a dog attack.

A good variety of waders were gathering along the mud as the tide receded from the park on Saturday morning with this picture showing some black-tailed godwits in the foreground and bar-tailed godwits with redshank in the background. Waders noted were 50 black-tails, 20 bar-tails, 8 golden plover, 10 grey plover, 100 redshank, 30 oystercatcher, 5 turnstone, 20 curlew. Offshore 2 little terns flew along the shallows.

On the pools in the fields 5 black-tailed godwits were seen feeding here as were a little egret and two juvenile grey herons. On the park pond at least 8 tufted ducklings were still swimming around with an adult pair nearby. The little grebe chicks are still being noisy on the pond.

The corn bunting was singing beside the East Mersea road at Bocking Hall on Sunday while at Maydays Farm Martin Cock saw a peregrine.

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