Monday, 23 July 2012


Enjoyed an evening stroll alongside the Strood Channel on Monday 23rd, where the sea lavender flowers, photo above, added some summer colour to the Strood saltmarshes.  The tide was well out and there was plenty of mud on show and lots of waders too although most were 200+ redshank. Other waders noted were a greenshank, whimbrel, 2 grey plover, several curlew and 5 lapwing.

Five little egrets were seen feeding in the water in one part of the channel and 2 common terns flew amongst the boat moorings.

Other birds noted included 20 linnets, 2 yellow wagtails and a couple of reed warblers singing from the reeds,while 10 swallows were flying around the Dabchicks.

On the Strood reservoirs, a great crested grebe was of interest here but no sign of a mate or any breeding attempt. Twenty mallard, 5 coots and moorhen were also on the water while 3 reed warblers were noted around the edge in the reeds.

It was interesting to see this meadow brown butterfly in the Firs Chase garden, not exactly an area of meadow and its surrounded by other gardens. Although its feeding on catmint in the photo, it was later feeding amongst an area of half-mown lawn which was kept cut in the spring but then left to grow in the last month. This has encouraged a variety of flowers to flourish especially lots of self-heal.

Despite the sunshine the only other insects of interest were a ruddy darter, holly blue, comma, small white and large white. Overhead a screaming flock of 50 swifts circled above as did a few swallows.

It was nice being able to enjoy the sun setting after another hot and sunny day with this view taken just along from the Dabchicks at West Mersea.

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