Friday, 24 August 2012


Recent sunshine over the last few days has brought lots of butterflies to the buddleia bushes in the country park. There's been a good display of up to 5 small tortoiseshells and 12 red admirals on the one buddleia bush near the buildings in the car park. Also attracted by the fragrant white flowers have been small numbers of peacock, comma, meadow brown, small white and large white. The main bush has attracted quite a bit of interest from passers by, as seen in the picture above.

Elsewhere on the park, it was nice to see four common blues butterflies amongst the long grass on Thursday 23rd with two the following day. They've been in short supply this summer. Other butterflies noted at the park during the last few days have been speckled wood, hedge brown and small heath.

On Friday 24th at East Mersea Point 50 avocet, 30 linnet and a common seal were seen. In Bromans Lane there were nine mistle thrushes the same flock that have been feeding on the rowan berries in the car park recently. The previous day a turtle dove was perched up on wires in the country park car park early in the morning. A short while later two young turtle doves were perched in the west end of the grazing fields near the pools. These are the first turtle doves I've seen in the park this year.

On Tuesday 21st Andy Field watched a spotted flycatcher near the park pond, which may've been the same bird seen by Doug and Tina Holden a couple of days earlier. In the bushes near the pond was a bit of warbler activity with about six willow warblers being the main interest along with a few blackcaps, whitethroats and lesser whitethroats too. It was nice to see a song thrush here too.

On the pools a green sandpiper was seen on the 21st along with two snipe and 20 black-tailed godwits. The teal numbers are quickly picking up with up to 80 birds on the pools during the week.Terry Wilby saw a hobby over the fields in the afternoon and another hobby flew over Shop Lane in the evening.

Martin Cock managed to see the osprey from Maydays Farm as it sat on a tall post on the Geedon saltings to the north of the Island on Friday 24th. The bird had been reported from this area of the Colne estuary over the previous couple of days. Also at Maydays were a wheatear, common sandpiper, greenshank and green sandpiper along with the grand count of at least 40+ wasp spiders beside the seawall. A whinchat was seen here on the 21st.

This poplar hawkmoth was the main attraction in the moth trap on Wednesday morning, with this individual showing the odd angle the wings are held. Around 60 moths of 30 species were noted that morning.

The moth trap was also run at the park during Thursday night when nearly 80 moths of 32 species were noted. This strkingly patterned archers dart was the main interest. It appears to have a restricted range in Essex being mainly coastal with the park having several records in the last few years.

The widespread blood-vein is well named after the red line across the wings. This individual pictured above seems to be a freshly marked specimen.

The latticed heath is another common moth sometimes turning up in large numbers although not this summer.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see the Archer's Dart, got one myself in Point Clear last weekend.

Dougal Urquhart said...

Hi Steve,

They're smart looking darts when they're fresh. Always nice to see them!