Sunday, 26 August 2012


The first red underwing moth of the season was discovered resting on the outside wall of the information room at the park on Saturday 25th. Having moved it onto the trunk of a small tree, it briefly flashed the bright red and black hindwings, as in the photo above. It soon closed the wings up, then shuffled a short distance up the tree where it stayed motionless for the rest of the day, even during the torrential downpour with the thunder and lightning passing overhead late afternoon.

The last hour of daylight on Sunday 26th alongside the Pyefleet Channel, pictured above, ended up being a worthwhile walk. Having heard that an osprey had been seen over the last few days in the mid Colne estuary area, I thought it was worth giving it a look. Martin Cock had seen the bird on Friday from the Island as it sat on a tall post on the Geedon Saltings. With this information, I scanned the distant tall posts and managed to see the osprey as directed.
The view wasn't great through the telescope as there was a heat haze and the light was beginning to fade. The bird stayed perched on the post, changing the direction it faced which showed off its white underparts. Over the years ospreys have often been seen perched on these tall posts on the Geedons.

The tide was in along the Pyefleet so no waders to enjoy feeding on the mud. However there was an unexpected sight of 17 common sandpipers seen flying about calling loudly as they passed by. This is by far the largest flock I've seen in a very long time here. Four greenshank flew south over the Pyefleet calling as they went. Something spooked the wader roosts near Pewit Island and 200 avocet and 100 black-tailed godwits rose into the air.

 Five marsh harriers were gathering at Langenhoe Point for the evening roost.There was quite a bit of little tern activity with up to twenty birds flying about fishing especially near Langenhoe Point.

On Reeveshall pool 20 black-tailed godwits were feeding while mute swan, grey heron, little grebe and 10 mallard also present. A water rail called from the reedbed at the back of the pool and there was the barking call of a muntjac from a wood near the Oyster Fishery. As night-fell, a tawny owl was seen perched in Shop Lane beside a tall grain hopper on the north side of Manwood Grove near the pub, while a little owl was perched on the south side of the Grove over the East Mersea road.

It was noticed during Sunday that several swallows and martins were passing westwards over the park with 100+ swallows, 20 house martins and 20 sand martins. At the park pond 2 yellow wagtails flew over while 2 willow warblers were foraging with a tit flock. A whinchat was reported near the seawall near the Point. Two adders were tucked into the grass beside the track at the park.

A walk along the park seawall towards Ivy Dock on Saturday 25th enabled views of a whinchat in the park grazing fields, 160 teal on the pools, 6 tufted ducklings in the dyke, sparrowhawk and 5 yellow wagtails near the Golfhouse. On the mudflats 100 golden plover, 2 little tern, 4 common tern and one knot were of interest.

Other wildlife of interest at the park were discarded silver-Y moth-wings left by the long-eared bat during Friday night in the toilets. An adder well hidden in long grass near the seawall and 10 small-red-eyed damselflies in the nearby dyke. At dusk a muntjac deer walked across a field to the north of the park pond and entered a nearby garden presumably to feed on some roses.

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