Sunday, 12 August 2012


The sunshine brought a few butterflies onto the buddleia bush in the car park of the country park with this colourful peacock admired on Sunday 12th. Also seen here was a small tortoiseshell and a comma with four red admirals seen a few days earlier here.

Bird activity has been quite quiet recently and the hot weather seems to have kept the small birds hiding in the bushes. However a last walk of the day in the last hour of daylight was rewarded with unexpected views of a garganey and a wood sandpiper on the pools in the grazing fields.

The evening high tide had brought a few more birds to roost on the pools with the usual 20 black-tailed godwits, 20 mallard, 10 lapwing but with an increase in teal numbers. A scan of the 40 or so teal revealed a similiar looking duck but with white markings on the face which was a female garganey. The bird swam around the open water along with the other teal allowing nice views. This is the first garganey sighting on the Island this year.

Whilst looking at these pools the loud "chip-chip" calls of a wood sandpiper in flight was heard and the bird was seen coming into land. It soon scuttled behind some rushes to feed providing a brief view a few minutes later. I had missed the first wood sandpiper that stayed for a day on these pools about a month ago.

Earlier in the day a couple of little egrets had been seen feeding in the pools with one bird perching in a tree over the pond and a willow warbler was heard calling from some trees.

The day before Andy Field had seen 3 wheatears at the park in the evening as well as a badger in Bromans Lane as night fell. A badger has been seen in this Lane on Friday night and also Thursday night too, probably on their way from the park to forage in a wheat field at the top of the Lane by the East Mersea road. Also on Thursday night at dusk a little owl was seen in Bromans Lane on the roof of a cottage while a second bird flew off a telegraph pole near the pub.

The sunshine on Sunday was ideal for the dragonflies such as this colourful male ruddy darter resting on some grass near the park borrowdyke. A few other ruddies were seen around the park, as were a couple of emperors and migrant hawkers too. At the western end of the dyke were at least 20 small red-eyed damselflies resting on various bits of weed and algae.

On Thursday evening 4 little egrets flew over Firs Chase as did a yellow wagtail, 50 swallows and 2 sand martins. The young sparrowhawk was calling from a nearby garden while the pied blackbird made another appearance having been absent over the last six weeks or so since nesting. Also in the garden were a migrant hawker and a toad.

There was a nice selection of moths in the trap at the park during sessions on last Wednesday and Friday nights with this pebble prominent one of the 35+ species noted involving about 80 individuals on the first night.

The swallow prominent was certainly prominent with five in the trap on the second night, which is the most in the trap here for a few years.About sixty moths of 34 species were noted.

Some of the other moths that were noted included poplar hawk, drinker, oak hook-tip, orange swift, least carpet, red twin-spot carpet, blood vein, latticed heath, yellow-tail, brown-tail, peppered, dingy footman, ear moth, lunar-spotted pinion, white-line dart, straw underwing, starwort and dot moth.

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