Friday, 21 September 2012


 Rain arrived on the Island at the end of Friday 21st, seemingly the first proper rain for nearly four weeks. The cattle grazing by the park pond in the picture above, appeared to lose the appetite to graze while the rain came down. The light faded fast with the dark cloud overhead.

The kingfisher made another appearance at the pond and looked like it was going to roost here for the night, perching in a willow bush over the water. It made at least one circuit of the pond, whistling out loudly as it flew low over the water, its colours looking unusually drab. Fifty mallard swam from the edges into the open water, while it rained.. Two gadwall and little grebe were present as were coots and moorhens.

There was a record count of 260+ redshank roosting during the late afternoon high tide on the pools in the fields. As the roosting period was drawing to an end, the chattering noise from the redshanks got louder, a great sight and sound. Also present were the usual 20 or so black-tailed godwits while 50+ curlew roosted on the field.

Earlier in the day 100 teal, 20 wigeon, 3 greylag geese, 20 snipe, little egret were on the pools while a green sandpiper flew high to the west. A greenshank was heard calling for the second consecutive day flying along the park shoreline.

The main bird feature during the morning was a big flock of house martins with 300+ flying over the park and nearby fields along with 100+ swallows and one or two sand martins. The martins semed content to stay in the area to feed, often providing the typical autumnal sight of a hundred birds sitting on some overhead wires.

In the bushes by the pond, 8 blackcaps were feeding on the various berries and 3 song thushes were noted together in one bush. Just one mistle thrush was seen in the car park. Butterflies noted during the day were red admiral, comma and small white.

At the beginning of the day a marsh harrier was seen crossing the East Mersea road near the pub, as it flew low over the fields towards Coopers Beach.

On Thursday 20th, there was a big mixed tit flock feeding in the bushes and trees in the car park with one willow warbler singing briefly amongst 8 or so chiffchaffs. A handful of finches flew over the park with at least two siskins flying with presumed greenfinches. Andy Field saw a weasel along the top of the seawall.

There was a report from Nick Green that a peregrine was tussling with an osprey near the mouth of the Pyefleet Channel, with the osprey continuing to drift west.

Moth numbers in the trap on Wednesday morning were down to about forty individuals of 12 species following a clear sky and chilly night. The first black rustic of the autumn is pictured above, looking fresh and smart with several more expected to visit the trap over the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Other moths noted included garden carpet, common marbled carpet, engrailed, lunar underwing, flounced rustic, large yellow underwing, lesser yellow underwing, square spot rustic, setaceous hebrew character, frosted orange and snout

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