Thursday, 7 March 2013


Spring must be just round the corner as the first adders were seen at the country park on a sunny Tuesday 5th. This one was basking in one of the usual spots beside a track during the middle of the day. Two others were seen in another part of the park, taking advantage of the warmer weather.

At the end of the day the first toad was also seen sitting beside Firs Chase as it pondered making the road crossing to the breeding pond in a garden on the other side. The toads have been later this year as there haven't been any wet evenings in the last fortnight. That has since changed in the last couple of evenings and more toads have appeared with a few succumbing to traffic.


Alan Reynolds snapped this small tortoiseshell beside the Esplanade beach in West Mersea on the sunny Tuesday. One of three small tortoiseshells he noted making the most of the sunshine here.

Birds at the park on Tuesday included a sparrowhawk flying low over the Point, 10 red-breasted mergansers offshore, female pochard at the pond, ten fieldfares near the park entrance and the pair of kestrels on the nestbox tree. Andy Field counted 35 common snipe on the fields, while later another snipe and curlew were feeding in the pond-field at the end of the day.

This common seal appeared to be messing around with another seal close to the Point at East Mersea on Wednesday morning. Both stared over to the beach at times in between dropping back underwater.

Also at the park 300 golden plover, 300 teal and 400 wigeon were in the grazing fields along with 30 curlew, 70 redshank, 80 lapwing 8 shelduck and 20 dunlin

The moth trap was dusted down on Wednesday evening with dead leaves and spiders cobwebs brushed out for the first evening's trapping of the year at the park. Conditions seemed overcast, less cold than of late and little wind, although there was some light drizzle late evening. By dawn at 6am on Thursday there was the nice surprise of a few moths inside with 10 moths of 5 species making it worthwhile start to the season.
Above is an oak beauty, a common early spring moth, and one of two present in the trap.

The pale brindled beauty is another widespread moth although surprisingly, it hasn't been noted at the park for a few years.

This aptly named March moth was one of three individuals that were noted.
The other moths that were at the trap by dawn were two satellites and a hebrew character.

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