Monday, 15 April 2013


More sunshine on Monday 15th brought more butterflies out into the warmth such as this comma into the garden in Firs Chase, West Mersea.

A walk past the side of the nearby caravan site and onto the seawall revealed about ten small tortoiseshells and a peacock late morning. There was also a report of a slowworm basking by the path near the caravan site, while a few toads were croaking from the nearby borrowdyke.

At least ten swallows were seen around the edge of West Mersea and over the Strood fields, while a male yellow wagtail called loudly as it headed over the seawall and inland. Three chiffchaffs were noted at various points down the side of the caravan site. The other migrant noted was a common tern flying alongside the Hard just after mid-day.

Along the Strood Channel with the tide slowly coming back in, 2 avocet, 150 redshank and 70 black-tailed godwits were feeding along the water's edge. Also present were 50 dunlin, 5 grey plover, 3 turnstone and 10 curlew as well as 5 brent geese.

A little egret, one brent goose, 70 golden plover, 6 stock doves, 30 linnet, 3 singing reed buntings, 4 skylarks were seen in the fields. A marsh harrier was hunting low along the Peldon seawall and a kestrel sat on a bush near the caravan site.

Martin Cock visited the Youth Camp on Monday morning and saw five wheatears and six willow warblers and a muntjac deer but no sign of any firecrests.

Walked along the footpath between Meeting Lane and Shop Lane in East Mersea on a sunny Sunday 14th. Near Meeting Lane 100 redwings and 5 fieldfares were seen and a sparrowhawk was disturbed from a hedgerow. A yellowhammer flew over towards Reeveshall where later a marsh harrier was seen in the air. No warblers seen in the hedges other than a calling goldcrest.
Small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies were seen along the path.

Near the East Mersea Youth Camp entrance Steve Entwistle tracked down one of the two firecrests, late on Sunday afternoon along with at least five willow warblers.
I couldn't find the firecrest during my brief visit around noon although I did see a goldcrest, heard a willow warbler singing and saw two calling Mediterranean gulls fly overhead. A small tortoiseshell butterfly was seen alongside the firecrest hedge. At least ten swallows were seen at various locations on the Island such as Weir Farm, Reeveshall, Rewsalls and Blue Row.

Phil Carter reported the first common whitethroat for the Island at the country park on Sunday.
The first pipistrelle bats of the season to catch my eye were hawking round trees beside Firs Chase on Sunday evening.

Ian Black also reported that Mark Farthing saw a red kite flying over Mersea Avenue on Friday 12th at about 1.30pm. Ian also watched a noticeable passage of 200 swallows flying across the country park that evening.

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