Wednesday, 26 June 2013


The first common blue butterflies at the park this summer were fluttering amongst the long grass on Wednesday 26th. The morning warmed up nicely when the sun shone through and a number of butterflies were seen on the wing. Four common blues were seen, the first large skipper at the park this summer and also half a dozen meadow browns too. Also seen during the morning were small tortoiseshell, red admiral, speckled wood and several small heaths. The previous day a green hairstreak was still on the wing near the car park - a very late date.

Also enjoying the Wednesday morning warmth were four of the regular adders near the car park.

Five teal were the only birds of note on the park's grazing fields while four mistle thrushes were on the park.

At the beginning of the day there was drama along the East Mersea road near the pub when a pair of shelduck wandered onto the road with their very young brood of 12 ducklings. Unfortunately the parents wanted to walk along the road rather than simply cross it and being a busy narrow road, it wasn't long before traffic was forced to slow down to a halt. In the confusion the parents took to the air leaving the ducklings to run underneath the cars. One duckling was scooped up by one driver from under the waiting school bus and I rescued another one and put them back with the others which were eventually guided into a field entrance -still minus the parents. At least they were off the road and traffic could continue. There was no indication whether the adults were heading to the south shore of the Island, or to the muddy Pyefleet to the north.

On Tuesday the cuckoo was heard calling near the entrance to the country park and later a pair of Mediterranean gulls flew over the park calling. A reed warbler was heard singing from the bushes beside the car park.

There were fifty moths of twenty species in the trap after the Tuesday night session at the park, with this distinctive buff-tip moth pictured above, disguised as a snapped off twig. This was the first one of the season here.

The first peppered moth of the season was also noted pictured above, a common moth in small numbers here.

This scorched wing has a name that suitably describes the slightly charred effect to the markings.

This male puss moth was a nice surprise in the trap as it's not been recorded much in the past coming to the trap at the park and yet the caterpillars are often found feeding on the white poplar leaves. The male has these large feather-like antennae for tracking down the females.

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