Saturday, 24 August 2013


Regular checks of the butterflies in the Firs Chase garden on a sunny Friday 23rd paid off with the discovery of this brown argus pictured above. It was the only butterfly on the clump of flowering mint in the back-garden and spent a fair amount of time enjoying the mint.

It's the first sighting of brown argus in this garden and probably the first known sighting in any West Mersea garden. The nearest possible breeding site where it might've come from would be the seawall beyond the Dabchicks sailing club over 500m to the north.

Other butterflies in the garden were small tortoiseshell, peacock, red admiral, red admiral, small white, large white, speckled wood and holly blue. A painted lady was seen feeding on buddleia near the Dabchicks.

Plenty of mud on show during the mid morning walk alongside the Strood on Friday. Waders noted included 6 greenshank, 250 redshank, 300 black-tailed godwits, 30 grey plover and 25 golden plover. A pair of little grebes and a family of reed buntings were seen along the borrowdyke.

A sparrowhawk flew over Firs Chase being mobbed by several swallows while higher up 20+ house martins and a couple of sand martins flew around.

Spent an hour on the water off West Mersea watching some of the sailing regatta in which this winklebrig boat belonging to Mark Farthing was taking part. There was no sign of the harbour porpoise which had been seen earlier in the week a couple of times by Ian Black near the Nass beacon.
Forty five common terns were roosting on Cobmarsh Island and a greenshank flew over the moorings calling.

After a light drizzly start to the day, the heavens opened and torrential rain fell during the afternoon as this picture of the back-garden shows. It wasn't a day for garden butterflies!

This orange swift moth was one of about 25 species recorded at the country park on Wednesday night. Other moths included flounced rustic, silver Y, pebble prominent, flame shoulder, lesser broad bordered yellow underwing, straw underwing, brimstone, latticed heath, magpie, chinese character and common rustic.

On Thursday morning the little ringed plover was still present for its third day on the grazing fields along with fifty teal.

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