Tuesday, 13 August 2013


This sparrowhawk was seen taking a blackbird from the garden of Lyn and Charles Williams, who took this photo, in Queen Ann Road in West Mersea recently. A few pairs of sparrowhawk have nested again on the Island and adult birds have been visiting gardens for food to feed their hungry young.

On Monday at the park the birds on the grazing fields were first disturbed by a sparrowhawk that flew over the pools towards the pond. Later in the day a marsh harrier glided north over the same area scattering all the roosting waders and other birds away. Amongst the waders here were 20 black-tailed godwits, 24 lapwing and a couple of redshank. Twenty four teal were also seen on the pools earlier in the day and 15 little egrets roosted at the pond. A Mediterranean gull flew away from the pools and a yellow wagtail called as it passed over.
A willow warbler was heard calling from bushes in the car park.

On the Langenhoe ranges on Sunday 11th, Andy Field and Richard Hull noted a wood sandpiper, curlew sandpiper, 15 green sandpiper, 6 common sandpiper, 2 whimbrel, ruff, 8 greenshank, 42 avocet, 12 yellow wagtails, 3 marsh harriers, 30 snipe and 80 black-tailed godwits.

The first wasp spider of the season was located in the long grass of the park on Sunday 11th. Having made a conscious effort to try and find the first one of the year, this individual pictured above was found surprisingly promptly within the first dozen or so paces into the long grass. No doubt there are plenty of others around other areas of long grass too.

The butterflies are enjoying the ongoing hot weather with this small copper seen at the park, surprisingly the first one of the year here. It was a surprise not to see any in the spring. Also at the park were common blue, masses of gatekeepers on the bramble flowers and up to eight species on the one white buddleia bush in the car park which included a painted lady.

A recent moth trap session produced about 90 moths of 25 species which included this rosy rustic pictured above. A widespread moth, several are noted here during the late summer period. It's colour pattern seems to match the colour of a dead leaf. 

This twin-spotted wainscot almost went unnoticed in the trap. A small white dot is visible on each wing but the second of the "twin-spots" is barely noticeable alongside each white dot. This species has been recorded on a couple of occasions in the past here but is generally a scarce moth, restricted to reedbeds and marshes in southern England.

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