Thursday, 1 August 2013


Many of the black-tailed godwits around the Island are still sporting their gingery breeding plumage like this one Andy Field photographed in the park's fields on Wednesday 31st. There have been up to twenty birds over the last fortnight or so on the pools here, usually during high tide. Out on the nearby mudflats at low tide are often up to 200 black-tailed godwits.

A small group of lapwings have been feeding and roosting at the pools too with this one photographed by Andy too. A common sandpiper was also seen briefly in the morning for its second day. Eight teal, little egret, ten mallard, nine greylag geese have been present along with one or two coots and moorhens with young chicks.

The first returning willow warbler was heard calling in the car park on Wednesday morning and was seen flying over the buildings to feed along the hedgeline.
In the evening a muntjac deer was seen twice in the field to the north of the park pond, first going away from a nearby garden and then returning to it at dusk.

Managed a couple of hours walk along part of the Reeveshall seawall on Thursday evening as the tide was coming back into the Pyefleet Channel pictured above. The hot temperatures lasted into the evening and it was nice to have a cooling sea breeze in the evening.

Some waders were noted on the mud, some on the Reeveshall pool and other ones noted in flight. In total six greenshank, nine green sandpipers, two whimbrel, fifty avocet, 100 dunlin, five turnstone, one smart summer plumage grey plover, 3 bar-tailed godwits and 70 black-tailed godwits. Five common terns and six little terns were flying up and down the channel fishing. A common seal swam up-channel just before high tide.

A female marsh harrier brought food back to Langenhoe Point transferring it mid-air to one of the four youngsters. Meanwhile the sparrowhawk family were also anxious about being fed with a couple of youngsters calling from the trees in the Shop Lane wood.
Two yellowhammers and 2 linnets were the only small birds of note that evening.

Another rewarding mothing session on a muggy Wednesday night produced a few more interesting moths at the park. Seventy-five species of macro moth was a good haul for the one Skinner trap. The second garden tiger moth pictured above, was the main highlight - the first year that two individuals have been caught in a season at the park. Comparing this photo with the one posted a fortnight ago show slightly different brown blotches on the forewings.

Another notable discovery was this small, very green looking tree-lichen beauty, that was found early in the night, lying on the white sheet. Up until a few years ago tree lichen beauties were scarce immigrants but there have been many more records recently. The first park record was in 2007 and it has been annual since then except for last year when the summer weather was poor for moths.

The neatly patterned archers dart pictured above, is a scarce but annual visitor to the moth trap here. It is mainly a coastal species with most records in Essex being in the north-east of the county.

The first lackey moths were also noted on Wednesday evening with three being noted - three more than were seen last year.

Other moths of interest seen were silver-ground carpet, least carpet, beautiful hook-tip, purple thorn, poplar hawk, elephant hawk, white-line dart, nutmeg, dot, fen wainscot, starwort, rosy minor, ear sp, and eight silver-Y's. Also amongst the micro moths was the diamond-back moth.

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