Saturday, 10 August 2013


This was a proud South Devon bull in the park's grazing fields, as he stood admiring the latest offspring of his to be born earlier in the morning.

The water level in the grazing field's pools is dropping gradually, exposing more mud around the edges. Numbers of waders here at high tide on Saturday included 25 black-tailed godwits, 6 redshank, 12 lapwing and 2 snipe. Fifteen teal are also feeding in the shallow water. Along the borrowdyke 20 mallard and two tufted duck with 14 ducklings were also present and feeding amongst the grassland were 200 starlings.
On Friday a greenshank flew over the pools calling but didn't come down and also 5 yellow wagtails were feeding in the fields. A whimbrel flew over the shore calling.
The little egret roost in the trees was up to 19 birds with nine of them at the pond.

At the beginning of Saturday a bit of bird activity was watched near the park entrance where a willow warbler, 2 blackcaps, 5 whitethroats, 2 lesser whitethroats, 2 song thrushes, as well as small numbers of greenfinch, goldfinch and chaffinch.

The sunshine brought out four adders basking on top of each other in their usual spot near the car park. Amongst the great numbers of butterflies around the park a painted lady was the main one of note on the buddleia in the car park.

In the early evening an hour's visit along the Reeveshall seawall including the pool provided views of 2 common sandpiper, 3 green sandpiper, 2 greenshank, 180 black-tailed godwit, 150 avocet, 25 ringed plover, 20 grey plover and 3 whimbrel. On the pool an adult avocet was feeding beside two fledged young avocets, although these ones aren't Mersea born.

Three marsh harriers flew over Langenhoe, a female was sitting on Reeveshall. Along the Pyefleet one common tern and a common seal were noted. A male yellowhammer was singing from a bush top, 3 reed warblers in the reeds, while in the Shop Lane wood a young sparrowhawk called as did a willow warbler.

A reasonable haul of moths during Thursday night on a warm and muggy night provided over 300 moths of 55 species of macro moth. The big red underwing pictured above was the main star of the show, the first appearance of the season so far. Although several are noted at the park at the end of each summer, very few drop into the trap, with most resting up on the side of buildings.
The various other underwing moths seen were large yellow underwing, lesser yellow underwing, lesser broad bordered yellow underwing, least yellow underwing, copper underwing and straw underwing.

This freshly emerged blood-vein caught the eye with its bold red line across the wings and the pink fringe to the wings too.
Two tree lichen beauties were also of note in the trap.

In West Mersea a muntjac deer was seen sprinting out of a neighbour's drive in Firs Chase by my wife Nolly and she watched it climb a six foot fence to escape into another garden on Friday morning. A muntjac was also recently seen crossing the road near Blue Row late one night. A grey squirrel, and not a red one, was reported in a back garden in Seaview Avenue recently too.

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