Thursday, 27 March 2014


Little owls have been rather elusive on the Island in recent months. This one seen by Andy Field on Thursday 27th near the East Mersea Vineyard, was the first little owl sighting to be reported so far this year. This individual would have proved hard to spot in the row of alder trees had it not been for it calling loudly out mid morning.

A male marsh harrier was seen flying over the Rewsalls marshes heading towards the vineyard, while 70 curlew and a pair of shelduck were the only other birds noted here on Thursday morning.

The pair of kestrels is being seen around the country park a bit more over the last fortnight, now that they showing great interest in the new nest-box. Andy took this photo of the male bird hovering over the park.
Earlier today the female was perched on the nestbox tree, although by this afternoon a pair of stock doves was looking inside the box.
A sparrowhawk flew north over the fields away from the pond in the morning.

Two chiffchaffs have been singing at the park over the last few days with one of the birds at its usual spot in the copse behind the pond. No other migrants have been reported on the Island so far.

On the pond the pair of mute swans was back, 3 pochard were hiding in the stand of reedmace, 3 males had been present on Wednesday. A common snipe has been probing the soft pasture beside the pond for the second day running.

Numbers of waders and wildfowl have decreased on the grazing fields recently as birds head back to northern breeding grounds. Main flocks included 100 brent geese, 130 wigeon, 150 teal, pair of Canada geese, 80 curlew, 75 redshank, 5 black-tailed godwit, snipe, 15 shelduck, little egret, 6 shoveler, 6 lapwing, 8 pied wagtails while 12 tufted ducks were on the dyke.
A big flock of 800+ golden plover was feeding on the fields on Wednesday afternoon.

Three chiffchaffs were heard singing in East Mersea on Monday 24th by Martin Cock.
In Firs Chase on Monday 24th a chiffchaff and a goldcrest were heard singing in the morning.

Despite the chill in the easterly wind this adder was one of four seen at the park with another two also reported. One common lizard was also seen scuttling amongst the grass tussocks.
Four adders were also seen on Monday 24th.

At least one small tortoiseshell has been at the country park each day this week but no other butterflies noted.

The moth trap was run during Monday night with 45 individuals seen the next morning and again on Wednesday night when 55 individuals were noted the next day including this dotted border. Few species but reasonable numbers of the common moths with the chilly nights keeping numbers down.
Moths noted were common quaker, small quaker, hebrew character, red chestnut, early grey, March, twin-spotted quaker and clouded drab.

 There was this brief colourful glow to the setting sun, seen from the park on Thursday early evening.

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