Thursday, 3 April 2014


 There was a surprisingly good show of a pair of muntjac deer behind the park pond late on Wednesday 2nd. The pair appeared quite relaxed under an old willow tree as they nibbled on bramble leaves, reed stems and other plants. This individual pictured above is the buck with the short pointed antlers.

The female doe was only about five metres away from her buck and both were content to stay in the area for about half and hour. Some tufted ducks were keeping a close eye on them from the water.
Muntjac breed throughout the year and no doubt there will be another young one born later this year here.

A swallow made a couple of fly-pasts over the park pond at the end of the afternoon on Thursday 3rd. Presumably this is a bird just returned back to the nearby Bromans Farm. Andy Field saw the first swallow over the park this spring on Sunday 30th. A singing chiffchaff near the hide was the only other migrant noted at the park this Thursday.

On the pond were 10 tufted duck and 4 pochard, while a sparrowhawk flew away from the copse and the female kestrel perched on its oak tree at the back of the fields. A sparrowhawk also flew away from the trees on the clifftop in the morning. A flock of 500 golden plover flew over the fields just after high tide and three brent geese fed in the fields.

Noted on Wednesday 2nd the pair of kestrels were seen mating on their tree, strengthening their pair-bond. Two Mediterranean gulls were feeding in one of the fields, the previous day two Med gulls also flew over the car park. On the fields on the 2nd, 80 teal, two wigeon, six lapwing were seen with oystercatcher and redshank also noted.

There was an unexpected sight of a red-legged partridge flying off the roof of the park bungalow early on Tuesday morning while a little owl perched beside Bromans Lane at dusk. A reed bunting flew over the car park on Tuesday morning.

Andy Field noted three singing blackcaps in Shop Lane on Wednesday and heard common buzzard mewing while Martin Cock heard five singing chiffchaffs in the area around the Oyster Fishery and the Golfhouse.

In West Mersea Adrian Amos reported a pair of sparrowhawks displaying over Oakwood Avenue on Wednesday and also sighted the first orange-tip butterfly in his East Road garden on Saturday 29th.

It's the time of year for the adders to start shedding their skins, this one found this week at the park.
Two adders were seen on Wednesday and also on Tuesday at the park.

The first blossom underwing of the spring, pictured above, was in the trap on Tuesday morning and also Thursday morning. This scarce Essex moth seems to be a regular each spring here at the park.

 Nice to see this second sighting here this spring of a dotted chestnut. It has spread quickly across the county over the last twelve years.

The first swallow prominent dropped into the trap during the Wednesday trapping session, a common moth in small numbers.

The chocolate-tip is always a nice addition to the trap, this one pictured above.

The early thorn is always an elegant moth with the wings held upright over the body.
Other moths noted this week at the park have included engrailed, common pug, pine beauty, March moth, early grey, dotted border, common quaker, small quaker, hebrew character, clouded drab, twin-spot quaker, and red chestnut.

 This purple thorn was one of thirty macro-moths trapped in a newly acquired Robinson trap, in the Firs Chase garden on Wednesday night. Also noted here were common quaker, small quaker, hebrew character, early grey and clouded drab.

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