Sunday, 6 April 2014


This grumpy looking toad was found on Firs Chase on Sunday evening, probably unhappy as I moved it off the road so it wouldn't get run over. There was no mass toad movement this spring of toads along Firs Chase and very few signs of any being run over here either.

After the fine weather on Saturday 6th, one or two showers fell on Sunday morning and this view of the park pond pictured above was taken from the hide while sheltering from the rain.
On the pond 3 pochard and 8 tufted ducks were watching the water run off the ducks backs. A chiffchaff was singing from bushes behind the hide and there was a brief song from a blackcap in the car park.

On the grazing fields nine snipe flew around as did 10 black-tailed godwits while some of the lapwing and redshank were displaying noisily. A pair of Mediterranean gulls flew over the park in the morning.

There was a sunny start to Saturday 5th with clear blue skies. Maybe it was the fine weather that brought in the first sand martin to the park with one seen flying along the cliff a few times in the morning. There was the notable count of four pairs of Med. gulls seen flying north off the mudflats and over the park in the morning over a period of an hour.

A sparrowhawk circled over the car park and then climbed up high as it drifted north. The male kestrel was seen hovering over the park's grasslands and then it landed on its nestbox at the back of the fields. Fifty brent geese were seen, some feeding in the fields, as were 50 teal and 3 wigeon while several skylarks and one meadow pipit were heard singing.

A lesser whitethroat was singing from inside a bush near the car park on Friday 4th - the first one back this spring. A red-legged partridge was heard calling from the field to the west of the park.

Two corn buntings were singing beside the East Mersea road and Chapmans Lane on Saturday morning.
Mike Dawson reported seeing a swallow over Home Farm in East Mersea on Thursday 3rd.
Blackthorn bushes are covered in thick white blossom in a number of places around the country park. Many bees have been busy around the flowers.
Peacock, small tortoiseshell and comma have been seen recently at the park. Four adders were seen on Saturday including one brightly marked male having recently shed its skin.

The moth trap was run on a couple of nights with this water carpet pictured above, the latest new arrival on the scene. It's been seen here before but not every spring.

This powdered quaker was also the first one of the spring at the park during Saturday night and is often seen in small numbers during April.
Other moths noted were 3 blossom underwings on the Thursday night and another on Saturday night, also purple thorn, early thorn, early grey, hebrew character, common quaker, March moth and red chestnut.

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