Friday, 2 May 2014


 Two grey herons and a couple of little egrets have been stalking the shallow watercourses on the park's grazing fields over the last week or so. This one pictured above was along the edge of the main dyke.

There has been a regular flock of black-tailed godwits in the fields with thirty noted on Friday 2nd and fifty-five present on Thursday 1st. Two pairs of redshank have also been feeding around the pools and showing an interest in breeding in the general area.

Managed to see a cuckoo for the first time this spring when one perched atop the kestrel tree, calling out for five minutes around the middle of the day. Earlier in the morning it had been heard from the park calling near North Farm and later near the Golfhouse on its circuit around the eastern end of the Island. The cuckoo was also heard near the park on Tuesday 29th.

In the fields on Friday there were 8 greylag geese, 4 Canada geese, 14 shelduck, 2 gadwall, 4 teal, 4 shoveler along with a mallard with ten ducklings - the first ones of the season here. Five pochard and up to 14 tufted duck commute between the park pond and the nearby dyke.

Twenty swallows hawked up and down the dyke at the park, swooping low over the yellow flowers of the Alexanders, pictured above on the seawall. A slight increase in number from yesterday's 12 swallows which also included a brief flypast by a sand martin. A reed warbler was singing from the reeds beside the dyke.

Seen at the Point on Friday late afternoon was a wheatear, the first one seen at the park this spring. Also two avocets noted, 10 ringed plover and 25 dunlin as the tide receded. Four common terns flew past the Point, four had also flown over the car park in the morning.

On Tuesday 29th at the end of the afternoon three eider including a male were seen in the river towards Colne Point. Ten common terns and nine little terns were seen flying along the river as were two Mediterranean gulls and a whimbrel.

On Wednesday 30th the sparrowhawk was seen twice during the day flying away from the copse behind the park pond, scattering wood pigeons as it passed by. A pair of stock doves was showing interest in the new nestbox near the pond, one bird dropping inside. The red-legged partridge was heard calling during the week again from the fields near to the car park.

Ian Black reported seeing a grey wagtail beside the East Mersea road near Meeting Lane on Wednesday 30th.

Other wildlife at the park of interest in the last few days were three green hairstreaks beside a hedge on Tuesday 29th - the first sighting at the park this year.

Lyn Pickering reported seeing part of a harbour porpoise washed up on the Monkey beach, West Mersea, which appears to have been here since last week.

Moth trapping has continued at the park and it was nice to see the first poplar hawkmoth of the year on Wednesday night. Two were then noted on Thursday night.

While the first hawkmoth was making its first appearance at the country park in East Mersea, this eyed hawkmoth made an appearance, clinging to the side of the moth trap in the Firs Chase garden in West Mersea on Thursday night. Only a dozen or so other moths at this trap such as brimstone, hebrew character and shuttle-shaped dart.

This neatly marked pebble prominent was at the park trap,a regular in the spring here - the larvae feed on sallows and poplars.

The dainty latticed heath is a common moth here both in the spring and again in late summer.

The white ermine with its fluffy white head is a common spring moth with the larvae feeding on a variety of herbaceous plants.

A couple of muslin moths one pictured above, were also in the park trap along with common swift, red twin-spot carpet, water carpet, shuttle-shaped dart, heart and dart, hebrew character and oak-tree pug.

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