Thursday, 22 May 2014


A pair of swallows are trying to nest inside the toilet building at the country park. Their interest in using this building only started last weekend, with bits of mud and grass being carried into the ladies side of the building.

This male pictured above perched on top of the nearby Information Room building.

Late on Thursday 22nd, this swallow was ready to spend the night on top of the green door inside the Ladies, with its mate also sitting nearby chattering to each other.

An early evening walk around the park in the company of the local Mersea Wildlife Forum, was carried out with dark and threatening skies above with a touch of rain too. It appeared that a passing marsh harrier had already flushed most of the birds off the grazing fields, compared with birds seen an hour earlier.

Around sixty black-tailed godwits continued to feed in the main pool in the fields - eighty had been seen the day before. Also this evening a grey heron, four Canada geese, two greylag geese, pair of kestrels in the tree, pair of shoveler, mallard with 8 ducklings and at least two lapwings.
On the pond one of the coots has some young chicks and a mallard has at least six small ducklings. The swan is still sitting on her nest at the pond.

Some of the birds heard singing around the park in the evening included chiffchaff, whitethroat and skylark while a pair of oystercatchers were seen mating on the main park.
The cuckoo was heard calling from the trees on the clifftop in the morning and was also heard over the park on the previous two days too, a marsh harrier flew over the car park in late afternoon and the great spotted woodpeckers are still feeding chicks in the big ash tree outside the park entrance.

A great crested grebe was seen in the river Colne on Wednesday with five little egrets on the mudflats. A pair of avocets flew off the pools in the fields heading over to the Point where six avocets had been seen earlier by Martin Cock.

The nightingale gave a quick burst of song at dusk from the Shop Lane wood beside the East Mersea road at dusk on Tuesday 20th.
The cuckoo was heard calling at West Mersea near the Lane early on Wednesday morning and two house martins were seen near Wellhouse Green on Monday evening.

On Saturday 17th Andy Field and Steve Entwistle saw three turtle doves on house roof near Willoughby car park and also saw a green-winged orchid near there too.
At Cudmore Grove on Saturday Andy saw 400 dunlin on the mudflats and 90 black-tailed godwits in the fields.

This male orange-tip butterfly was nectaring on some bramble flowers at the park on Tuesday 20th. Only other butterflies seen on Tuesday were speckled wood and small tortoiseshell with a peacock and a red admiral seen on Wednesday.

 Pleased to find this big female fox moth in the moth trap after a muggy Tuesday night at the country park. Although one or two of the hairy caterpillars are usually found each September at the park, this is the first adult seen in the trap since 2007.

Other moths noted were poplar hawkmoth, pale oak beauty, least black arches, large nutmeg, rustic shoulder knot, marbled minor, shoulder-striped wainscot, angle shades, treble brown spot, lime-speck pug, scorched wing, clouded border, light emerald, cinnabar and common swift.

 The moth trap was also running on Tuesday night in the Firs Chase garden in West Mersea and this lime hawkmoth was the highlight, the first one of the year. Other moths noted included peppered moth, swallow prominent, common marbled carpet, scalloped hazel, clouded silver, silver-ground carpet, riband wave, clay, silver-Y, poplar grey and grey dagger sp, bright-line brown-eye and common carpet.

 Crashing into the Firs Chase moth trap were three of these big cockchafers. They've been seen coming to the lighted windows at night here before but strangely they've never visited the moth trap at the country park and I can't remember when or if, they've been recorded there before.

No comments: