Sunday, 8 June 2014


There was a small group of eleven avocets on the saltmarsh lagoon by the East Mersea Point on Saturday 7th. Pictured above is one of the avocets resting on the ground with its mate standing over a shelduck.

The seawall near the Point is covered in the big plants of black mustard, adding a bright yellow colour to the place.

On the park dyke on Saturday morning were the shoveler with seven ducklings still, two singing reed warblers and a dozen mallard. On the fields were 60 black-tailed godwits, a marsh harrier seen quartering the fields and cuckoo calling near the pond.

The Strood seawall was walked twice on Friday 6th, once in the morning, pictured above, and again early evening during high tide. Its the first visit to this area for almost six weeks.

Birds of note included a marsh harrier being mobbed away by a crow from the fields towards Ray Island, pair of yellow wagtail near the caravan site, brief song from a sedge warbler, six singing reed warblers, singing corn bunting, reed bunting and also a cuckoo calling on the Ray.
Two male pochard were on the Strood reservoirs and a great crested grebe was in the Strood Channel. Four common terns were hawking amongst the moorings.

Two painted ladies were seen on Friday - the first for the year. One on red valerian at the bottom of The Lane, and another worn specimen along the Strood seawall. Also noted was a four-spotted chaser alongside the dyke

Birds from the Firs Chase garden were a soaring sparrowhawk, singing chiffchaff and singing blackcap along with song thrush and up to eight swifts overhead.
The Robinson moth trap was switched on in the Firs Chase garden on Friday and Saturday nights with the latter night being rewarded with at least forty species of macro. As always the large moths provided the main interest and two poplar hawks and three elephant hawks nice to see.
During Saturday afternoon a hummingbird hawkmoth nearly settled on the garage roof before speeding off.

The first buff arches of the season was noted, one pictured above. A moth that displays a strange set of markings on its wings that look like a chunk has been taken out of the back.

Several buff ermine moths were found at the trap, a common moth in the early summer.

A scarce moth in most parts of the country, this dotted fanfoot has been recorded at the country park before and is widely distributed across Essex and East Anglia especially near watercourses and marshes.

Other moths included peppered, common marbled carpet, treble brown spot, scorched wing, miller, figure of 80, riband wave, broken-barred carpet, green pug, peacock, cinnabar, green silver-lines, pebble prominent, pale prominent, common footman, heart and dart, heart and club, flame, flame shoulder, large yellow underwing, common wainscot, white-point, shoulder-striped wainscot and dark arches.

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