Thursday, 17 July 2014


The recent spell of warm weather has brought out lots of butterflies at the country park such as this freshly-marked peacock seen resting on top of a wooden post.

Numbers of red admirals have also picked up recently especially around the buddleia bushes near the park buildings and also around some of the bramble bushes.

A painted lady made a brief appearance on the buddleia at the park on Monday 7th.
Small numbers of commas and small tortoiseshells have also been seen in recent days at the park.

The various brown butterflies are to be seen everywhere at the park with lots of gatekeepers on the wing. This male pictured above was seen on ragwort - just before some of these plants had to be pulled up and bagged.

There are still plenty of meadow browns on the wing although many are looking faded and worn, their season coming to an end soon.

Nice to see lots more ringlets around the park, now in their third season at the park. One ragwort plant had four ringlets gathered on it.

Lots of skippers both Essex and small, were flitting around the site amongst the grass as well around any plant in flower. 

The only other butterflies noted at the park in recent days have included large white and small white.

The main bird highlight over the last few days at the park continues to be the growing up of the two avocet chicks in the park grazing fields. The chicks are about three weeks old now and about half the size of the parents. The family have done well to avoid any predators especially as the nearby vegetation around the pools is so thick with tall docks and rushes.
There's been no further sign of avocet chicks near the Point with one of the small lagoons almost dried up.

The avocets are trying their hardest at keeping most other birds away from their chicks. Those that have been brave enough to stay have included up to ten black-tailed godwits, four shoveler, 5 teal and 12+ mallard. On the dyke the tufted duck was seen with four ducklings on Monday 7th.

Five mistle thrushes have been feeding on the rowan berries in the car park and a song thrush has been singing loudly at the north end of the car park. A greenshank was heard calling as it flew off the mudflats on Tuesday 8th. At least one Sandwich tern was heard calling from the foreshore beside Cosways caravan site on Tuesday 8th..

Will Baker saw a barn owl hunting over the park late on the evening on Sunday 6th.

An adder was seen slowly moving into cover on Monday 7th alongside the track, while five common lizards were seen amongst the long grass..

Paid a brief visit to the fields near Coopers Beach on Tuesday 8th where the long grass in the fields had been cut for hay. There was the nice sight of two marsh harriers hunting low over the three hay fields, looking for prey. Three kestrels presumably a local family, also had the same idea with one of the parents hovering above the cut grass.

Also seen in the area were a pair of yellow wagtails, little egret, 10 linnets and 100 starlings with ten common terns seen offshore.

Near Chapmans Lane 100+ swallows were perched on wires on Wednesday 7th, as was the usual corn bunting.

Was surprised to find this young slow-worm lying dead near the back door in the Firs Chase garden on Thursday 17th. A goldcrest was heard singing from a nearby garden on Thursday morning.

A muntjac deer was seen crossing the East Mersea road near the allotments at dusk on Monday 7th. It managed to squeeze between the bars on the metal five bar gate into the nearby hay field.

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