Saturday, 12 July 2014


The swan family at the park has shrunk from six cygnets down to just three cygnets. The family pictured here, were preening themselves at the side of the borrow-dyke on Saturday 12th. One of the cygnets, in the middle of the three, has unusual white downy plumage rather than the normal grey down of the youngsters.

Also in the dyke was a very young brood of four tufted ducklings being watched over by the mother as they dived under to feed. four shoveler flew along the dyke and two reed warblers were singing from the reeds. On the saltmarsh lagoons five avocets were seen but no chicks, with a further seven birds on the nearby mud. On the outer reaches of the estuary were another ten avocets, five common terns and two little terns were flying about.

A redshank was making a lot of noise on the saltmarsh to suggest a breeding bird. A meadow pipit performed its parachute display above the seawall and a reed bunting sang at the Point. Twenty turnstones were seen on the mud as the tide came in.

On the park pools the pair of avocets were still watching over their two chicks, the only brood left out of three in the area. Four black-tailed godwits and five teal and ten mallard were also seen here.
Perched in the willow trees beside the pond were 12 little egrets, the start of the autumn high tide roost here.
At least four of the fledged kestrels were also perched in their oak tree waiting to be fed and a marsh harrier flew high over the fields as it headed north.

On the nearby Langenhoe ranges, Richard Hull and Andy Field on Saturday noted 10 marsh harriers, common sandpiper, 4 little ringed plovers, 10 green sandpipers, greenshank, 50 black-tailed godwits and 12 bearded tits.
Angela Devonish saw two adders by the seawall as they walked between Maydays and the Strood on Saturday morning and also heard a common seal calling from the Pyefleet channel, probably a youngster.

On Friday a green sandpiper dropped briefly onto the park pools in the late afternoon while a dozen sand martins flew round the the tree-tops along with a house martin and ten swallows. Offshore 50 black-tailed godwits were feeding on the mud at low tide.

On Thursday 10th a yellow wagtail flew over the car park calling, 48 avocets were seen on the saltmarsh pools at the Point while at Chapmans Lane 50 swallows and a corn bunting were noted.

Two whimbrel flew along the park foreshore whistling early on Wednesday morning and a red-legged partridge called from the field to the west of the park, as it had done the previous evening too.

A badger was seen jogging across the road just inside the country park entrance just before dark on Tuesday 8th. A short while earlier a barn owl flew high over the East Mersea road carrying some prey from the direction of Rewsalls marshes heading north-west towards Bocking Hall farm area.

During the visit to Maydays farm in the evening of Monday 7th a marsh harrier flew over the fields near the farm, a yellowhammer sang from a bush in the dyke while on Langenhoe a barn owl was seen hunting at dusk and the still conditions meant the loud laughing calls of the marsh frogs could be heard in the distance on the army ranges.

A kingfisher was seen catching a little tiddler of a fish at the park pond on Saturday 5th by Neil Devonish, and after whacking the fish on the branch, then swallowed it. The first reported sighting of a kingfisher on the Island post-breeding season.

A handful of the colourful six-spot burnet moths were seen feeding on some of the flowers at the park, such as this knapweed on Saturday morning. Not as many so far this summer as were seen at the park last year.

Butterflies around the park included good numbers of meadow browns, gatekeepers, small / Essex skippers, peacock, small tortoiseshell, red admiral, comma, speckled wood, large white and small white.
The first ringlet of the summer at the park was seen on Saturday 5th.

The dusky sallow moth is a common visitor to the moth trap at night at the park, but sometimes one or two individuals can be found during the day feeding, such as this one on greater knapweed.

The scalloped oak is at its peak flight season at the moment with a handful being noted in the moth trap in an evening.

1 comment:

Mat Larkin said...
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