Sunday, 31 August 2014


Some of the cows in the country park's grazing fields were enjoying having a long cool drink of water while about a dozen little egrets looked on from the background on Thursday 28th. Twenty yellow wagtails were feeding around the feet of the cattle. The high tide roost at these pools included 100 redshank, 15 black-tailed godwit, 10 lapwing, snipe and also 30 teal.

A kingfisher visited the park pond briefly on Thursday afternoon, whistling loudly when it arrived and then again when it left a few minutes later, flying low past the cows as it sped back to the dyke. On the park pond the first wigeon of the autumn was seen and also a gadwall amongst the forty or so mallard.

Four spotted flycatchers were still busy feeding from bushes by the park pond, providing good views from the hide. After all the busy feeding-up yesterday evening, the birds haven't migrated after all. In the car park the female common redstart was seen again near the buildings, four days after first being seen in this area. The bird was calling loudly from bushes by the toilets, feeding on the ground nearby. A short while later it was seen in my back garden close to my back door, before being chased off by the local robin.It's still unclear whether there have been two redstarts at the park this week, or just one mobile one frequenting two favoured locations about 200m apart.

An adder was basking in one of the usual spots at the park on Thursday morning.

Jo and Libby Watkins picked up a sick and injured barn owl from a field near Bocking Hall farm on Thursday and took it to the local vet. The owl had an infected wound to its body, close to its left wing and this no doubt weakened the bird as sadly it didn't survive into the evening.

Steve Entwistle saw two swifts near the Golfhouse on Thursday evening while on Friday morning he saw two greenshank by the Strood at West Mersea.

At least one of the spotted flycatchers was still present in the small field by the park entrance on Friday 29th.

Found this brown argus butterfly keeping low out of the breeze along a grassy path close to the Coopers Beach caravan site on Friday 29th.This is the first time brown argus has been found in this middle part of the Island, as far as I know. Now the fourth location this summer where it's been seen, two for East and two for West Mersea.

On a short walk around some of the Rewsalls fields on Friday morning a whinchat perched on some big round bales beside a game cover crop. Also a sparrowhawk flew over the fields, 200+ swallows trickled west, 5 golden plover and 15 black-tailed godwits dropped down briefly on the old marshes.

On Saturday 30th 3 swifts flew west over the West Mersea Hard in the afternoon during the local Regatta's  watersports session. Five swifts were also seen over Firs Chase the next day on Sunday 31st in the company of 20 swallows.

Flying over the car park at the country park on Sunday morning were 300+ golden plover. Martin Cock saw a peregrine and 2 greenshank at Maydays farm on Sunday.

The large thorn moth, pictured above, was one of the more interesting moths in the trap at the country park after Wednesday night's session. It used to be a scarce moth but in recent years seems to be turning up here at least once each autumn. A canary-shouldered thorn was also noted after Wednesday night's session.

The first frosted orange of the autumn was noted, pictured above. The moth colours match those of some of the fallen leaves.

Another moth to match leaves on the ground is the widespread angle shades moth, several have been noted in the last fortnight or so both in West and East Mersea.

Despite a mouse getting access into the Skinner moth-trap during the night and tucking into some of the moths, other moths noted were maidens blush, small white wave, maple prominent, swallow prominent, willow beauty, light emerald, brimstone, copper underwing, straw underwing, snout, spectacle, common wainscot, white-point, uncertain, Chinese character, setaceous hebrew character, square spot rustic, lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing, large yellow underwing and common rustic.

A red underwing was found resting on the side of the Park's Information room on Thursday morning.

Andy Field reported a hummingbird hawkmoth in his High Street North garden at the beginning of the week. Two hummingbird hawkmoths were also reported by Helen Mussett in her Garden Farm garden about a fortnight ago.

No comments: