Sunday, 3 August 2014


Plenty of sunshine on Sunday 3rd during a walk alongside the Pyefleet Channel at Maydays farm. The heat in the middle of the day meant there was lots of haze, so it was better to enjoy the wildlife close-up.
This tatty painted lady butterfly was one of two seen on the golden samphire flowers beside the seawall. Also here were 10 small tortoiseshells, 10 gatekeepers and a brown argus.

Birds of note during the walk were 5 greenshank,3 reed warblers, 6 house martins and a yellowhammer on the Maydays side of the Pyefleet while along the channel were 5 common terns, 4 little terns, 200 redshank,70 oystercatchers, 20 black-tailed godwits, 5 grey plover and 10 shelducklings in two broods. Two marsh harriers were seen on Langenhoe.

Common blue butterflies have not been common this year, so it was nice to see four inside the Maydays seawall during the walk on Sunday. This male with the blue wings was reluctant to open its wings fully.

The underside of the common blue showing the intricate display of spots and dots.

The brown argus butterfly has an underside pattern closely matching the common blue except for a slightly different arrangement of spots. Spot the difference with the two pictures above.
This brown argus was seen on Friday in a small grass field near the Firs Chase caravan site at West Mersea. 

This brown argus was the first one I'd seen on the Island this summer, in a similar location to where one or two were seen last year.

A distant digiscoped picture of two common seals on the opposite side of the Pyefleet Channel on Sunday. Both seals showing the red-oxide colouring to the head and necks. The seals had swam up channel as the tide came in and hauled themselves onto the mud to bask.

The Strood Channel seawall was walked a couple of times during Friday 1st, this picture above showing the high tide in late afternoon. A common sandpiper and three Mediterranean gulls were resting on the edge of the saltmarsh at high tide along with lots of black-headed gulls.

More birds were seen during the low-tide visit in late morning with 6 greenshank feeding along the lower channel along with 200 redshank. Also seen were a whimbrel, 10 golden plover, 70 black-tailed godwit, while 2 little terns and four common terns flew up and down.

Small birds seen inside the seawall included a green woodpecker on the seawall also a chiffchaff here too, while yellow wagtail, reed bunting, 3 reed warblers, 2 corn buntings, 6 meadow pipits and 25 linnets were of interest.

At Cudmore Grove a turtle dove singing from the top of a tree at the entrance was a nice surprise first thing on Thursday 31st. This is the first singing turtle dove at the park for three years. Unfortunately this bird didn't stay around and wasn't heard or seen again. A sparrowhawk flew over the park being mobbed by a few swallows on Thursday. A green sandpiper flew over the park calling just after sunrise on Friday 1st.

A common sandpiper flew over the park calling through the darkness on Wednesday 30th. Three badgers were seen near the park pond at dusk on Wednesday evening.

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