Thursday, 14 August 2014


Eight swallows have been resting on the roof of one of the buildings in the country park in the last few days. This juvenile was one of about six individuals that were waiting in the morning sunshine to be fed by their parents who were doing all the hard work catching food for them.
At least eight mistle thrushes continue to strip the rowan berries from the trees in the car park.

This kingfisher has been seen three days in row at the park, seen here perched in a bush halfway along the length of the main borrowdyke on Tuesday 12th. The first sign of the bird was a flash of blue as it flew over the seawall and then headed down the dyke to this bush. Later it was heard at the park pond.

The Burnham U3A group watched it on the park pond on Wednesday and then Martin Cock saw it the next day by the Golfhouse.

Also in the dyke is the tufted duck with the four ducklings, pictured above, as well as the swans with three cygnets and 2 little grebes too.

 Redshank numbers were building up for the early afternoon roost in the fields on Tuesday with at least 90 birds seen dropping in. Also 30 teal, one snipe and 6 black-tailed godwits. Six snipe flew over the fields on Monday 11th.
Six greenshank flew high over the grazing fields on Tuesday and on Wednesday a green sandpiper was seen at the end of the afternoon, as was the family of 3 avocets and 30 lapwing.
Up to 12 little egrets have been roosting in the trees behind the pond, although more hidden when winds have been strong.

The first returning wheatear of the autumn at the park was seen perched on the pillbox at the Point on Tuesday morning. Twenty linnets were feeding on the saltmarsh and nearby seablite bushes and offshore 10 common terns were seen in the river, fifty avocets on the mud. A Mediterranean gull flew along the shore on Wednesday early evening.

A few birds of prey showed on Tuesday and Wednesday with a peregrine failing to flush a redshank out of the sea despite swooping back and forth repeatedly for five minutes trying to snatch at it on Tuesday. The kestrel was perched back in the nest-tree at the back of the fields and the sparrowhawk was upsetting the swallows in the car park on both Tuesday and Wednesday. A little owl perched on wires above Bromans Lane as night fell on Tuesday.

On Wednesday Martin Cock watched a hobby fly west over the park entrance, while he watched about 12 willow / chiffs, a few blackcaps, whitethroats and lesser whitethroats in the bushes. The Burnham U3A reported a common buzzard flying to the north of the park being mobbed by crows. At the end of the day two marsh harriers crossed the sea heading from Colne Point towards Bradwell.

On Thursday a peregrine was seen over Langenhoe Point by Martin Cock, also sand martin and corn bunting near Ivy Dock. Martin saw 15+ green sandpipers during his visit to Maydays farm on Wednesday.

Over West Mersea on Thursday a parakeet, presumably ring-necked, has been flying around noisily, heard over Firs Chase early morning and also over Broomhills later in the day. Two yellow wagtails flew west over Firs Chase in the evening.

Richard Hull and Andy Field visited Langenhoe ranges on Wednesday 13th and saw a spoonbill perch on the seawall for about half and hour, potentially visible from East Mersea. Also seen were 18 species of wader, including 95 whimbrel, 12 greenshank,17 green sandpiper, curlew sandpiper and 300+ avocets, also 3 whinchat, stonechat, wheatear and numerous yellow wagtails.

The spoonbill was also seen by Richard Hull and Richard Brown on Langenhoe on Sunday 10th as was a little stint there too.

Michael Thorley reported recently that a lesser whitethroat had flown into the window of his East Mersea house near Meeting Lane.

The clouded yellow has been showing well beside the park dyke, especially in the morning when the yellow flowers of the bristly ox-tongue are open in the sunshine. It was seen on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday too- presumably the same individual first seen here a week ago.
Other butterflies seen in the last few days have included speckled wood, meadow brown, small heath, gatekeeper, red admiral, comma, large white and small white.

Also enjoying the sun on both Tuesday and Wednesday was a female adder near the car park.

Moths caught at the park this week have included willow beauty, latticed heath, orange swift, brimstone, light emerald, yellow shell, starwort, white-point, square spot rustic, straw underwing, common wainscot, coxcomb prominent, magpie, small white wave, least yellow underwing, silver-Y, setaceous hebrew character, lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing, shuttle-shaped dart, flame shoulder, bright-line brown-eye and common rustic. Also a count of at least 35 of the very tiny diamond-back moths on the 13th.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have just seen a red squirrel in Willoughby car park (West Mersea): 4th of September 2014, 18:45 approx.