Monday, 25 August 2014


The little egret numbers have been increasing gradually in recent days for the high tide roost at the country park, with this group of nine birds seen on a wet Monday 24th. Being water birds, the egrets probably didn't mind the continuous rain falling all day.

Also in these pools in the fields were 200 redshank, 10 black-tailed godwits, 20 teal and 3 shoveler. A greenshank flew over the fields calling as it headed north towards the Colne.

Late Monday afternoon a female sparrowhawk flew into the trees by the park pond and sat on this branch pictured above, for about half an hour. The group of six little egrets perched a few metres beneath it looking very uneasy and kept staring up at the sparrowhawk.

In the drizzle the spotted flycatcher was showing well from the hide by the pond, although a couple of times it had to dive for cover when this sparrowhawk flew into the hedge beside it. The flycatcher was present for its second day having been first found 200m further along the same hedgerow. On Monday it seemed to be keeping company with a mixed warbler and tit flock of 30+ birds. Two willow warblers were among a few chiffchaffs, blackcaps and whitethroats.

Also seen from the hide Monday afternoon was a swift, possibly one that joined a group of five birds hanging in the wind above the clifftop. A tatty female marsh harrier flew west over the grazing fields. On the water a tufted duck and gadwall were seen amongst the 30+ mallard.

The water vole was showing well in the small ditch near the west end of the park seawall on Sunday morning. Presumably one of the same voles that was photographed a week ago in this same spot. This one was nibbling at some reed stalks.

A few minutes earlier the same water vole had been perched on a bit of plastic surveying the scene, before swimming over to the small clump of mud to feed.

Whilst watching the water vole, the spotted flycatcher described earlier, was first seen hawking flies over this vole ditch on Sunday morning. A sedge warbler and reed warbler were seen in bushes by this ditch.
In the section of dyke nearby 15+ small red-eyed damselflies were resting on the floating vegetation.

Three common buzzards appeared above the park cliff seemingly heading west, although two birds turned north and slowly circled over the grazing fields, taking a few minutes to gain height. Another common buzzard was seen a short while later heading west over the fields too.

A hobby was seen beside the pond catching and eating dragonflies in flight. It headed north over the fields, probably the same bird seen the day before in the same area also catching dragonflies.

Butterflies seen at the park included small heath, small white, red admiral, speckled wood and large white, while an adder was enjoying the sunshine in its usual spot.

Steve Entwistle saw two curlew sandpipers in the Pyefleet at Maydays Farm on Sunday afternoon.

The moth traps were operating during Saturday night at both the country park and the Firs Chase garden on a partially cloudy night. The combined tally for both traps was 24 species of macro moth with 75 individuals in West and 130 in East at the park.
This orange sallow pictured above, is a regular visitor to the trap each autumn, this is the first of the sallow family to appear this season.

A dozen light emeralds were in the park trap, the peak of this second generation at the moment.
Moths of interest at Firs Chase were silver-Y, copper underwing, lime-speck pug and angle shades while at the park, orange swift, Chinese character, white-point, common carpet, common wainscot were noted.

Regular moths to the traps at the moment include square-spot rustic, setaceous hebrew character, flounced rustic, lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing, straw underwing, large yellow underwing, uncertain, common rustic, willow beauty and snout. A couple of the tiny diamond-backed moths were also seen in both traps.

Helen Mussett reported seeing two hummingbird hawkmoths in her garden at Garden Farm in the last week. She also reported watching six badgers recently near the park pond.

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