Monday, 27 October 2014


The autumn sun shone for most of Monday 27th providing another warm day on the Island, here the sun setting at the end of the afternoon across from the West Mersea Hard.

The tide was still going down with a small selection of waders in the area including redshank, black-tailed godwit, grey plover, oystercatcher and turnstone. Fifty brent geese were on the saltings opposite, two rock pipits called overhead and at least six little egrets were roosting on the trees on Ray Island.

Earlier in the afternoon a male marsh harrier was being mobbed by a crow close to the Strood causeway.

This red admiral was enjoying the sun in Firs Chase, while there was the unexpected sight of a clouded yellow flying along Coast Road near the Yacht Club around the middle of the day.

These little egrets were some of the twenty gathered on the country park's pools late morning on Monday. The Cetti's warbler was heard singing from the trees behind the pond.

Philip Bawden, once a Mersea resident, joined Martin Cock and myself on the Maydays seawall on a grey and overcast Sunday 26th. Steve Entwistle also made an appearance, in the hope that the rough-legged buzzard might show itself again - but it didn't.

Noted during the walk were about five marsh harriers, two common buzzards, two swallows, rock pipit, stonechat, yellowhammer, lesser redpoll flying over and a goldcrest. The rising tide pushed waders along the Pyefleet channel as well as good numbers of 400 brent geese and 200 wigeon. A common seal was lying on the mud for a short while.

 Rather surprised to find massive earth-works taking place beside the Coopers Beach at East Mersea during a visit to the area on Saturday 25th. The movement of earth and construction of a number of raised banks is in preparation for the sea breaking through the seawall, so that the water only floods the old marshes and not the caravan site.

A big bulldozer has been through the large area of scrub, opening up large swathes of bare ground.
A variety of small birds seemed to be taking advantage of the disturbed ground with 20+ pied wagtails, song thrush, 10 blackbirds, 10 goldfinch, 10 greenfinches noted here too.

Birds seen on the nearby Rewsalls fields were 400 golden plover, 50 curlew, 200 starling, 10 skylark, 2 reed bunting and also two kestrels.

Walked across the field to get a close look at this hole in the seawall where the concrete path had collapsed. It is possible the sea could punch a hole right through the wall this coming winter, so flooding the fields behind. After the severe winter storms last winter, the Environment Agency has already told the nearby landowners that it will no longer repair this seawall in future.

Alan Reynolds reported seeing a very late common tern in the Pyefleet on Saturday and also a swallow, while two clouded yellows were seen by the seawall.

Birds of interest seen along the Strood Channel on Friday 24th included 3 pairs of stonechat, 4 avocet, 2 rock pipit, kestrel, 1000 golden plover on the mud, 500 brent geese and 20 black-tailed godwits.

The moth trap at the country park operating during the night of Wednesday 22nd, provided this first park record of cypress carpet. This moth has spread rapidly across southern England in recent years where the caterpillars feed on Leylandii cypress bushes and trees. Although there are no Leylandii trees in the country park, there are plenty in nearby gardens, helping this moth with its rapid colonisation.

A typical autumn moth is the yellow-line quaker, pictured above. A few individuals are noted in the traps each autumn, the caterpillars feeding on leaves of various deciduous trees like oak.
Other moths noted on Wednesday night were green brindled crescent, November sps, large wainscot, mallow, feathered thorn and beaded chestnut.

No comments: