Saturday, 4 October 2014


Wigeon numbers continue to increase in the park's grazing fields, here sharing the grass with the cows in the late evening sunshine. Around 200 were seen on Saturday 4th, along with 80 greylag geese and the 600 teal at the pools. The high tide roost saw a good count of 170 curlew in the fields on Saturday morning with 25 little egrets in the trees and 100 black-tailed godwits seen too.

The Cetti's warbler was still singing from the bushes behind the pond but without showing.

Brent geese are also becoming more obvious with each day as more birds return here for the winter. This group were some of the 100 seen at the mouth of the Colne. None have started to feed in the fields yet. No youngsters seen in this small group pictured above, although one family with three youngsters were seen flying over the fields.

On Friday the kingfisher flew past the Point and a marsh harrier passed overhead at the end of the day while a stonechat perched by the bramble bush halfway along the main dyke. Four common terns were seen in the mouth of the river.
The Cetti's warbler was singing again from the back of the pond although only a reed warbler was seen in the reeds by the pond.

On Thursday two common buzzards were noted over the grazing fields, each one going in opposite directions to the other, the pair of kestrels were perched on their oak tree. A stonechat was seen by the dyke near the Golfhouse.

Mark Dixon reported seeing a red kite flying west over the fields near Chapmans Lane towards West Mersea on Wednesday 1st.

Plenty of sunshine again on Thursday 2nd saw this peacock basking on the ground near the car park. A small copper was also seen enjoying the sun atop a blade of grass. Also three speckled woods, four red admirals and a small white. There was the colourful sight of a clouded yellow fluttering along the side of the park seawall late morning.

One adder was soaking up some of the sun near the car park, the first October sighting at the park for several years. Also three common lizards were seen in various places amongst the grassland.

The recent period of warmth during September seems to have encouraged some moths to have either a second brood before the autumn, or maybe some have just prolonged their flight season.
This fresh swallow-tailed moth was resting on the window near the moth trap in the Firs Chase garden early in the morning of Thursday 2nd. Swallow-tailed are usually seen on the wing during June and July

Another unexpected moth for October 2nd at the country park was this beautiful hook-tip, a moth that is usually seen in July and August. This one looks a little worn around the edges. This is the second record for the park this year.

This smart black rustic was resting near where the swallow-tailed was found, on the side of the house in Firs Chase on Thursday 2nd. Several have also been noted at the trap at the country park in the last few nights.

It was nice to see this vapourer moth at the trap at the park early on Saturday morning, the second record this summer for this species.
The forecasted end to the warm spell due this weekend saw one last mothing effort at the park before the autumnal weather sets in, with two traps operating during Friday night. Although the slight breeze kept some moths away, 200 individuals were still noted of which half were lunar underwings.

Other species noted were dusky-lemon sallow, sallow, barred sallow, beaded chestnut, deep-brown rustic, black rustic, green brindled crescent, blair's shoulder knot, large yellow underwing, broad-bordered yellow underwing, large wainscot, L-album wainscot, pine carpet, common marbled carpet, setaceous hebrew character, feathered ranunculus and also one diamond-backed moth.

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