Saturday, 11 April 2015


The first common tern of the summer was seen standing on this buoy up-channel from the Dabchicks on Friday 10th. I haven't heard of any other reports off Mersea so far this spring. This bird didn't seem to do much flying around except switch buoys to stand on. There was no sign of this bird in this area later in the day.

Walked the Strood seawall twice on Friday, in the morning and again late afternoon, with an interesting bird noted on each outing. Walking back up Firs Chase late morning, I glanced upwards and noticed a red kite gliding high over our garden heading south-west. It kept going and no doubt would've crossed the Mersea Quarters over to Old Hall Marshes.

At the end of the afternoon a little ringed plover was heard calling in flight as it passed over the seawall and then watched as it appeared to drop down to a muddy pool at the back of one of the fields. A few minutes later the bird was heard calling again and then a short while later it called in flight as it headed down channel towards the Hard. The first spring record on the Island for many years.

Other birds noted during the day were a couple of noisy Mediterranean gull pairs flying up and down the channel, a male marsh harrier flying along the Peldon seawall, 3 little egrets on the Ray, 20 black-tailed godwits, 30 knot, 3 Canada geese, 20 linnets and 3 chiffchaffs. One swallow was flying around the bottom of the Strood Hill for the second day running.

At the country park on Thursday a swallow and blackcap were noted while at West Mersea a red-legged partridge was reported recently at the back of a garden off Seaview Avenue.
A brown hare was seen in the field by Bocking Hall on Wednesday 8th and a swallow at Blue Row.

The warmth on Friday brought out several small tortoiseshells with six noted along the Strood seawall and in front of the caravan site where this one was photographed.

One small white was keeping low on the seawall, trying to stay out of the breeze, the first one of the season.

A brimstone butterfly was seen in Oakwood Avenue by Adrian Amos on Wednesday 8th.

It was worth putting the moth trap out at the country park on the night of Tuesday 7th as about 90 moths were noted by the next morning. The most notable one was this dotted chestnut, a moth that has become quickly established in the county in recent years.

The grey shoulder knot is a regular visitor in the spring to the trap.

Other moths noted were common quakers, small quakers, clouded drabs, hebrew characters, dotted border and March moths.
The only micro moth in the trap on the Wednesday morning was this beautiful plume moth.

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