Monday, 25 May 2015


Quite a surprise to stumble upon this tiny, recently born weasel kitten, whilst I walked along the Strood seawall on Monday 25th. The faint squeaking sounds from at least two kittens were heard coming from the thick cover of of long grass. Down on the ground between grass tussocks was this very young weasel barely strong enough to move. Nearby an adult appeared to be moving amongst the grass and it wasn't long before this youngster was taken by the parent to thicker cover.

A peregrine flew low over the fields as it headed towards the Strood road junction, passing it by on its way into the Pyefleet. A male marsh harrier was being mobbed by a crow towards the Pyefleet. A short while later a common buzzard found itself being mobbed by another crow as it passed high westwards over West Mersea. A kestrel circled high in the sky too before dropping down to perch on a telegraph post.

The cuckoo was calling on Ray Island, two yellow wagtails were seen at both ends of the seawall walk, two reed warblers sang from the reeds, the oystercatcher was still sitting on its nest in the fields, a pochard and a pair of greylag geese flew along the channel. Two common terns were seen amongst the moorings by the Hard.

This large red damselfly was found resting in my garden in Firs Chase in West Mersea, a colourful addition to the wildlife list. The only butterflies on the wing earlier on Monday were holly blue, orange-tip, large white and small white. A hummingbird hawk-moth made a brief appearance over the garden on Saturday 23rd, while a slow-worm was discovered enjoying the warmth of the compost heap.

The moth-trap operating on the Firs Chase garden on Sunday night brought in this eyed-hawk-moth, showing off its pair of eyes on the hindwings. The catch was generally a low one due to the clear sky with just 15 moths noted.

The silver-Y moth was the first one of the season noted for the garden.

The small magpie with its black and white markings is one of the larger and more widespread micro-moths.
Other moths noted included heart and dart, shuttle-shaped dart, oak hook-tip, common swift, spectacle and brimstone.

At Cudmore Grove on Sunday 24th, the mute swans were looking after their newish brood of seven cygnets in the central ditch between the two grazing fields.

Two pairs of pochard were in the park dyke along with six tufted ducks and a pair of little grebes. On the fields at least two three week old lapwing chicks could be seen, along with one black-tailed godwit, redshank, two pairs of shoveler and a gadwall.

Around the edges of the fields a Cetti's warbler was singing as were two reed warblers and a lesser whitethroat. A third reed warbler was singing by the park pond. The cuckoo was calling to the west and north of the park. Over the seawall six swifts hawked back and forwards several times while five house martins circled a few times overhead with some swallows.

 Offshore one little tern flew along the shore just after high tide while four common terns flew around the river near the Point. On the beach a flock of fifty dunlin and ringed plover waited for the tide to recede.

This common lizard was seen at the park on Thursday 21st as were two adders.

The covering of daisies amongst the grass, catches the eye at the park. A dozen linnets were feeding in parts of the grasslands while a couple of skylarks were singing over the main field.

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