Sunday, 17 May 2015


There was the sight of a fox on the prowl on the grazing fields at the country park during the middle of the morning of Sunday 17th. This one pictured above was also on the prowl mid morning by the park pond, seen a couple of days earlier. Both adult foxes probably have hungry cubs to feed back at their earths.

Several pairs of linnets can be seen around the park, this male with its neat pinky chest perched on top of a bush at the East Mersea Point. Also perching in the sea-blite bushes were a couple of reed buntings.

Other birds noted on and near the Point included 15 avocets and 20 black-tailed godwits on the saltmarsh lagoons, whimbrel, nesting ringed plover, 2 little terns, 8 common terns, 100+ dunlin and 70+ ringed plover.

A peregrine circled over the beach and mudflats in the morning before drifting north-west over the park. It was seen again in the early evening over the fields, upsetting the wood pigeons and lapwings as it headed over to the Colne.

Up to three swallows have been flying in and out of the bird hide in recent days with this individual swooping in and then sitting quietly on top of one of the window shutters for about five minutes - just a couple of metres from me. A bird-watching the bird-watcher!

On Sunday morning a trickle of 20+ swallows crossed the river Colne westwards onto Mersea with a couple of house martins mixed in, while in the evening two swifts flew over the park.

Jays are seen everywhere on the scavenge for any sort of food, this one seen by the pond. There was a report of one seen recently attacking a slow-worm in the middle of the road near Blue Row.

At least two lapwing chicks were seen in the park's fields and seemingly feeding quite a way from the watchful eye of their parents. Six adult lapwings were seen, as were redshank, oystercatcher and a high tide roost of the 20 black-tailed godwits, although yesterday 80 black-tailed godwits were noted here.

Also in the fields on Sunday was the single brent goose, 3 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, pair of teal, grey heron, two pairs of shoveler, gadwall and a pair of shelduck. One reed warbler was seen singing from reeds in the dyke, another sang from the pond, while the Cetti's warbler was singing loudly from the back of the fields. A pair of pochard and six tufted duck were seen in the dyke.

On the park pond on Sunday a pair of pochard, two pairs of little grebe, the swan still on the nest and three little egrets perched on a tree.

On Saturday a cuckoo flew low along the central ditch to the seawall while a sedge warbler was singing from a bush by the dyke, although probably just a migrant on a brief stopover as it wasn't heard the next day.
On Wednesday two cuckoos were seen flying across the seawall and heading along the beach to the Point. The cuckoo has been heard on Sunday morning to the north of the park while on Tuesday morning it was alongside the overflow car park at the park.

Butterflies noted on Sunday at the park were a green hairstreak near the hide, elsewhere small white, orange-tip, peacock, speckled wood and large white. A painted lady was seen flying fast and low across the long grass on Wednesday 13th.

Single adders were seen at the park on Saturday and Wednesday while another snake reported that day moving through some bushes was thought to have been a grass-snake.

The recent run of poor nights for mothing activity continued with only a handful of moths seen in the trap on the park when checked on Wednesday morning. This nicely marked maiden's blush with the pinky patch on each wing, was one of the moths seen.

This muslin moth was one of the others found in the trap in the morning, along with a couple of brimstone moths and a hebrew character.

Two cockchafers have been attracted to the bright light of the moth trap at the Firs Chase garden on a couple of occasions in this last week.

No comments: