Wednesday, 20 May 2015


The swallows at the country park are trying to find somewhere to nest and this male swooped into my house through the front door, then flew into the kitchen where it spent five minutes surveying the scene on Wednesday 20th.
After perching on one of the wall cupboards for a while, it made its escape out the back door to join its mate. The pair has also been checking out the beams in the Information room and no doubt the birds will be trying to nest in the toilet building again - like they tried last year.

At the end of the day, I received the good news that a brood of seven very small cygnets from the mute swan family were seen in the park's grazing fields. The cygnets who had been born on the pond, were seen in the central ditch dropping down into the dyke which the male has been guarding for the last few weeks.

The cuckoo was heard calling to the west near Fen Farm, two little egrets flew along the park coastline, two common terns were fishing just offshore at high tide. In the car park a blackcap was singing loudly and a lesser whitethroat was singing near the car park too. Four little terns and eight avocets were seen near the Point on Wednesday by Andy Field.
At the end of the day a little owl was perched on a telegraph pole in Bromans Lane.

At Rewsalls two yellow wagtails, five singing reed warblers and a sitting lapwing were noted by Andy on Wednesday morning.

Despite the breeze one or two butterflies were seen at the park in the morning such as this small copper - the first sighting of the year here. It stayed low in the long grass basking during a warm spell in the morning. Also seen were large white and small white during the morning.

The weather has been very mixed this week with sunny spells interspersed with short bursts of heavy rain and the occasional hailstones thrown down for good measure. The winds were particularly strong on Monday and when this coincided with the high tide, the sea thumped against the park seawall, pictured above, sending lots of spray over the seawall.

Birds seemed to have enjoyed the garden in West Mersea of Adrian Amos recently with evidence of breeding by robins, blackbirds, song thrush, great tit, dunnock, collared dove and wood pigeons. Also noted recently has been a pipistrelle bat over the garden in the evening and up to half a dozen swifts in the skies in the day.
Butterflies have been quiet in Adrian's garden over the last fortnight although small tortoiseshell, peacock and holly blue have been seen.

On Friday evening at Maydays farm a pair of red-legged partridge, a cuckoo and 3 painted ladies were seen by Steve Entwistle. The next day a hairy dragonfly, brimstone butterfly, four holly blues were seen near Gyants marsh.

Cold temperatures continue to deter any moth activity with more of  the chilly nights and clear skies. Moth traps have had very poor catches in them.
However it's always a bonus to find one of the big hawkmoths in the trap, even if it is the very common poplar hawkmoth, one of the two found in the trap is pictured above.

Adding a bit of colour was this very common cinnabar moth, just the one in the trap. Females will be flying around at this time of the year laying their eggs on the developing ragwort plants.

The first white ermine of the season made its appearance, hopefully if the weather warms up there will be lots more to see in the trap.
Amongst the handful of other species were bright-line brown-eye, red twin-spot carpet, brimstone, common quaker, white-point and hebrew character.

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