Friday, 29 May 2015


After periods of rain in the afternoon of Friday 29th, the day ended with sunshine and clear skies. A late evening walk along the seawall at the park provided great views of a feeding flock of about fifty swifts, swooping low over the fields, seawall and nearby tree-tops. This has been the largest flock seen feeding over the park so far this year. Mixed in with them with several swallows and a couple of house martins.

In the nearby grazing fields two grey herons were chasing each, while a little egret was present nearby too.
Also noted around the pools were a pair of tufted duck, pair of shoveler, pair of shelduck, redshank, lapwing calling anxiously suggesting chicks still present and one black-tailed godwit.

In the dyke two pairs of little grebe were squabbling noisily while a reed warbler sang from nearby reeds. The Cetti's warbler was still singing as the sun was setting and a common tern flew over the park carrying a small fish.

The previous evening 32 members of the Mersea Wildlife Group enjoyed their annual escorted walk around the park, finished off with a veritable cheese, nibbles and wine spread. Birds noted during the hour walk included 4 linnets, common tern, 3 swifts, an avocet in the fields, little egret flying over, 3 pairs of tufted duck, pair of shoveler, teal, black-tailed godwit, while in bushes by the path were several long-tailed tits and a serenading blackcap.

Two common buzzards were seen circling over the car park at the country park on Tuesday 26th but were soon chased off by the pair of local crows.

Geese noted on Reeveshall on Thursday evening were 2 Egyptian geese, bar-headed goose, 39 greylag geese and 18 Canada geese were seen by Steve Entwistle.

On Wednesday 27th two Egyptian geese and a bar-headed goose were seen with lots of greylag geese on Reeveshall, also noted here were two common buzzards while 2 little terns were in the Pyefleet. On the same day there was a singing sedge warbler, 8 singing reed warblers, cuckoo, 2 pairs of yellow wagtails and a small copper butterfly at Maydays farm seen by Steve.
Between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane he also noted a broad-bodied chaser, hairy dragonfly, holly blue, peacock, small tortoiseshell, common blue, small heath and also small heath and speckled wood.

The bar-headed goose and at least one Egyptian goose were seen on Reeveshall on Monday 25th by Martin Cock with a brown colour phase cuckoo seen at Maydays.

Moth traps were run on recent nights at both the country park and also the Firs Chase garden where this buff-tip moth was the first one noted of the season. The main highlight amongst the 18 moths on Monday night's session was a lime hawkmoth - the second one of the season.

This nicely patterned common marbled carpet was found in the moth trap on Tuesday night at the park along with a poplar hawkmoth, the main moth.

The scalloped hazel has been noted at the park a few time before, although this one pictured above was found in the Firs Chase garden.

Also visiting the trap at Firs Chase was this small least black arches, a moth that appears to be coming more widespread in recent years.

A hummingbird hawkmoth flew into the conservatory of the Thorleys along the East Mersea road on Tuesday 26th. It was eventually caught and let free outside.

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