Saturday, 6 June 2015


Visited the West Mersea garden of Dave Chadwick on Saturday 6th to look at the wild orchids in his back garden. The 56 common spotted orchids were at their peak, such as this one pictured above.

The green-winged orchids had finished flowering although this one was probably the last one with any colour.

The remnants of the flowering orchids were still an amazing sight with about 300+ of them packed into a small patch in the back lawn.

Over the back fence of the orchid garden was this colourful patch of meadow buttercups in Willoughby car park. No sign of any flowering orchids here in the car park, although one common spotted orchid has a spike that should flower in a week's time.

The long grass meadow in Feldy View near the Firs Chase caravan site has an eyecatching sight of ox-eye daisies.

Also adding a splash of colour in Feldy View were masses of yellow flowers of common catsears.
A silver-Y moth was amongst the grass while along a nearby path 3 speckled woods and 4 holly blues were seen.
On the saltmarsh beside the Firs Chase caravan site was a carpet of sea pink or thrift.

In one part of the saltmarsh close to the edge with the caravans, were four clusters of ground lackey caterpillars - a nationally scarce moth. In each cluster at least fifty caterpillars were gathered together, resting in between feeding frenzies on the saltmarsh plants.

The female oystercatcher was still sitting on her nest in the middle of the fallow field alongside the Strood Channel. This single bird was presumably the male keeping an eye on proceedings.

Also noted during the late morning walk along the breezy seawall were a pair of Mediterranean gulls, 3 avocets, 30 stock doves in the fields, reed bunting singing and two reed warblers singing. A third bird was singing from bushes in Feldy View. One common tern was fishing amongst the moorings at the Hard.

There was the surprising sight in Bromans Lane towards late afternoon of a young badger cub crossing the road and then disappearing into a ditch in broad daylight with lots of traffic and humans about.
Liam and Kerry photographed a hummingbird hawk-moth in the car park of Cudmore Grove and also saw a green hairstreak, small copper and a broad-bodied chaser at the park.

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