Monday, 3 August 2015


Pleased to see a common blue butterfly on the field edge of the Firs Chase caravan site, West Mersea on a sunny Friday 31st. The butterfly has been in the news recently because it has declined across the country, resulting in it not being as common a blue anymore. At least it is still to be seen in small numbers inside the seawalls on the Island.

Another pleasing sighting was this very tatty brown argus seen in the same area and same time as the common blue. Not sure why it's lost a couple of chunks out of its wings but maybe a bird tried to catch it.
This is the first sighting on the Island this summer.
A small copper was also of interest amongst the grassy edge to the field on the same Friday.

Birds noted in that area on Friday included a willow warbler calling, 110+ black-tailed godwits, 2 yellow wagtails and 16 little egrets on the Ray.

There was the notable sighting on Sunday at the beach at Seaview of a spoonbill, reported by Karl Kennedy.

The ringlet continues its very recent spread across the Island with this individual the first one seen in my Firs Chase garden on Saturday, feeding on some flowering oregano.
I believe the first West Mersea sighting was one I saw 200m to the north along a nearby footpath last summer.

Thanks to my wife Nolly who came inside to tell me there was a very brown butterfly flying around our little herb corner of the garden, I was able to dash out to see this ringlet. The ringlet stayed for an hour or so enjoying nectaring whenever the sun came out. Other butterflies in the garden have included peacock, gatekeeper, meadow brown, large white, small white, comma and holly blue.

The bird feeders have been attracting the usual selection of birds but also this hungry wood mouse, cheekily pulling nut fragments through the mesh and then scuttling back up the branch to eat them. A neighbours cat has sometimes been seen sitting patiently at the base of the tree, where the mouse lives.

The moth trap had a quiet night on a breezy Sunday 2nd with only about 15 moths noted by midnight. The most interesting one was this iron prominent with its iron coloured markings on the wings.

The cows were enjoying plenty of sunshine at the park's grazing fields over the weekend. The warm conditions saw many flying ants take to the skies over the fields on Saturday 1st with at least one Mediterranean gull amongst 100 black-headed gulls. A flock of 150 hirundines mainly swallows, saw a brief appearance amongst them of a hobby. Around the cattle were 200 starlings and 2 yellow wagtails.

The little egret roost by the pond reached 47 birds on Saturday with 36 noted early afternoon on Sunday. On the nearby pools the wader roost was roughly 80+ black-tailed godwits, 150 redshank and 8 lapwing.

At the Point at least one ringed plover chick was seen on the beach on Saturday with both parents watching over the same area the following day too. A pair of little terns flew past the Point, a couple of common terns were seen too, while a Sandwich tern flying in front of the park beach towards the Colne was more notable.

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