Tuesday, 18 August 2015


An osprey had a leisurely fly up and down the Strood Channel for about an hour late morning on Monday 17th. It passed over the Strood causeway a couple of times, no doubt passing drivers unaware this big bird of prey was flying over the traffic.
One of its flights was directly over my head whilst I walked along the Strood seawall and I managed to snap this one picture of it when it was at its closest.

The osprey appeared from the Pyefleet Channel about 11.20am and slowly flew down the Strood Channel before flying over Ray Island and the Ray Channel. It slowly drifted down towards the Hard and seemingly out of view.
A quick call to Andy Field in his High Street North house enabled him to see it in the distance and add it to his bird species list seen from his garden!

As the bird flew around the channels, it created panic amongst all the waders on the mudflats.

Glyn Evans was also fortunate to start his monthly wader count along the north side of the Island with a view of the osprey when it came back along the Strood Channel and crossed back over the Strood about 12.15pm. The bird circled over the Pyefleet side, made a couple of stoops before one successful plunge when it came back up with a fish. It flew low to the north-west where it was lost to view.

There has been an osprey for the last few days at Abberton reservoir and it was still reported early Monday morning. This Strood bird is probably a different bird. Another osprey was seen last Tuesday 11th by Alan Reynolds flying down the river Colne from Fingringhoe towards East Mersea.

Ian Black reported seeing a peregrine being mobbed by a little tern over the Mersea Quarters yesterday Sunday.

There was a varied selection of waders on the Strood mud before the osprey flushed them all off. Two greenshank were seen on the opposite side, one pictured above appearing much paler than the many redshank. Also 80 black-tailed godwits, 100 grey plover and 200 golden plovers were the other main flocks seen.
One whimbrel was seen flying off and four common terns were flying around the Hard.

A number of small birds were feeding in the Strood fields with this female yellowhammer being of interest as they don't often get seen in this area. The other flocks were 80+ linnets and 25+ house sparrows. There was no sign of the big number of 300 finches and buntings seen in the fields yesterday by Martin Cock.

Also seen were 2 whinchats but no wheatears, 5 yellow wagtails, swift, house martin and 50+ swallows. Later two swifts flew over Firs Chase in the early evening.

It was nice to see a brown argus back this summer in the Firs Chase garden, here resting on a rose flower. A common blue was seen by the Firs Chase caravan site.

A couple of common darters were flying around the garden, this male perching on a post for a couple of minutes.

Peeked under the sheets on the garden compost heap and found this large slowworm resting in the warmth.

Dave Grundy sent me his photograph of this rare immigrant, the Ni moth that he caught at the country park on Thursday 13th. This is the first record for the site.

A red underwing moth was resting on the entrance gate early Sunday morning and later a hummingbird hawkmoth was seen on the buddleia in the car park. At the end of the day a hummingbird hawkmoth was also seen in the Firs Chase garden feeding on some verbena and some red campion flowers.

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