Saturday, 2 April 2016


Plenty of sunshine during Saturday 2nd saw this very colourful small tortoiseshell soak up some of the warmth in the car park at Cudmore Grove. The first one I've seen this spring not in flight, which one did a fortnight ago.

A peacock was seen on top of a pile of dead grass at the park, not quite as fresh looking as the tortoiseshell but still a splash of colour.

At least four adders were seen at the park and there was a report of five being seen on Saturday.

The nice little gems of two firecrests were seen along the edge of the car park in the first part of the morning. They proved tricky birds to catch a glimpse of as they flitted through the thick bushes, only betraying their location with a high pitched song. Also a goldcrest here.
This is the second firecrest in East Mersea in two days following the discovery by Martin Cock of a bird near Meeting Lane on Thursday 31st.

A male blackcap was heard singing near the park pond on Saturday by Andy Field, the first of the year, and the Cetti's warbler also showed itself here for the third day running.
A red-legged partridge flew across the park entrance and began calling in the nearby wheat field. A pair of house sparrows was on the park buildings in the car park in the morning.

To the north of the park a white wagtail was found in horse paddocks by Andy.

Three pochard were on the park pond on Saturday, this male has been present for a few days with a female, both sometimes seen along the dyke. Ten tufted duck are also either on the pond or the dyke.

On Friday 1st the kingfisher was watched perching inside one of the willow bushes at the back of the pond in the last hour of daylight. It may've spent the night here.
The grazing fields held 25 wigeon, 70 teal, 15 shoveler, 8 shelduck, 10 lapwing, 15 black-tailed godwits, 40 redshank, 3 golden plover, pair of oystercatchers, one snipe and a little egret.

At the Point 50+ knot and a sanderling were of note amongst a small gathering of waders while in the outer river 6 red-breasted mergansers were seen.

Along the back of the Island on Saturday, a marsh harrier, common buzzard, green sandpiper and 10 red-breasted mergansers were seen by Martin, who also saw a swallow at Weir Farm and a red squirrel in Shop Lane.

To the east of Meeting Lane a firecrest was found on Thursday by Martin and was still there at the end of the day. Also noted here were a fieldfare, two chiffchaffs and a pair of buzzards perched near Reeveshall farm.

The first swallow seen on the Island was reported over the Strood reservoirs on Thursday.
The black brant was seen on Cobmarsh Island off West Mersea, with some dark-bellied brent on Thursday by Neil Mortimer.

The moth trap at the park has had a reasonable number of moths in it over the last three nights despite one of the nights being almost freezing and foggy. On Thursday morning 140 moths were counted in the trap comprising eight species, one of the better hauls for this time of year.
The most notable from Wednesday nights session being four blossom underwings, one pictured above, a scarce moth in Essex found mainly near the coast. Two also came to the trap on the next two nights as well.

A couple of early grey moths came to the trap on Wednesday night, the first for this spring.

A handful of clouded drabs were noted too, this one a particularly dark individual.

The most numerous moth was the common quaker with over 60 counted on Thursday morning. Other common ones were small quaker and Hebrew character, while twin-spotted quaker, March moth, red chestnut and oak beauty were the others making up the numbers. Forty-four moths were noted in the trap following Friday night's session.
Also noted near the moth trap on Thursday morning was the wing elytra of the great silver diving beetle, all that was left by a hungry bird of this big beetle. No doubt a tasty meal for one lucky bird.

No comments: