Saturday, 11 June 2016


This very pale swallow was seen near the Dabchicks Sailing Club on Saturday 4th by Mark, and Molly Dixon who took these photos. The creamy colouration suggests a leucistic form of plumage, rather than the much whiter plumage which would suggest an albino bird.

Mark emailed me to say - "Just been watching a pale grey swallow that is hunting and flying round between Wyatts slipway and Dabchicks. Got very clear sighting as it settled only 5m from us ( self and daughter Molly who first spotted it). Has a pink bit on the throat, no long tail feathers and grey/ very light blue back and paler to the white underneath. Has been hanging around all afternoon with the regular swallows."

Mark emailed me today the 11th, to say the pale swallow was still in the same area over the last couple of days. Should be a very striking bird to see in flight as well as when it perches.

Several red squirrel reports from around West Mersea over the last week. Sue Howlett was very pleased to see this one she photographed eating from her bird feeder in Estuary Park Drive on Thursday 9th just after mid-day. At the end of the afternoon presumably the same squirrel was seen at a bird feeder in the Seaview Caravan site alongside Cross Lane.
Earlier in the week a red squirrel was seen in Empress Avenue in the garden of David Titmuss on Monday 6th, probably the same individual mentioned above.
There was also a report of two red squirrels seen in Reymead Wood at the beginning of the week.

A muggy night on Tuesday 7th saw the moth trap being switched on in the Firs Chase garden for the first time this year - and it didn't disappoint! About 6o moths of 20 macro moth species were noted by 2am on Wednesday.
Probably the most colourful of moths, the elephant hawkmoth turned up as did a second individual.

Other moths noted included brimstone, light emerald, spruce carpet, riband wave, common pug, green pug, clouded silver, common marbled carpet, willow beauty, poplar grey, snout, fanfoot, least black arches, white ermine, heart and dart, flame, shuttle shaped dart and marbled minor.

The most impressive count of the night was of a small micro-moth - the diamond-back, pictured above. At least 200 of these small moths were gathered around the trap as well as inside the trap too. This is by far the most I've ever seen in one night - an impressive sight. There has been a massive influx into the country from the continent over the previous week or so of many thousands of them.

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