Friday, 8 July 2016


There was a little bit of excitement when a treecreeper was discovered by Andy Field in Fishponds wood in Shop Lane on Wednesday 6th. In typical fashion it was creeping up the sides of some of the trees close to the path by the old bunker. The bird was heard calling a few times with the thin high pitched call of a typical treecreeper. The bird posed long enough for this shot taken by Andy.

Treecreepers aren't resident on the Island because of the lack of suitable woodland. The last one seen was also in Shop Lane but at the south end in Manwood Grove just over 25 years ago, in late 1990. One was also seen in the 1980's briefly in West Mersea.

Flying over the Fishponds wood on Wednesday were 3 common buzzards while on neighbouring Reeveshall were 2 green sandpipers, yellow wagtail and a young marsh harrier.

A hobby flew across the park on Wednesday 6th, upsetting the flock of ten swallows as it sped west along the coast.
A female ruddy darter perched on a grass stalk for Andy to photograph by the seawall.

The warmer weather has brought many of the meadow browns and skipper butterflies out at the park, such as this small skipper above. Around 25 skippers of both Essex and small skipper were seen at the park.
Half a dozen ringlets were on the wing, their colonisation in recent summers continuing around the park.

Some of the meadow browns and skippers were feeding on this big clump of greater knapweed.

A patch of ox-eye daisies add some colour to one of the meadows.

A new plant to show at the park, and I believe the Island too, is this vipers bugloss. Maybe it has seeded itself with seeds carried somehow across the estuary from Colne Point. A handful of skipper butterflies were enjoying a spot of nectaring on the blue-ish flowers.

Having been away for a fortnight, it was great to see the red squirrel at our feeder in Firs Chase on our first day back home early evening on Monday 4th. The supply of peanuts had lasted well. The squirrel then ran along the roof of our house, down onto our lawn and scampered into the neighbours garden via our bird-bath.
Following a top-up of the feeder after this visit, the red squirrel was back again the following morning at 7am for at least five minutes.

Of rarer interest in our garden, it appears the hedgehogs have now got young, as one was discovered by our terrier Ben late on Wednesday night! Luckily the young one curled up to a size only a bit bigger than a tennis ball and survived the encounter.
The hedgehogs have made their home under an old wooden pallet tucked away in the back of the garden.

A slow-worm was on the garden compost heap on Monday 4th.

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