Sunday, 7 August 2016


A ringed plover was found nesting on the beach near the Point on Friday 5th. It was spotted sitting near the seawall corner and has chosen a very narrow strip of beach, very close to the high tide lines. The bird is well camouflaged in this picture - just above the green plant in the centre, facing left.

On the nearby mudflats 200 black-tailed godwits were feeding, as were 26 little egrets, 12 golden plover were also noted and a great crested grebe and two common terns were offshore. A sparrowhawk flapped lazily over the beach and across the mudflats.

The skies were grey on Friday evening but there was a big flock of about 300 swallows hawking back and forth over the fields and seawall, along with about ten sand martins. The flock was in the area till late in the evening although not sure where they eventually roosted for the night but somewhere nearby.
Six tufted ducklings were present in the dyke and the swans still have their seven cygnets.

A willow warbler was heard calling from bushes by the car park on Friday morning, the first returning one of the autumn. One was also heard first thing that same morning doing a brief sub-song in Firs Chase.

A young sparrowhawk was heard calling from the copse behind the pond, a water rail and Cetti's warbler were calling from the edges of the pond on Friday.
To the north of the park five common buzzards were circling in the air during the morning.

Along the north side of the Island the osprey has been seen at times perched on a wooden post on the Geedons over the last few days. First seen by Martin Cock on Tuesday 2nd, it has been seen over the next four days at least and has also been watched at a distance from Brightlingsea and Fingringhoe.

On Thursday evening I joined Steve Entwistle on the seawall near Shop Lane who had seen the osprey early evening before it flew off. Also seen was a hobby over Langenhoe as well as a flock of about nine Egyptian geese flying over the Pyefleet onto the marsh at Langenhoe Point. Three marsh harriers were also over Langenhoe, while 200 avocets fed on the nearby mud.

Ten common terns and a great crested grebe were noted along the Pyefleet. Fifty sand martins and 5 swifts were flying about over Langenhoe. On Reeveshall 3 green sandpipers were on the pool and 40 greylag geese on the fields while the young sparrowhawk was calling from the nearby wood.

One of a couple of comma butterflies seen on the buddleia in the car park during Friday. Also noted here have been 3 red admirals and a couple of peacocks with a further four peacocks, comma and 2 red admirals on buddleia by the hide.

In the fading light on Friday evening this badger was seen from the hide.

The moth trap overnight on Thursday 4th at the park produced about 100 individuals of 36 species of macro moth. One of the coastal specialities at this time of year is the sandhill rustic, one of the two found, pictured above.

One interesting moth wasn't near the trap but found resting the next morning on the side of the building, the red underwing. Each year it seems to like resting on this east facing wall of the information room. The drab grey-brown wings hide a pair of bright red hindwings underneath.

The coronet moth used to be a scarce moth here but has become more regular in recent summers.

Also of interest from the trap were tree lichen beauty, fen wainscot, saltmarsh plume, poplar hawkmoth, ruby tiger, herald and a drinker.

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