Monday, 22 August 2016


The family of ringed plovers have been having a testing time recently with very high spring tides covering most of the beach near the East Mersea Point on Sunday 21st. The three chicks were still scuttling about the beach under the watchful eye of their parents nearby. Luckily for the family, the eggs hatched a few days before the spring tides, as where they had been nesting, got flooded by the tide over this weekend.

The ringed plover chicks were first seen on Wednesday 17th and probably just one or two days old. Two chicks had crouched down on the beach, one pictured here on the left, taken from the seawall path. The third chick hadn't been seen at this early stage, no doubt crouching down and well camouflaged on the beach.
Seven common terns flew west offshore from the park.

The main pool in the park's grazing fields have dried up rapidly in the last few days with this lapwing the only wader seen using it on Sunday.
A swift and 25 swallows were seen flying over the fields in the morning.

In the nearby trees by the pond 34 little egrets were seen late afternoon and the two young sparrowhawks were still calling loudly.

A juvenile little gull flew along the saltmarsh near the old East Mersea Hard then landing for a few minutes near Ivy Dock on Saturday 20th. The distinctive black W pattern on the upperwing was the eyecatching feature seen as the bird flew across the Pyefleet towards Langenhoe Point.

On the saltmarsh pools near the Golfhouse 200 black-tailed godwits and 5 bar-tailed godwits roosted during the Saturday high tide.
Four teal, 35 little egrets and a shoveler were on the pond on Saturday, while the count of little egrets on Friday was 58 birds. Twelve mistle thrushes were feeding in the overflow car park.

On Wednesday 17th, a spotted flycatcher was found in the horse paddock at the Golfhouse by Martin Cock, where a whinchat and a couple of yellow wagtails were seen later that morning. Over the nearby fields 200 house martins, 100 swallows and a handful of sand martins were hawking.

At the park pond 61 little egrets roosted in the trees and 4 teal were noted while two willow warblers were calling from trees in the park on Wednesday.

Two willow warblers were calling from trees in the park on Tuesday 16th, a green sandpiper flew over the car park just before daybreak calling as it headed west and a red-legged partridge called from the nearby field.

Birds of note at the park on Monday 15th were a willow warbler, 8 teal and a shoveler.

Birds seen along the Reeveshall seawall on Sunday 21st by Andy Field included this obliging wheatear, also two little ringed plover, green sandpiper, 50 black-tailed godwits, 25 grey plover, 50 ringed plover, 12 dunlin, curlew sandpiper, 4 little terns, 3 common terns, 2 yellow wagtails and a common buzzard.

Hawking over Firs Chase on Friday 19th in the evening were 5 swifts, 10 house martins  and 5 swallows. A sparrowhawk passed over in the evening, while earlier in the day a willow warbler was calling from the garden.

This migrant hawker found itself inside the house in Firs Chase.

Recent butterflies at the park have included a clouded yellow on Sun 21st then two on Wednesday 17th and two on 15th along the seawall. Also on the 17th were 3 painted ladies on the buddleia as were 2 peacocks, 5 small tortoiseshells, 2 commas and 2 red admirals with two brown argus noted nearby too. Two painted ladies were also noted on the 15th at the park. Other butterflies noted have been small white, large white, meadow brown, gatekeeper and speckled wood.

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