Friday, 26 August 2016


Three grey partridges were in the field by Chapmans Lane early on Thursday 25th, looking a bit tatty as they go through their summer moult.

At the country park the sparrowhawk passed over the car park a couple of times during the day, a willow warbler was heard, a swift passed over along with a big mixed flock of 400 house martins and swallows, a yellow wagtail flew over the car park and a Mediterranean gull was feeding on the mudflats.
In the evening 12 yellow wagtails flew out of the grazing fields, 200+ swallows were flying about, little tern, 2 common terns, 200 turnstone, 20 golden plover along the edge of the mud and at least two ringed plover chicks on the beach.

Four small heaths were enjoying the sunshine on Thursday morning at the park, also noted was a painted lady on the buddleia. Two adders were basking beside one of the paths in the morning.

The week old ringed plover chicks were still running about the beach feeding near the East Mersea Point, here pictured by Andy Field.

The ringed plover chicks continue to thrive even at this very busy summer period dodging the dogs and the walkers. Andy filmed this short video of the chicks

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Also noted on his walk through the park towards the Ivy Dock area were 2 curlew sandpipers, 100 golden plover, 100 dunlin, 150 black-tailed godwits, 3 little terns, 3 willow warblers and 2 yellow wagtails as well as 2 clouded yellow butterflies.

A very tame juvenile goldfinch flew out of a hedge at Fen Farm to look for food from Annie Gordon's hand on Wednesday 24th. Maybe this was the bird that someone was reported to have hand-reared recently. Noted at Fen Farm in the morning were 4 yellow wagtails and a painted lady on buddleia.

A flock of seven greenshank flew south-west over the Cudmore Grove car park on Wednesday afternoon.

A curlew sandpiper was seen on the mud by Ivy Dock on Tuesday 23rd by Martin Cock who also counted 7 clouded yellows along the seawall.

On Monday 22nd a wigeon was on the park pond,15 goldfinches were feeding on thistles and 2 willow warblers were at the park.

Mark Dixon and Mark Farrant enjoyed watching a black redstart by their cottages next to the Dabchicks Sailing Club on Wednesday 24th.

A number of red squirrels were seen on Wednesday morning from various locations, this one pictured above chasing another squirrel around the cedar tree in Firs Chase early in the morning.
Also on Wednesday in Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane 3 red squirrels were seen by Martin Cock.

This red squirrel was seen dashing along the back garden fence at the country park while I was emptying the moth trap early on Wednesday morning. There have been several reports recently of a red squirrel in the park and nearby Bromans Lane over the last ten days or so. One was seen in the middle of the car park on Tuesday 23rd and also in the park on Sunday 21st. The previous week there were three sightings in Bromans Lane - two sightings of them crossing the road and another by the Watkins in their Bromans Farm garden.

Recent warm evenings have been reasonably productive for moths at the park with 25 latticed heaths on 22nd of interest, one pictured above. Nearly fifty species of macro over the two nights were recorded.

The distinctive treble bar was one of the moths in the trap after the night of the 23rd.
Also noted were orange swift, least carpet, yellow barred brindle, canary-shouldered thorn, poplar hawkmoth, oak hook-tip, blood-vein, double-striped pug, sallow kitten, archers dart, nutmeg, white-point, silver-Y, sandhill rustic, flounced rustic, tree lichen beauty and rosy rustic.
Several rush veneers have been seen on recent nights, a well known immigrant, also a handful of rusty-dot pearls and the tiny diamond-back moth too.

The last few leaves of a once extensive patch of sea bindweed were still clinging onto the rapidly receding beach near Fen Farm on Wednesday. The plant produces pink and white bell shaped flowers in the spring/ early summer. This is the last site on the Island for this plant.

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