Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Interesting sight near East Mersea Point of at least four nesting black-headed gulls seen on Tuesday 16th. The small island in the saltmarsh lagoon already has several pairs of avocets and a pair of common terns on it, so it has become an attractive spot in recent years. The nesting black-headed gulls are the first ones to do so actually on Mersea Island.

Among the 19 avocets at the lagoon, probably eight birds were nesting, while the common terns were flying around and not settled down to nest yet. Four other common terns and a pair of little terns were seen near the Point.
On the nearby lagoon and nearby mudflats on Tuesday early evening were 90 dunlin, 40 ringed plover, black-tailed godwit, 10 turnstone and five redshank.

Lapwings with young have vanished from the grazing fields by the pools, although two chicks and six adults were present in the field nearest the Point. Also here were 4 greylag geese, 2 pairs of oystercatcher, pair of redshank, 2 whimbrel while along the dyke were singing reed warbler and ten tufted duck. The pair of swans was in the Golfhouse dyke and seemingly not interested in nesting this year.

Over West Mersea on Tuesday were 20 house martins near Wellhouse Green and 4 swifts over Upland Road.

At the park on Monday 15th a pair of partridge ran across the main part of the park in the early evening, appearing like grey partridge, however the male red-legged partridge is still calling most days in the field to the west of the car park. The pair of house sparrow is still nesting in the toilet building roof - the first breeding at the park for about twenty years.

The first swift over the park was noted on Monday, while at the pond were a little egret, grey heron and a pair of pochard. Fifteen linnets were feeding on the short grassland and a cuckoo heard calling in the distance near Shop Lane. Nine whimbrel flew over the park calling as they headed north.

The only nightingale on the Island this year was heard singing near the Oyster Fishery on Thursday 11th by Martin Cock. The next day it was heard singing again by Andy Field and also calling to its mate close-by in the bushes. Two little terns were seen in the Pyefleet on Thursday by Steve Entwistle.

A reed warbler was singing at the park pond and a Cetti's warbler nearby on Wednesday 10th. A family of long tailed tits with several freshly fledged youngsters were calling loudly from bushes near the hide. Fifteen avocets were seen near the Point and two reed warblers in the dyke by David Wallace on Wednesday.

There's the nice aroma at the East Mersea Point from the flowers of the Japanese rose.

The first green hairstreaks at the park this year were noted on Wednesday 10th with four seen by bushes between the car park and the hide. Three were seen the next day by Steve Entwistle, another one on Friday by the park office, one over the car park on Sunday and one by the cliff-top on Tuesday 16th.
Other butterflies noted on Wednesday 10th were peacock, orange-tip, small white, red admiral, holly blue and speckled wood.

A red squirrel was seen by the East Mersea Glebe entrance opposite Church Lane on Sunday 14th By Annie Gordon. A brown hare ran along a section of the East Mersea road near the pub on Thursday 11th.
Adrian Amos reported seeing his first pipistrelle bats of the summer in his East Road garden on the 11th May and also holly blue butterflies recently appeared too.

Moth trapping continued to be slow into mid May with only twenty five moths noted on Thursday 11th with this white ermine one of the regular spring visitors to the trap.

The small seraphim moth is a widespread moth in the county but this individual on the 11th is the first record for the park.

The mullein wave is a typical coastal grassland moth where there's plenty of yarrow growing.

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