Sunday, 21 May 2017


A big black cloud looming over Reeveshall marsh put a dampener on the walk along the seawall on the north side of East Mersea on Saturday 20th. The sunny and warm morning came to an end in the early afternoon when the heavens opened.

Before the rains arrived a nightingale was singing in the sunshine near the Oyster Fishery as was the Cetti's warbler while a tawny owl was glimpsed flying out of a tree. A common buzzard circled above Fishponds wood , a little egret flew out of the dyke and a yellow wagtail and yellowhammer were also noted.

A peregrine circled high over Reeveshall and alarming some of the 300+ rooks and jackdaws in the fields. A pair of lapwings, grey heron and 6 greylag geese were on the main field while shoveler, pair of gadwall, pair of mute swans and a pair of shelduck were on the main pool near the seawall.
Four marsh harriers were flying over Langenhoe marsh.

A corn bunting was singing beside the East Mersea road near Bocking Hall on Saturday 20th.

The purple flowers of salsify were in bloom during the morning sunshine on the seawall near the Oyster Fishery.

Butterflies noted on the seawall and nearby included the first common blue, also 3 small heaths, large white, holly blue, speckled wood.

Driving along Shop Lane in the rain, this soaked red squirrel was seen in the road scratching itself before scampering into the verge on Saturday afternoon. This gloomy picture was snapped through a rain-covered windscreen while the wipers were hurriedly switched off.

The previous day a walk was taken along the Strood seawall on a grey morning of Friday 19th. Birds noted inside the seawall were 50 swallows hawking low over the Alexanders plants, also 3 house martins and 8 swifts seen. Two sedge warblers were singing also 3 reed warblers and 2 reed buntings along the dyke. In the fields 20 stock doves, 20 linnets, 2 yellow wagtails, two lapwings and two pairs of oystercatcher.

A cuckoo called from the trees on Ray Island, a marsh harrier flew along the Peldon seawall, four Canada geese on the Ray while along the Strood channel were a pair of little terns and a pair of common terns.

At the country park on Wednesday 17th a willow warbler was heard singing from trees near the bird hide.

The mothing session at the country park on the night of Tuesday 16th had started very promising in very muggy conditions. A good variety of moths were flocking to the Robinson trap into the early hours and over forty species of macro moth had already been noted. However just before dawn the heavens had opened and there was a mad dash to clear everything away in the rain and in the dark at 4am!

This female fox moth was the main moth of note and although one was noted last year at the end of May, it's a scarce visitor to the trap.

The large pale tussock with its furry head and forelegs is recorded each spring at the park.

The camomile shark is generally a widespread moth but has only been recorded once before at the park.

Three of the very striking great silver diving beetles were crawling over the white sheet - the most seen in one night.

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