Monday, 5 June 2017


Made the most of the early summer warmth with a walk along the north side of the Island at Maydays on Sunday 4th.
This colourful male yellowhammer was singing in the sunshine from a bush beside the dyke - one of three heard singing at Maydays farm.

The house martins were busy gathering mud from the farmyard to build their nests on the Maydays farmhouse, some of ten birds seen flying around.

The warm conditions made it ideal for birds of prey to take to the air with a mix of blue sky and cloud over the Maydays seawall on Sunday. Two red kites were seen gliding high over Maydays heading south-west down towards the Strood during the late morning. Later a common buzzard was also seen heading in the same direction.

A hobby flew over the Reeveshall fields and then headed across the Pyefleet to Langenhoe. Two marsh harriers were seen over Reeveshall, a female quartering Broad Fleet and another flying over, while another two marsh harriers were flying over nearby Langenhoe.

Added to the raptor list for the Island was a ringtail Montagu's harrier seen by Martin Cock flying north over the eastern side of West Mersea on Sunday afternoon.

Other birds noted at Maydays on Sunday included hearing a cuckoo on Langenhoe, 2 little terns, 40 shelduck and two great crested grebes along the Pyefleet, two grey herons, 7 little egrets, ten Canada geese and greylag geese pair with six young on Reeveshall, while 4 reed warblers and 3 reed buntings were singing along the Maydays dyke.

One of the two male sedge warblers along the Strood was singing on Saturday 3rd from the wild pear tree near the seawall.

The main highlight of the walk alongside the Strood channel was by the Hard when an osprey was watched circling just above the hammerhead jetty, having upset all the gulls on Packing Shed Island. The big gulls were mobbing it as it drifted slowly up channel heading in the direction of the Pyefleet just after mid-day.
A sparrowhawk flew beside the caravan site and a kestrel was over the Strood fields.

The two pairs of yellow wagtails were seen at either end of the seawall, this bright male near the Strood Hill end. Also noted along the seawall were 3 singing reed warblers, 3 reed buntings and a corn bunting singing with ten swifts circling over the houses. In the channel 2 little terns, 5 curlews were seen with a cuckoo seen and heard on Ray Island.

The pair of swallow perched at the entrance to their regular nest site behind the Dabchicks on Saturday.

Visited the wild orchid garden of Dave Chadwicks on the Esplanade to admire the peak of the common spotted orchids on Saturday 3rd.

Around sixty common spotted orchids were in flower in the back garden, left unmown by Dave during the flowering season. It was past the flowering of the green-winged orchid which were at their peak over a month ago when it appeared about 150 - 200 spikes had flowered.

A hobby flew over the Esplanade garden and Willoughby car park on Saturday evening, and a hobby  was also seen flying over High Street North by Andy Field a bit earlier that day.

A hummingbird hawkmoth, small copper, small tortoiseshell, red admiral, holly blue and speckled wood butterflies were seen in the Firs Chase garden on Saturday.

The sunshine on Friday 2nd brought many butterflies out near the entrance to the Youth Camp at East Mersea with this brimstone flitting along the bramble hedge.

The first large skipper of the summer was also seen close to the Youth Camp entrance on Friday.
Three meadow browns were the first of the summer too for the island, while red admiral, green-veined white and 10+ small heaths were some of the other butterflies noted on the Rewsalls marshes.

Birds noted included a sedge warbler that sang briefly, 3 reed warblers, 3 reed buntings, meadow pipit pair, pair of shelduck, kestrel, grey heron and four linnets.

Three Mother Shipton moths were flitting amongst the grass, stopping to feed on the white clover flowers.

Elsewhere a red squirrel was seen by Cheryl Everitt briefly in her garden in Queen Ann Road. A hedgehog was sadly found dead on Coast Road where it tried to cross the bottom of Firs Chase

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