Wednesday, 4 April 2018


Recent rains have provided great conditions for ducks on the park's grazing fields with the highlight on a soggy Monday 2nd being a pair of pintail. The smart looking male pictured above in the middle of the fields was first spotted when it stuck its long tail up in the air while it was feeding in the water-filled creek. A female pintail was asleep closeby. This is the first spring record of pintail in the fields.

There is a lot of surface water on the two fields filling up ditches, creeks and the borrowdyke too. Wildfowl seen were 300 wigeon, 100 teal, 20+ shoveler, 10 tufted duck, 6 pochard, pair of gadwall and 30+ mallard. Waders were 20 redshank, 20 curlew, 4 nesting lapwing, two pairs of oystercatcher, 4 black-tailed godwit and a common snipe.
In the early evening of Monday a barn owl was hunting the grass fields behind the grazing fields. By the park pond a chiffchaff was calling and a little egret flew over the park. A muntjac deer disappeared into the hedge behind the pond in the evening.

On Sunday four pochard, 20 shoveler, little egret, 300 brent geese and 2 black-tailed godwits were seen in or near the park fields. A chiffchaff was still by the park pond and another one by the Golfhouse while a rock pipit was near the Point.

A red-throated diver was offshore from the Youth Camp, also there 6 Mediterranean gulls seen by Andy Field on Sunday 1st. At West Mersea two great northern divers, 4 red-breasted mergansers and 30 sanderling were seen offshore by David Allen on Sunday.

A peregrine flew over the park fields late on Saturday 31st, passing over high enough not to scare any birds off. A few minutes later a sparrrowhawk flew over the Point and landed near the seawall for a few minutes before flying off. In the river were 20 great crested grebes and 4 red-breasted mergansers.

In the fields 300 wigeon, 2 Canada geese, with 6 pochard and 8 tufted duck in the dyke and pond. A little egret was on the saltmarsh, the chiffchaff and singing Cettis warbler were at the park pond.

A pair of red-legged partridge were near Bromans Lane and another pair by Bocking Hall on Saturday 31st.

The moth trapping season kicked off at the country park in the evening of Sunday 1st but only lasted the first four hours before the rain stopped play around midnight. There were 25 moths of 6 species by the end of the session, including this oak beauty.

Just into April but a half a dozen March moths were still on the wing.

A single shoulder stripe was resting on the outside of the trap.

The most numerous moth was the common quaker with 15 individuals, also a few small quakers and a clouded drab.

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