Friday, 25 May 2018


The white flowers of cow parsley catch the eye in front of the bird hide at the park pond. It seems to have been a good spring for it in some places.
On the pond on Friday 25th were 2 pochard, 4 tufted duck and three broods of coot chicks. A reed warbler and Cetti's warbler were singing close to the pond, while the regular cuckoo called from nearby trees, as on previous days. A little egret, 3 lapwings, shelduck, redshank and oystercatcher were glimpsed among the rapidly growing grass in the grazing fields. A hobby flew over the car park as did four Mediterranean gulls and a whimbrel called as it flew east.

On Thursday 24th during an evening walk round the park with members of the Mersea Wildlife Group, two Sandwich terns and two common terns flew east along the shoreline. Three little egrets were feeding in the fields, a kestrel perched in its tree and the Cetti's warbler was singing from the back of the fields.

The cuckoo seemed to spend most of Wednesday 23rd at or near the park, as it was heard calling repeatedly through the day, at one time perched by the car park cuckoo-ing. A pair of grey partridge flew across the middle of the main field passing the pillbox calling as they went. Four swifts were noted flying over the park during the day.
A siskin was seen at the West Mersea garden feeder of Martin Cock on Wednesday morning. The little owl has been seen recently by Michael Thorley in his East Mersea garden, same sort of area where they nested last year.

A sand martin flew west over the park on Tuesday 22nd, the first sighting on the Island this spring. The cuckoo was heard calling again near the park and two common terns flew north over the car park. A red squirrel was seen running across the grass near the car park by Mr Lilly, the first red squirrel sighting at the park since last autumn.

Ten swifts were circling over houses in the Oakwood Avenue area on Monday 21st. A hobby was seen in East Mersea near Gyants Marsh by Martin Cock on Monday, also on the 18th here too. Two hobbies were also seen here on the 17th May, while an earlier one was seen over Martin's West Mersea garden on 9th May.

The pair of grey partridge was seen close to the car park at Cudmore Grove on a busy Sunday 20th, before they flew over the main field. The cuckoo was also heard calling from tall trees beside the park.

There were thousands of empty crab-shells alongside the Strood seawall on Friday 18th. The old shells discarded by the developing crabs on one of the recent spring tides.

Birds of note during the morning walk were a cuckoo, yellow wagtail, yellowhammer flying off island, singing corn bunting, 4 singing reed warblers, 2 common terns, 4 Mediterranean gulls, golden plover, 2 little egrets and 30 swifts over the houses.
Four common buzzards were in the air together high over Firs Chase on Friday morning. Two house martin nestboxes were being occupied by house martins at a house in Firs Chase.

From the Esplanade the immature great northern diver was seen offshore by Martin Cock on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th.
At Cudmore Grove a willow warbler was singing in trees near the play area and the cuckoo was heard calling.

A couple of small heaths were along one of the grassy paths at the park on Thursday 24th. Other butterflies on the wing have been speckled wood, holly blue, orange-tip, small white, large white, green-veined white.

A couple of poplar hawkmoths were in the park moth trap overnight on Monday 21st. 

The sand dart is a coastal moth which makes one or two appearances at the moth trap each year.

A couple of pale tussocks were also noted, this one resting on grass in the morning beside the trap.

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