Sunday, 23 August 2009


Having been casually checking the outside walls and woodwork on the park buildings over the last fortnight, finally found this red underwing moth resting on the outside of the information room on Sunday 23rd. In previous years this reasonably widespread moth with its strikingly colourful hindwings, has shunned the moth trap but instead has been found resting during the day on the outside of the buildings. It is a large moth with an eyecatching colour combination on its hindwings which flicker red, black and white when it flies.

In the country park the spotted flycatcher was relocated at the rear of the grazing fields and one whinchat was noted in the fields too. Sixteen yellow wagtails were seen in the fields by the cattle.

Had an evening stroll along part of the Strood seawall at the end of another hot day on the Island. Although the tide was out, many of the waders were in silhouette. One greenshank flew along the channel and 2 green sandpipers flew overhead calling. Five little egrets and a grey heron stalked the shallow channel, whilst many gulls arrived for the evening roost.

Three swifts were still flying around the houses, although most appear to have left a fortnight ago. Twenty swallows flew over the Dabchicks area of West Mersea and a few more flying over nearby houses. In one thick bramble bush about 25 house sparrows chirped loudly as they tried to settle for the evening roost. A corn bunting perched on some overhead wires.

Andy Field had a hobby fly over his West Mersea house in the evening and also noted a large privet hawkmoth caterpillar in his garden. Martin Cock reported a hummingbird hawkmoth in his Broomhills garden.

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