Sunday, 16 August 2009


Had an evening visit on Sunday 17th along the Pyefleet Channel to look at the waders gathering together on the mud as the tide came in. The viewing conditions were ideal and the tide similar to a fortnight earlier but not nearly the same interesting variety of waders.

The redshank were the most numerous with 200 birds noted including two colour-ringed birds. Seventy black-tailed godwits were also seen along with small numbers of avocet, grey plover, golden plover, dunlin, ringed plover, curlew and turnstone. Greenshank and whimbrel were only heard.

Several little terns and a few common terns hunted along the channel with 5 little egrets seen in flight and 2 grey herons also noted. Two marsh harriers were seen flying around the Langenhoe marshes but otherwise the harrier activity was quiet.

The Reeveshall pool didn't hold much other than 25 lapwings, 5 black-tailed godwits, 10 teal, 4 dabchicks and a Canada goose. However there was the first whinchat of the autumn for the Island perching on a fence by the pool along with two wheatears nearby.

Earlier in the day the wood sandpiper was still present along with 2 green sandpipers on the pools at the country park. There was an increase in warbler activity between the park entrance and the pond with 20 whitethroats, 8 lesser whitethroats, 4 willow warblers, 3 chiffchaffs and 2 blackcaps mingling with a mixed tit flock. The nightingale also called from its regular hedge near the entrance.

Also around the park were seen several painted ladies, common blue, lots of hedge browns, large whites, small whites, speckled wood and small heaths. The first brown hawker of the summer was flying above a sheltered corner of the dyke. Also ruddy darter, common darter, southern hawker, migrant hawker and the emperor were also noted around the park.

The main feature of the mothing session on the Saturday night were the large numbers of latticed heaths present, one pictured above. By dawn the next morning nearly 200 latticed heaths were counted in and around the trap, as seen in the picture below. In previous years there have been large numbers visiting traps operating close to the Essex coast, so it will be interesting to find out if good numbers of latticed heaths have been noted elsewhere, suggesting an immigration from the continent.

Despite the clear sky and a breeze there were over 30 species noted at the trap with poplar hawkmoth, swallow prominent, several sandhill rustics, straw underwing, copper underwing, white-point and silver Y's.

A brown hare was forced out into the open after its wheat-field by Bromans Lane was harvested by the farmer.

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