Friday, 14 August 2009


A few more interesting moths turned up at the moth trap on the night of Tuesday 11th with the park's first record of this pretty gold spot moth. At certain angles the small gold markings on its "back" and the silvery-white spots on the wings sparkled in the light. It appears to be found close to damp places with the caterpillars feeding on sedges and yellow iris, although in Essex it is found mainly along the coast and is listed as being scarce.

An even scarcer moth is the one on the right hand side in the photo above which is the sandhill rustic, along side the much commoner flounced rustic on the left. The sandhill rustic has been recorded at the park before and is a coastal species feeding on saltmarsh grasses. Although it is nationally scarce it is a common moth along the Essex coast.

The second record of a tree lichen beauty this summer here was found in the trap the next morning. This small moth with greenish markings is an immigrant from the continent.

The very distinctive latticed heath with its chequerboard markings was the most numerous moth in the trap with about a dozen individuals noted. Other moths found included poplar hawkmoth, copper underwing, white-point, pale prominent, coxcomb prominent, single dotted wave, riband wave, magpie, willow beauty and several lesser broad-bordered yellow underwings.

Several painted ladies have been feeding on the last few buddleia flowers along with a small tortoiseshell and comma. The first holly blue of the summer was also seen close to the car park.

A Meditteranean gull flew over the car park on Monday evening and 100 sand martins were still flying around the fields near Ivy Lane in East Mersea. The two green sandpipers, 5 black-tailed godwits and up to 10 teal have been on the grazing field pools on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th.

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