Friday, 17 May 2013


A pair of avocets was back on these saltmarsh pools near the Golfhouse on Friday 17th. One of the avocets had coloured rings on its legs so it will be interesting to find out where it has come from. The avocets may stay around to nest although water levels will need to be higher than at present. An avocet flew over the Point calling on Wednesday 15th.

The cuckoo visited the park at least three times during the day calling from various corners during its circuit of East Mersea. Needless to say there were no views of this bird. The first view of the cuckoo at the park was in the field next to the car park on Thursday 16th.

Over the grazing fields 20 swallows and a sand martin were flying around while a reed warbler was singing from a hedgeline near the seawall. Not much around the pools other than 4 lapwing and 4 redshank, 4 gadwall, shoveler and also 10 greylag geese and 5 Canada geese nearby. Two golden plover were on the fields on the 15th as were 20 shelduck and 2 little egrets. On the park pond a few more coot chicks is the only news of interest here other than the swan still incubating and a pochard and 10 tufted ducks but no sign of the drake teal seen on 15th.

A male marsh harrier flew over the car park early on Friday evening, circled round a couple of times and then headed south and high over the mudflats. Seemed a strange route to be following although it may've turned westwards over to Bradwell. A hobby flew over the car park on Tuesday 14th.

On Thursday a little tern provided some close views from the seawall as it hawked along one of the saltmarsh creeks swooping down to snatch a few shrimps. After a few lengths it then flew along the nearby borrowdyke for a drink on the wing and then returned to fly along the creek again. A Mediterranean gull flew over the car park later in the afternoon.

A trickle of swifts have been passing over the park most days with one group of 20 flying west on Wednesday 15th. A house martin was also seen over the park today, the first one of the season for here. Over the mud various small waders were feeding in the distance with 20+ ringed plover, 20 dunlin and a few turnstone as well while a whimbrel flew over whistling.

The thick stand of the Alexanders plants covers the inside of the seawall near the East Mersea Point, shown in the picture above.

Recent cold nights have not produced many moths with just 14 moths on Thursday night, including this neatly marked chocolate-tip moth. the first for the year. Other moths included red twin-spot carpet, hebrew character and common quaker.

This grey / dark dagger was also the first of the year. Grey and dark dagger moths have very similar markings and both are known to exist at the park as their different looking caterpillars have been found here.

The only butterfly noted in the last few cold days at the park was a speckled wood on Friday.
Four adders were basking in an interwoven bundle on Tuesday morning, while two were noted on Friday.

A second corpse of a harbour porpoise was found washed up on the Island within two days of each other, the first at the park, then one at West Mersea Hard. Both had similar injuries with a head missing suggesting its deliberate removal from fishing nets.

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