Wednesday, 1 May 2013


The cows were put back onto the park's grazing fields a few days ago and will stay through the summer season. The last couple of days they have spent  time tucking into the grass in the field beside the park pond, pictured above. Grass growth in the main grazing fields has been rather slow as it recovers from the intense grazing by brent geese and wigeon over the winter.

On the park pond on Wednesday 1st a pair of tufted duck was seen mating while four male pochard were chasing and squabbling with each other with several females looking on. The mute swan seems to be sitting on the nest in the middle but no sign of the little coot chick seen a couple of days ago. Two green woodpeckers flew across the pond.

Birdlife on the grazing fields during Wednesday appeared to be fairly similar to that of Tuesday. A ruff feeding around the pools on both days was the most interesting bird of note. Other waders included 3 snipe, 6 black-tailed godwits, 6 redshank, 2 lapwing, 2 golden plover and a pair of oystercatchers. Wildfowl noted were 2 brent geese, 6 greylag geese, 3 Canada geese, 40 teal, 3 wigeon, 3 gadwall, 6 mallard, and a pair of shoveler. Also seen in the fields were 4 little egrets, yellow wagtail with four pied wagtails, while 5 swallows and a sand martin were seen in flight over the fields.

A willow warbler singing at the park was the only migrant of note during Wednesday. A marsh harrier was mobbed by a carrion crow as it drifted over the park entrance. Possibly the same crow chased a sparrowhawk past the park entrance. A short while later another sparrowhawk flew over to the pond with a very deliberate floppy display flight. A sparrowhawk was also seen displaying over the pond area later in the afternoon.

The pair of kestrels is continuing to be seen beside and inside the nestbox in the grazing field oak tree. On Tuesday a marsh harrier flew close past the tree upsetting the kestrels, it then hovered briefly over the edge of the park pond checking the area for prey, before flying over the fields to the north of the park.

At the end of the day a tawny owl was heard calling from the direction of North Farm and a nightingale was back singing from the north end of Manwood Grove at Shop Lane. This is the same location where one was singing last year.

Martin Cock saw the great northern diver off West Mersea and also the first little terns were seen offshore with four flying east. Two corn buntings were singing from the Chapmans Lane field in the morning.

At Rewsalls marshes over the recent weekend, the common sandpiper found by Martin by the dyke on Saturday 27th was also seen the next day by Steve Entwistle.

Some of the blackthorn blossom is at its peak at the moment such as this bush near the grazing fields.
Only a few butterflies have been seen over the last few days because of the chill in the easterly wind. Comma, peacock, small white and small tortoiseshells have only been seen in ones or twos.

A check of the moth trap on Wednesday morning after a chilly and clear night revealed 18 moths including blossom underwing, early grey, early thorn, red chestnut, clouded drab, common quaker, hebrew character and March moth.

Two adders were glimpsed on Wednesday while six were reported in their usual spots on Tuesday. A pipistrelle bat was hawking along Bromans Lane on Wednesday evening at dusk.

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