Saturday, 4 May 2013


The sunny weather of recent days continued into the start of Saturday 4th, followed by a cloudy and breezy second half to the day. Migrant birds continue to trickle back from Africa with a small passage of 20+ swallows seen flying west across the sea and over the park from Colne Point in the morning.

Migrants of note included a transient willow warbler calling from some bushes, a reed warbler singing beside the dyke providing the first good views at the park this spring and a single swift flew west over the car park in the afternoon. A couple of sand martins were seen while blackcap, chiffchaff and whitethroats were also noted around the park.

Most bird interest centred around the grazing fields with a varied selection during the morning high tide. The male ruff with its blotchy black chest markings was still present for its fifth day, a whimbrel and curlew were feeding near to each other, while most of the 44 black-tailed godwits seen were roosting on the pools. Six lapwing, 5 redshank and a pair of oystercatchers, were the other waders on the fields.

One brent goose was resting on the fields and another pair was seen flying along the shore. One greylag was feeding with a pair of Canada geese while the usual small numbers of shelduck, teal, wigeon, shoveler, gadwall and mallard were also present.

The male kestrel was calling from the oak tree behind the fields and a sparrowhawk was seen drifting high over the park.

One peacock butterfly was seen sunning itself in the morning and at least two adders were seen too.

At dusk near West Mersea, a little owl was seen flying off a telegraph pole in Chapmans Lane towards the allotments.

On Thursday 2nd a common buzzard was seen flying across the East Mersea road and landing in a tree near Weir Farm.

Like the slow appearance of the migrant birds, the moths have also been slow to appear this season. Another cold and clear night on Friday produced 24 moths of seven species.
This scarce reed dagger pictured above provided a bit of interest, being confined to reed-beds and fens in East Anglia and the south coast. It has been recorded here a few times before.

The widespread moth, powdered quaker pictured above, made its first appearance of the season. The line of black dots across the wing is a distinctive feature.
Other moths noted were common quaker, hebrew character, clouded drab, early thorn and early grey.

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