Monday, 13 May 2013


It was nice to see this slow-worm, a legless lizard, in the compost heap in the Firs Chase garden for the second day running on Monday 13th. It was enjoying the warmth lying on the grass cuttings, under a plastic cover and didn't immediately slide away when the cover was lifted. It's the first time a slow-worm has been seen at this heap.

Wildlife noted in the garden during a breezy day of sunny periods included a chiffchaff, 5 swifts passing overhead while holly blue and 2 orange-tip butterflies fluttered across the garden.

The white flowers of scurvy grass are dotted across the saltmarsh and adding a bit of colour at the moment beside the Strood channel.

This common lizard had its beady eye on me whilst on a fence-post beside the Feldy View cemetery on Monday -nice to see this colony still survives on the edge of West Mersea. The second lizard species for the day.

A male marsh harrier was hunting low over the fields and dyke beside the seawall, eventually being chased off by a pair of noisy oystercatchers that may be nesting in the area. A male yellow wagtail was calling from some overhead wires, 3 reed buntings and 2 reed warblers were singing from the dyke and 10+ swifts were flying around.

Along the channel 2 common terns were seen, 2 whimbrel, 5 curlew, 3 redshank, 4 oystercatcher and 2 turnstone were the only waders seen on the mud. One little egret flew over while a kestrel was hovering over Ray Island.

The Strood seawall seems to have more of the yellowy-green flowered Alexanders plants growing on it this year. During the walk on Sunday 12th, 5 reed warblers were singing in the nearby dyke and also 4 reed buntings but no sign this year of any corn buntings for the first time. Two common terns flew over the seawall to hawk over one section of water in the dyke.

A sparrowhawk was seen circling over the nearby houses, 10+ swifts were seen flying about, 10 linnets and 5 goldfinches were flying about the fields. Along the channel 3 whimbrel, a curlew one noisy bar-tailed godwit and a handful of oystercatchers were the only waders present. Three little terns were flying along the Ray Channel.

In Firs Chase the cuckoo flew low over the gardens calling while a lesser whitethroat singing was also of interest. Butterflies seen were holly blue, orange-tip, speckled wood, small white and large white.

At the country park Andy Field located a garden warbler singing late morning although there was no sign of it in the afternoon. Also seen in the Colne were 12 little terns by Langenhoe Point and a hobby crossing the river.
A badly decomposed harbour porpoise was found washed up on the park beach on Sunday morning.

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