Wednesday, 20 August 2014


This common buzzard was seen perched atop the kestrel tree at the back of the park grazing fields in the late afternoons of both Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th. It may be the first time a buzzard has ever actually perched on a tree at the country park! There have been many fly-over sightings over the years but none have ever stayed around.

A distant shot of the common buzzard seen on Tuesday early evening, pictured from the hide about 250 metres away. The wood pigeons in the same tree looked very nervous with this buzzard nearby although it seemed as if the buzzard itself was concerned about a little egret perched above it on a higher limb.
The row of beach huts in the picture above are across the river Colne at Brightlingsea.

Earlier on Tuesday morning as the day warmed up, two common buzzards soared in the air briefly with two marsh harriers over the grazing fields before going off in different directions.

The kingfisher whistled its way across the pools in the fields as it sped from the pond to the dyke. On the pools a common sandpiper fed slowly across the muddy margin, bobbing its tail as it walked. Also present were 20 teal, 10 redshank, 4 lapwing and 10 black-tailed godwit.

This track across the middle of the park was where a common redstart was found on Tuesday morning and still here on Wednesday late afternoon. At times it proved elusive once it flew into the bushes but with a bit of patience it would reappear at the side of the track. It stayed around for the local birders to come and see it.

The redstart was first discovered early on Tuesday while driving towards the park's old workshop building. This little bird flew along the track flashing its orange tail and then quivering it when it perched on a post.
There's usually one redstart sighting at the park each year and maybe this bird will be the only sighting.

Whilst with Andy Field at the park on Wednesday two hobbies flew west over the car park, one of the birds calling alerted us to their passing overhead. Presumably the calling bird was a youngster hassling the parent bird, maybe urging it on to catch more food for it.
A small passage of 30+ swallows and a sand martin headed west ahead of the hobbies. At least 15 little egrets headed north over the park to roost elsewhere early evening.

In various bushes around the park there seemed a number of warblers around on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. At least a dozen common whitethroats, six lesser whitethroats, five blackcaps, a few chiffchaffs and at least one willow warbler were noted, the latter on Wednesday.

Martin Cock found a spotted flycatcher near Ivy Farm on Tuesday and a tree pipit flying over too. Several warblers also noted in bushes near here with sedge warbler and reed warbler being seen too. Fifty linnets were feeding near the Golfhouse along with a few goldfinches.

Enjoying the morning sunshine at the park on Wednesday were 3 adders in their usual place, holly blue, 5 red admirals, speckled wood, large white, small white as well as a brown hawker dragonfly in the car park. Several migrant hawkers, common darters and ruddy darters were on the wing at the park.

Just after nightfall on Wednesday a barn owl flew across Bromans Lane, the white underwings showing up in the glare of the car headlights.

The moth trap attracted a few moths during Tuesday night despite the clear and chilly conditions. Three swallow prominents, one pictured above, were probably the most interesting. Their second generation of the year seems to be at its peak at the moment.

Other moths noted amongst the 35 individuals included flounced rustic, square spot rustic, straw underwing, copper underwing, setaceous hebrew character, rosy rustic and brimstone,

This neatly marked white-point was found in the trap last week on Thursday morning.

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