Sunday, 24 August 2014


Amongst the sea-blite bushes at East Mersea Point on Saturday 23rd was this female yellow wagtail which perched up briefly before flying off. Also seen at the Point were 10 linnets and 4 reed buntings.

One hobby was hawking after dragonflies over the fields behind the park's grazing fields but was briefly joined by a second hobby that quickly swooped down on it to briefly mob it. They soon went their separate ways with nearby flocks of 100 swallows and 100 starlings keeping a watchful eye on the falcons.

Along the dyke were two sedge warblers and  two reed warblers with a pair of little grebes still feeding young and the swans still with three cygnets.

On the grazing fields 100 redshank were gathering for high tide with 10 black-tailed godwits with 3 shoveler and 20 teal also present.

A kingfisher flew across the pond in the afternoon, calling out as it headed across the fields. Eighty mallard, two gadwall were present too. In the trees above the pond were 40 little egrets roosting, the largest number so far this summer.

Around the park 2 willow warblers were calling, a sparrowhawk flew across the park and ten chaffinches fed near the entrance.

The sunshine on Saturday morning was ideal for butterflies and this painted lady was keeping low to the ground near the seawall.

On several occasions the painted lady landed amongst wet grass and appeared to be washing its face and legs with its long black tongue (proboscis), shown in the picture above.
Other butterflies on the wing were red admiral, speckled wood, small heath, small white, large white and common blue. One adder was seen basking in its usual place near the car park.

The moth trap running in the Firs Chase garden on Thursday night saw 40 moths in it by midnight including this copper underwing. Still good numbers of lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing and also square-spot rustic, setaceous hebrew character, snout, straw underwing, white-point, willow beauty and brimstone.

Pleased to see this fresh dropping of a hedgehog in our Firs Chase garden, the first sign of a hedgehog for over ten years. They used to be seen regularly in the garden but have become much scarcer generally on the Island. Perhaps it has come to pay the garden a visit in case a few moths are resting on the ground!

Saw these strange looking birds from the park flying in formation above Clacton on Friday afternoon. Can't find them  illustrated in any of my bird guides!

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