Wednesday, 12 May 2021


A cuckoo was calling out across Cudmore Grove country park on a sunny Wednesday 12th. This one landed in a tree over a path and called for a couple of minutes before moving on.

The same cuckoo was also photographed earlier at the park on Wednesday morning by Andy Field.

There could be half a dozen cuckoos calling across the Island this spring, similar numbers to last year.

There was the nice find by Andy at the park of a spotted flycatcher just inside the park entrance. Later it was seen feeding actively from bare branches to the east side of the park pond. The third spotted flycatcher sighting this spring on the island.
The distinctive song of a nightingale was heard mid Wednesday morning coming from the hedgeline at the back of the grazing fields just east of the park pond. There was little chance of seeing the bird across the field but it was nice to stand and listen to the rich and varied song. The bird was heard singing in the early evening too by Martin Cock.

Other songsters heard during the circuit walk from the bus turning circle through the park and then back towards the Golfhouse via the seawall included - 20 whitethroats, four lesser whitethroats, five blackcaps, eight reed warblers, two sedge warblers, three chiffchaffs, two Cetti's warblers, and also two male reed buntings at the Point. At least twenty sand martins were flying over the fields with a few by the cliff too.

There was a colourful display of bluebells at the park on Wednesday, hiding underneath the old oak tree.

Four lapwing chicks continue to thrive on the park's grazing fields, this chick photographed by Andy Field on Wednesday. Eight adult lapwings were still on the fields but no sign of any other chicks yet. Also on the fields were three shelduck, a greylag goose, pair of oystercatchers while on the pond were two pochard and two pairs of tufted ducks. The kestrel was seen beside the box at the back of the fields with a pair of stock doves also in the tree.

A pair of avocet was on the saltmarsh pools by the Golfhouse, also 35 dunlin and a redshank with six ringed plovers near the Point.

Andy watched two fulmars flying high north-east over the park and up the Colne on Wednesday morning - a rare sight on Mersea these days and only his second island sighting in his nineteen years here!

A painted lady was photographed by Andy at the park on Wednesday.
Also on the wing at the park were orange-tip, small white, peacock and speckled wood.

Martin Cock walked the East Mersea footpath between Meeting Lane and Shop Lane on Wednesday morning and reported four lesser whitethroats, three Cetti's warblers, two yellowhammers, many whitethroats, two buzzards, blackcaps and chiffchaffs. A holly blue and a painted lady were in his West Mersea garden.
A corn bunting was heard singing from a tree beside Cross Lane on Wednesday by Steve Entwistle.
An orange-tip butterfly was seen by Jonathan Bustard by the Feldy View path to the seawall.

A female wheatear was the highlight of a walk from Cross Lane to the East Mersea boating lake on Tuesday 11th.

The wheatear was first seen amongst the broken down section of the seawall and then later it was feeding on the beach by the Youth Camp.
Also in the area around the boating lake were the calling cuckoo, four house martins collecting mud, reed warbler, little egret, whimbrel, six shelduck, four turnstone and a redshank.
A buzzard was being mobbed by crows at Waldegraves and a corn bunting was singing in Cross Lane, as were four whitethroats and two chiffchaffs. A painted lady was by the beach at Waldegraves.

At St Peters on Tuesday morning, Steve Entwistle saw the black brant and the pale-bellied brent goose feeding with 70 dark-bellied brent geese on Cobmarsh Island.

A long-eared bat was found by Sandra and Keith Bird in their Fairhaven Avenue garden looking rather poorly on Tuesday. It landed on the back door on Tuesday afternoon and was still clinging there into Wednesday morning. Contact was then made with the Bat Rescue team of the Essex Bat Group who came to collect it and take it into care for a while.

A lunar marbled brown moth was found in the Firs Chase garden moth trap on Tuesday 11th, along with fifteen other moths of seven species.

The least black arches was also noted that night along with chamomile shark, common quaker, early grey, turnip and ten shuttle-shaped darts.

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