Friday, 11 June 2021


The Feldy View cemetery field is displaying a nice variety of colours with the red poppies particularly eye-catching on Friday 11th.

A buzzard soared over the Strood channel and drifted over the Strood fields for half an hour or more. A male marsh harrier also appeared to briefly join it before it continued over the fields. A cuckoo was seen flying high over the channel heading towards the Strood Hill from Ray Island. 

When the buzzard drifted over the saltmarsh on Ray Island, eight curlew took off and landed in the channel, a pair of Mediterranean gulls flew over calling and a pair of common terns was flying along fishing. A redshank called from the Ray Island saltmarsh.

Two corn buntings were singing from opposite side of the wheat field near the bottom of Strood Hill. A meadow pipit flew over the saltmarsh at the Strood Hill end and another one was heard singing over the saltmarsh by the caravan site. Four yellow wagtails, three singing whitethroats, four reed warblers and three reed buntings were also noted. Two grey herons were standing in the Strood fields.

Steve Entwistle saw a hobby fly over the Firs Chase caravan site on Friday morning and also a whitethroat singing there while in Empress Drive a sparrowhawk flew over his garden. In the afternoon in the area of Dairy lane near Shop Lane in East Mersea two singing lesser whitethroats showed well to Steve

This large female adder was stretched across the entrance to a field by Dairy Lane near Shop Lane in East Mersea on Thursday 10th. The adder was partially blocking the public footpath but luckily there was space to walk around it without disturbing it.

On a sunny Thursday 10th in the area of Shop Lane in East Mersea a red kite was soaring high over fields and drifted over to Reeveshall. Four common buzzards were seen, a female marsh harrier flew over the fields to Reeveshall and a sparrowhawk circled high overhead.
There was the sound of lots of singing birds from hedgerows and copses with eight whitethroats, six chiffchaffs, three lesser whitethroats, two Cetti's warblers, three blackcaps as well as the song of the cuckoo heard.

This grass vetchling in flower was photographed by Jonathan Bustard by the Strood seawall on Friday. It seems to have become more widespread on the Island in recent years.

Jonathan also photographed these large white caterpillars feeding on garlic mustard.


The moth trap has been operating on a few nights over the last 2 or 3 weeks in the Firs Chase garden. Numbers have been generally low, presumably affected by the cool and wet May delaying many species. The first privet hawkmoth was seen on the 10th June.

Poplar hawkmoths have been seen on several nights since the first one on 29th May.

Nice to see the colourful one green silver lines moth on 10th June as none were seen last year in the garden.

Pale tussocks have made a few appearances over the last fortnight.

A buttoned snout was a nice surprise on 9th June - this once scarce moth has been on the increase in recent years. This is the first record for Mersea.

Another moth on the increase is the toadflax brocade which was first seen in the garden last year and even bred too. Two individuals came to the trap on 27th and 28th May.

Single silver Y moths were seen on 1st and the 10th June.

Several figure of eighty moths have been seen.

A broken-barred carpet is a new one for the garden.

It has been a good spring for the cockchafers with several coming to the trap during the first half of June with eight seen on the 1st June.


Michael Thorley has been out with his camera in the last few days and shares some of his pictures.
This male broad-bodied chaser was photographed in his East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane on Thursday - it was also seen the day before too.

Close up of the broad-bodied chaser in Michael's garden.

Also in Michael's garden was these two azure damselflies.

A freshly emerged blue-tailed damselfly still to develop the blue colouration was pictured in Michael's garden.

A male reed bunting seen singing by Michael.

A male yellow wagtail also seen singing from the top of an Alexanders plant.

A great tit carrying some food was seen by the Strood on Thursday morning.

Earlier in the week some sand martins were pictured by Michael as they flew low over the dyke.

At first it looked like they were swooping low for a drink.

However it seemed the sand martins were dropping into the water for a quick bathe.

A quick dip into the water by the sand martins and then they continued flying along.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021


A colourful male linnet perched on the sea-blite bushes at the East Mersea Point singing his cheery twittering song on Wednesday 9th. Three male reed buntings were also heard around the Point, while a whitethroat was also busy singing from the bushes too.

A ringed plover was discovered nesting on the beach at the Point with three eggs, so its presumed a different clutch from an earlier nest as that one had four eggs in it.
Three Sandwich terns flew past the Point calling as they headed into the river Colne with one bird carrying a small fish. Two Mediterranean gulls were feeding offshore with other gulls and a common tern

On the nearby saltmarsh near the Golfhouse the single avocet chick was still being looked after by its anxious parents. Among the seven other avocets on the pools, four appeared to be sitting on nests, as was a black-headed gull. Three redshank, oystercatcher and a brent goose were also seen here

Two pairs of pochard were feeding in the country park dyke on Wednesday with three other birds seen on the park pond.

Two pairs of tufted duck were also present on the park dyke as was a brood of young mallard ducklings, little grebe and coot. A sedge warbler was singing beside the park dyke as was a reed warbler, with another reed warbler heard by the park pond. Three Cetti's warblers were singing at various corners of the main grazing field.

Six greylag geese were feeding in the park's grazing field on Wednesday.

The small flock of greylag geese seem to come and go from the fields, sometimes there to be seen, other times not. The same with the pair of Canada geese which were absent on Wednesday.

A little owl was heard calling from Bromans Farm mid morning on Wednesday.

At Maydays farm on Wednesday morning Martin Cock reported four marsh harriers, 20 grey plover, three cuckoo and a Chinese water deer on Reeveshall.

Steve Entwistle saw the red-legged partridge near Feldy View on Wednesday morning and then later in the day saw a curlew, two great crested grebes and a common gull at the country park.

David Jones kindly showed me his pond in East Mersea at the north-east end of Shop Lane on Wednesday afternoon. Having remembered it being created from the field nearly 30 years ago, it has developed nicely into a great undisturbed freshwater habitat. A reed warbler was singing from the reeds, a whitethroat from a nearby bramble bush, a Cetti's warbler singing from the nearby plantation and a coot feeding its chicks on the water.

This grass-snake was found in a garden off Oakwood Avenue by Christine Ellis, with her being reassured that it's a harmless snake that was probably looking for a compost heap or a garden pond.

On a hot Tuesday 8th at the Coopers Beach marshes, a sedge warbler was singing loudly and has not been heard singing here this spring, also three whitethroats singing nearby. On the wet marshes were four little egrets, four shelduck, four mallard, an oystercatcher and 30 herring gulls.
A mistle thrush was seen carrying a beak-ful of worms in the Coopers caravan park.

A burnet rose bush on the beach near Fen Farm wafted a nice aroma downwind. 
A pair of ringed plovers was accidentally flushed off the beach as I walked along. The birds were not seen to return to the area of beach, so no proof yet of any nest.
Twenty sand martins were hawking over the saltmarsh, a female reed bunting, reed warbler, five linnets were in the area and two great crested grebes offshore. A brown argus butterfly and a couple of small heaths were flying over grasslands next to the country park.

At Maydays farm Steve Entwistle on Tuesday evening reported 21 grey plover, a curlew, five Mediterranean gulls, four marsh harriers -two on Langenhoe and two on Reeveshall, also one kestrel Maydays and another Langenhoe, 16 stock doves, two common terns, cuckoo, six reed warblers and four reed buntings.
Earlier in Cross Lane Steve saw three juvenile long-tailed tits, blackcap carrying food and a chiffchaff.

The swift family inside the nestbox on Andy Field's house in High Street North, had laid a second egg on the morning of Monday 7th.

Martin Cock walking the East Mersea seawall between the Golfhouse and the Oyster Fishery saw two black-tailed godwits, brent goose, nine avocets with one chick, yellow wagtail, sedge warbler, common tern, marsh harrier and also a brown argus butterfly.

At Feldy View on Monday morning Steve Entwistle saw a painted lady, four holly blues, three small heaths, cuckoo, heron and a whitethroat.

Monday, 7 June 2021


A muntjac deer was seen crossing a farm path at Maydays on Sunday 6th, only stopping briefly before it disappeared into a neighbouring copse.

A hobby circled slowly over the fields near the Maydays farm-yard mid morning while later a little owl which had been perching beside a track, flew towards the farm buildings. The resident pair of marsh harriers was seen flying over Reeveshall as well as another male and female birds over Reeveshall and the Maydays fields, as were two buzzards.

Small birds noted during the visit to Maydays included a gadwall in flight, red-legged partridge, two singing sedge warblers, six reed warblers, five whitethroats, corn bunting, three yellowhammers, Cetti's warbler in Haycocks Lane. Three common terns were seen in the Pyefleet and three redshank over the saltmarsh.

It was nice to see two brimstone butterflies enjoying some nectaring at some bramble flowers.

An orange-tip butterfly was seen in the same spot at Maydays as the brimstones.

A cream-spot tiger moth fluttered amongst the long grass of the seawall at Maydays, showing off its tiger-patterned hindwings when disturbed.

Along the Strood seawall on Sunday Andy Field reported five buzzards including one trying to rob a sparrowhawk of its lunch, three kestrels, six reed warblers, two whitethroats, yellow wagtail as well as a variety of butterflies such as holly blues, orange-tips, small heath, small white, red admiral, painted lady as well as a few blue-tailed damselflies.

Butterflies seen at Cudmore Grove on Sunday by Steve Entwistle included a red admiral, large white, three speckled woods, eight small heaths on one path with lots elsewhere, also a hairy dragonfly and lots of azure damselflies.
An evening visit by Steve to Maydays farm produced two cuckoos flying around, a little owl on the farm buildings, also a yellow wagtail and a yellowhammer.

Several brown hares were seen on the north side of the Island on Saturday with this one at Bower Hall one of four noted there.

Three seals seen basking on the mud in the Pyefleet channel on Saturday were a grey seal with two common seals, the latter pictured right with the orange-oxide coloured coat. The grey seal was still present in the Pyefleet on Sunday although it was having to dodge the speed boats.

Four painted ladies were noted beside the seawall on the north side, this one at Bower Hall, also a small copper and two hairy dragonflies at Maydays.
Birds noted at Bower Hall on Saturday were  two singing meadow pipits on the saltmarsh, yellowhammer, yellow wagtail, five singing whitethroats, cuckoo two buzzards, pair of Mediterranean gulls, eight redshank and a pair of greylag geese.
At Maydays a male cuckoo was calling repeatedly in flight when he was joined by two females making their bubbling calls back to him. Eight house martins, a kestrel, Cetti's warbler, two yellow wagtails, yellowhammer, four reed warblers and six reed buntings were noted from the Maydays seawall on Saturday.

Lots of bubbly clouds over Reeveshall on Saturday where this pool held an avocet and an anxious lapwing worried an oystercatcher was getting too close to her young lapwing chick.

A pair of shoveler was also at the pool with this moulting male swimming across, while a pair of gadwall and a shelduck pair were also present. A pair of marsh harriers and a corn bunting were seen at Reeveshall, a male pochard was near the Oyster Fishery and a hobby flew over Langenhoe.

On the East Mersea saltmarsh by the Golfhouse on Saturday were nine avocets, two redshank, four shelduck, two Canada geese,  with three common terns in the Colne. Also a sedge warbler, reed warbler and a pair of tufted ducks along the dyke

The pair of swifts nesting in the box on the side of Andy Field's house in High Street North laid their first egg on Saturday morning.

Michael Thorley photographed these sand martins at Cudmore Grove on Friday 4th, some seen by the cliff and others over the dyke where six greylag geese and two Canada geese also present.

A speckled wood pictured at rest by Michael on Friday along a Cudmore Grove path.

The thrift was adding a splash of pink to the saltmarsh at St Peters on Friday.
Five common terns were flying around the Mersea Quarters, a ringed plover flew from St Peters to Cobmarsh, also at least ten oystercatchers seen there, two little egrets on St Peters saltmarsh, two greylag geese flew past, thirty Canada geese flew round Old Hall Point and a buzzard was mobbed by gulls and oystercatchers when it landed on a post on the saltmarsh near Salcott Creek.

A pair of red-legged partridge was seen near the Bower Hall farm drive on Friday afternoon by Steve Entwistle.

On Thursday 3rd at the country park a willow warbler by the hide and the nightingale by the pond were heard singing by Andy Field. Also at the park were a pair of pochard on the dyke, six lapwings with one chick, nine avocets on the saltmarsh with two chicks, two dunlin, ten ringed plovers, redshank, fifty oystercatchers, and two common terns.
In the evening a barn owl was seen hunting the fields behind the park pond by Steve Entwistle, also the Cetti's warbler showed at the park pond with a second bird heard singing.

At Maydays early Thursday evening Steve reported a little owl, pair of marsh harriers, buzzard, yellowhammer pair, reed warbler pair, two cuckoos, yellow wagtail, pied wagtail and corn bunting.

At Feldy View on Thursday morning two hobbies flew over the nearby caravan site heading south-west, later a hobby flew low over the Strood fields and then headed towards the Hard. A male marsh harrier was hunting over the fields, two buzzards were seen, as well as cuckoo, singing corn bunting and four singing reed buntings. At the Glebe 45+ swifts and 24 house martins were flying over the houses.

On Wednesday 2nd at Cudmore Grove, eight greylag geese and two Canada geese were seen in the grazing fields, along with two lapwing chicks. Eight avocets and three chicks were at the Golfhouse pools, four redshank, ten sanderling, five dunlin, 15 ringed plovers, turnstone, whimbrel and fifty oystercatchers were seen on the mudflats.
Also noted were a sparrowhawk, pair of kestrels on the tree, two common terns, two pochard, Mediterranean gull, pair of yellow wagtails, 18 singing whitethroats, eight blackcaps, five reed warblers, four reed buntings and three Cetti's warblers.

A red squirrel was watched beside the path at Cudmore Grove feeding on the oak apple galls in the oak tree on Wednesday.

At Maydays farm on Wednesday morning Martin Cock reported two more sedge warblers making a total this spring of eight territories there, four marsh harriers with one taking food into Broad Fleet, twenty grey plover, three cuckoos, Cetti's warbler, corn bunting, eight yellow wagtails and plenty of reed warblers.

A barn owl was heard calling as it passed over the Firs Chase garden at 1am on Wednesday morning as I checked the moth trap.