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.

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