Tuesday, 20 July 2021


A garden tiger moth was an unexpected find in the moth trap in the Firs Chase garden at dawn on Monday 19th. Its a species which is no longer common in Essex gardens, so it was a nice surprise to see it in the back garden. Other moths of interest in the trap were two privet hawkmoths, two pine hawkmoths and five elephant hawkmoths, as well as two Clancy's rustics and two plumed fan-foots.

A juvenile swallow perched on wires beside Feldy View on a hot Monday morning. 
Along the Strood seawall were noted three greenshank, 130 redshank, marsh harrier, two yellow wagtails and three singing reed warblers. Later in the afternoon a buzzard and sparrowhawk were circling together over the Firs Caravan park.

Half a dozen male ruddy darters were seen on the Strood seawall path on Monday.

This black-tailed skimmer was photographed at the country park by Chris Conway on Monday.
Steve Entwistle saw also saw a black-tailed skimmer at the park and a clouded yellow butterfly.

A pair of privet hawkmoths was seen mating on the lawn of Steve Entwistle's neighbour in Empress Drive on Monday. A southern migrant hawker was seen in Steve's garden.

A walk along the Maydays seawall on a hot Sunday produced a Sandwich tern fishing in the Pyefleet, two adult shelduck with nine ducklings, greenshank, 40 curlew, 90 redshank, whimbrel, marsh harrier, two buzzards, two singing sedge warblers, two singing corn buntings and a displaying meadow pipit.

On Saturday 17th between Shop Lane and Gyants Marsh there were three buzzards, Cetti's warbler, yellowhammer, green woodpecker, two linnets and two swifts overhead. No sign of any hairstreak butterflies but others seen were comma, peacock, red admiral, small white, small / Essex skipper, small heath, meadow brown, gatekeeper and ringlet.

A probable hobby was seen perched on Ray Island by Jonathan Bustard on Saturday.

A quick visit to the Strood channel on Friday 16th revealed three buzzards, 20 redshank, black-tailed godwit, kestrel, the oystercatcher chick near the old jetty and two singing reed warblers.

Waders noted in the Strood channel on Thursday 15th included a greenshank, three black-tailed godwits, three whimbrel, two avocets, 90 redshank and 70 curlew. Also seen were two sparrowhawks, buzzard, corn bunting, 15 linnets, a little grebe in the dyke and a meadow pipit calling from the saltmarsh.

The two swifts are growing up fast inside the nestbox on Andy Field's house in High St North, pictured on Wednesday 14th.

Andy photographed this teneral male southern migrant hawker dragonfly at the country park on Wednesday.
Birds noted by Andy included a hobby over the horse paddock north of the park, cuckoo in off the sea then over the fields to the Golfhouse, 100's sand martins, number of juvenile swallows, 80 black-tailed godwits, sedge warbler still singing by the park pond and also a very poorly common seal pup on the beach at the Point.

Martin Cock noted on Wednesday 32 avocets and three common terns near the Golfhouse, also a painted lady and a gatekeeper.

At Coopers Beach on Wednesday were ten Mediterranean gulls, common gull and 130 sub-adult herring gulls on the Rewsalls marshes. Also a juvenile common tern fishing, grey heron, ten little egrets, six curlew and a singing reed warbler.

Two Sandwich terns were seen flying over the West Mersea High Street on Wednesday by Ian Black.

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