Thursday, 19 May 2022



A male marsh harrier was seen hunting along the Strood seawall on Thursday 19th.

The marsh harrier appeared to fly in from the south-west direction, then spent a few minutes hunting over the grass field and nearby dyke, before heading off to Ray Island. Earlier a buzzard flew over the fields being mobbed by crows as it passed and a sparrowhawk circled high over the town.

Three cuckoos were noted on Ray Island and another two birds together by the Firs caravan park. Thirty six swifts were flying over the houses and the Strood fields, two yellow wagtails, a singing corn bunting, three sedge warblers, three reed warblers and three reed buntings were also singing along the dyke. 
Along the Strood channel were two avocets, eight curlew, whimbrel, five ringed plovers, four little egrets, three Mediterranean gulls, four common terns, while 30 brent geese were still in the Mersea Quarters. 
A cuckoo was calling in Firs Chase on Thursday afternoon, a red squirrel scuttled through the bushes along the top of the Firs Caravan park.

At East Mersea eight little terns were seen off the Point on Thursday afternoon by Martin Cock, also two Sandwich terns seen flying into the Colne.

On Wednesday 18th Steve Entwistle visited Cudmore Grove and saw a painted lady butterfly, ten azure damselflies, pair of sparrowhawks displaying over the park pond, cuckoo, Cetti's warbler and two blackcaps singing from the hide.

A cuckoo was singing in Martin Cock's garden in The Coverts on Wednesday - the first occurrence for the garden. A cuckoo was also singing as it passed over Firs Chase on Wednesday, where two green hairstreaks, four holly blues, red admiral and an orange-tip were seen in the garden.

A garden warbler spent most of Tuesday 17th being elusive but singing high up in birch trees in Feldy View. It didn't move around much but remained obscured by the foliage. The wind picked up in the afternoon which made it even harder to find. There was no sign of it the next day as expected. 

A pair of yellow wagtails perched in a bush beside the Strood seawall on Tuesday.

Another yellow wagtail was feeding on algae covered mud near the Dabchicks on Tuesday.

A male gadwall is already moulting out of its breeding plumage, seen on the Strood dyke on Tuesday. Other birds noted from the Strood seawall were a pochard, two sedge warblers, four reed warblers, two whitethroats, cuckoo, buzzard, three whimbrel, two common terns and 38 swifts over the houses. Fifteen brent geese were still in the Mersea Quarters and ten turnstone on a boat at high tide.

At East Mersea on Tuesday Steve Entwistle on the seawall near the Point, saw four distant little terns off Colne Point, also closer were three Canada geese, two avocets, greylag goose and a pair of pochard in the dyke. Two cuckoos, great spotted woodpecker and a mistle thrush were seen near the Golfhouse.

Michael Thorley reported seeing in his East Mersea garden broad-bodied chaser egg-laying, speckled wood, holly blue, red admirals and orange-tip butterflies.

An avocet was feeding along the Strood channel with two others on Monday 16th, also six whimbrel, dunlin, redshank, two common terns and two Mediterranean gulls. Two Canada geese flew north-east, gadwall, grey heron, two cuckoos, three reed warblers, three yellow wagtails were also noted while 32 swifts were over the houses.

Four sedge warblers were singing along the Strood borrowdyke, some perched in the open whilst singing.

A pair of yellow wagtails graced Michael Thorley's East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane on Monday.

The yellow wagtails were photographed by Michael, also a red admiral butterfly seen in the garden.

Also in East Mersea on Monday, the nightingale was seen and heard singing by Steve Entwistle in Shop Lane. Others of note included four blackcaps, two chiffchaffs, six swallows, four holly blues, brimstone, orange-tips and a red admiral.

An oystercatcher was seen sitting on a presumed nest in a field below Bower Hall farm on Sunday 15th. Along the Bower Hall seawall were also six whimbrel, four redshank, two shoveler, four yellowhammer, two yellow wagtail and a red-legged partridge.

On Sunday along the Strood seawall a red-legged partridge was near the Strood Hill, 26 swifts over the houses, also ten whimbrel, five ringed plover, cuckoo, four pochard, mute swan pair, lesser whitethroat and two sedge warblers singing.

A brown hare was crouched down with another brown hare near to it, in a field at Maydays farm on Sunday 15th. At Maydays a common sandpiper, two great crested grebes, four redshank, yellow wagtail and five house martins were seen. Along the Reeveshall seawall five marsh harriers, three buzzards and a hobby were noted, also a brent goose, Canada goose, two shoveler, seven little egrets, whimbrel, three lapwing, pair of corn buntings, cuckoo and two common terns.  Four pochard and a Cetti's warbler were near the Oyster Fishery.

A muntjac deer was trying to be discreet as it munched away while tucked into a hedge in the Golfhouse horse paddock on Sunday 15th. A Cetti's warbler and three whitethroats were heard singing towards Ivy Dock.

An eyed hawkmoth was photographed by Michael Thorley after it emerged from its chrysalis in his East Mersea garden near Meeting Lane on Sunday.

A few more moths are gracing the garden moth trap in Firs Chase such as this Silver Y moth on Monday 16th.

A couple of white ermines were noted on 18th.

Broken-barred carpet.

Shears moth.

The Scarce Forest Tubic has been been increasing in recent years.

A second cockchafer was seen in the trap on 18th.

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