Sunday, 31 July 2022


Andy Field had another visit to his garden by a regular fox in High St North. Looks like Andy's been late putting the food out for it and its waiting patiently!

A male scarce emerald damselfly was spotted resting in the long grass beside the Bower Hall seawall on Sunday 31st. This is believed to be the first sighting on the island for this species. It has been present on the nearby Langenhoe marshes for nearly forty years, so it's surprising it hasn't been seen on Mersea before now.

A wasp spider was hanging on its web in the grass beside the Bower Hall seawall and nearly had the scarce emerald damselfly get itself tangled up in it when it fluttered close-by. The loud chirping sound of a presumed house cricket was heard along the Reeveshall seawall but not seen, also a painted lady was seen on the Strood seawall. 

Three great crested grebes were at the top end of the Pyefleet, as were two common seals and a grey seal resting on the saltmarsh at high tide, while five common terns and four teal were seen off Reeveshall.
A hobby flew low over Reeveshall and a pair of marsh harriers flew over the Bower Hall saltmarsh on Sunday afternoon. Two juvenile sparrowhawks were calling from Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane.
A sand martin and 30 swallows passed over Reeveshall while ten swifts were over Bower Hall, also 20 linnets near the Bower Hall seawall.

A common tern rested on a pole in the Strood channel on Sunday afternoon.
A hobby flew up the Strood Hill and over to the houses. During the afternoon high tide 15 little egrets were seen along the Strood saltmarsh and another 18 on the Bower Hall saltmarsh.

On Saturday 30th four greenshank were seen in the Pyefleet channel at Maydays - one pictured above. Also two common sandpipers were in Maydays creek, while other waders noted on the walk were a whimbrel, 30 curlew, 100 redshank and eight lapwing. A male marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, 12 little egrets and four common terns were noted while smaller birds included a reed warbler, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, chiffchaff and eight linnets. A brown argus and a couple of common blue butterflies were seen.

Steve Entwistle also visited Maydays late Saturday morning and noted two whimbrel, buzzard, marsh harrier, 12 long-tailed tits, three skylarks, two linnets, as well as a few gatekeepers and a small copper.

A curlew was feeding near the Strood seawall on Friday 29th, also along the channel were nine other curlew, three golden plover, four grey plover, 100 black-tailed godwits, 100 redshank, two Mediterranean gulls, two common terns, two grey herons, two little grebes, five little egrets and five shelduck.
Other birds of note included a stonechat feeding along the central ditchline, four yellow wagtails along the seawall, two reed warblers, Cetti's warbler, ten linnets, forty swifts over the houses and a marsh harrier over Ray Island. 
A painted lady was seen along the seawall, while in Feldy View a common blue and brown argus were of note.

Forty black-tailed godwits were in the Strood channel on Thursday 28th, also a whimbrel, 30 curlew and two little grebes, while inside the seawall were five yellow wagtails, whitethroat and a Cetti's warbler calling.

At Cudmore Grove Country Park two barn owls were seen on their nest-box behind the park pond on Thursday morning by Angela Buckley.
A barn owl was also seen in the very early hours of Thursday morning, seen in the car headlights at 01.30am perched on a roadside sign at the bottom of the Strood Hill.

There were at least a hundred redshank along the Strood channel on Thursday.

On the old Rewsalls marshes beside Coopers Beach on Wednesday 26th, there were 15 golden plover, a black-tailed godwit, 20 redshank, eight Mediterranean gulls, two common gulls and five common terns. A Cetti's warbler called beside the football pitch also three whitethroats and a buzzard by the church. A common blue and brown argus butterfly were also seen.

Anne Cock watched a barn owl chick being fed by a parent bird at Cudmore Grove at the box by the pond early on Wednesday morning.

At West Mersea the third and final swift chick fledged from Andy Field's nestbox in High St North on Wednesday morning.

Moths of note trapped in the Firs Chase garden in recent days included this oak processionary, also the first gypsy moth of the season.

Dog's Tooth

Lunar Yellow Underwing

Rosy Rustic

Adrian Amos sent me this photo of lots of black ants crawling along the twigs of his oak tree in East Road - although there was no sign of the aphids that the ants normally visit to gather honeydew off them.

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