Friday 10 May 2024


There was a fine display of Green-winged Orchids in the private garden on the Victoria Esplanade on Friday 10th. 

A count revealed 900 Green-winged Orchids in the garden - the last remnant of a nearby orchid meadow that was lost to development nearly forty years ago. Also in the garden were at least 35 Common spotted Orchids about to flower in two or three weeks time - their spotted leaves on show at the moment.

It was pleasing to find nearly fifty Adder's Tongue Ferns also growing among the orchids - the first time they've been seen on the island for nearly forty years. 

A red kite circled over the Strood fields on Friday 10th, then headed over towards Barrow Hill where it was joined in the air by a second red kite which Rob Lee had watched earlier landing in a tree. An hour later a third red kite was seen flying south-west over the Strood fields.
A male marsh harrier was displaying high over the fields while a pair of marsh harriers was flying below it. The displaying male doing big exaggerated wing-beats while stooping then climbing during which it was repeatedly calling out. Four buzzards and three kestrels were also noted.

In the fields were two greylag geese, two shoveler, two gadwall, two lapwing and a greenshank. A corn bunting was singing, two cuckoos were heard calling, while along the dyke were four sedge warblers, four reed warblers, whitethroat, six linnets and three reed buntings.

Along the Strood channel on Friday were ten shelduck, five whimbrel, two ringed plovers, two common terns, with 12 brent geese and three turnstone seen from the Hard. 

Andy Field reported seeing the first swift back in his swift nestbox on his High Street North house on Friday morning - a day earlier than last year. Six swifts were seen over his garden in the morning.

A Hairy Dragonfly was resting on a bush in Feldy View on Friday.

A neatly patterned Wasp Beetle was seen in Feldy View on Friday.

Michael Thorley photographed this male Broad-bodied Chaser in his East Mersea garden on Friday.

The aurora was witnessed by a lucky few late on Friday night, with this picture taken by Caroline White at Dawes Lane.

Andy Field took this picture of the aurora from High Street North.

Andy Field walked the Strood seawall on Thursday 9th and photographed this reed warbler there. Also noted were two gadwall, greenshank, two avocets, four sedge warblers, ten reed warblers, two whitethroats, lesser whitethroat, sparrowhawk, two buzzards and two marsh harriers.
Steve Entwistle also visited the Strood and noted a pair of pochard in the dyke, two common terns along the channel and two cuckoos calling.

A swallow perched on the Dabchicks aerial on Thursday 9th, another three also noted, as were five common terns in the moorings and 25 brent geese near Cobmarsh Island.

A Cetti's warbler sang outside Rob Lee's house on Barrow Hill throughout the night of Wednesday into Thursday morning. Two cuckoos flew over there on Thursday morning.

A clump of flowering thrift growing on the Strood seawall.

At East Mersea Point five pairs of ringed plovers and a yellow wagtail were seen by Lea Merclova on Thursday.

Martin Cock reported at Maydays farm on Thursday the pair of stonechat, cuckoo, yellowhammer and one dunlin.

A little egret perched on a tree beside the East Mersea boating lake on Wednesday 8th - two others also seen in the area.

An avocet rested on an island on the side lake at Rewsalls Marsh on Wednesday. Six shelduck, two Cetti's warblers, reed warbler, two whitethroats and two linnets were in the area.
At Waldegraves caravan park a female pochard was on the fishing lake, also reed warbler and two whitethroats singing. Six house martins were flying over a pond near Cross Lane.

Three female broad-bodied chasers were seen close to a pond by Cross Lane on Wednesday.
Also speckled wood, orange-tip and holly blue butterflies. A muntjac deer was seen in Cross Lane.

Andy Field photographed this Large Red Damselfly in his greenhouse in West Mersea on Wednesday.

Large Red Damselfly by Andy.

Two coot chicks were being fed by their parents on the Cudmore Grove pond on Wednesday evening.

A noisy flock of thirty whimbrel flew high eastbound over the Firs Chase garden on Wednesday afternoon. The same flock was also heard by Rob Lee as they passed over his place on Barrow Hill.

Along the Strood seawall a yellow wagtail was seen on the decoy pond by Steve Entwistle on Wednesday morning.

A Poplar Hawkmoth was seen in the garden moth trap in Firs Chase on Tuesday 7th.

A Dark Spectacle moth also in the garden moth trap on Tuesday 7th.

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