Sunday 19 May 2024


Two male reed buntings were heard singing during a walk along the Strood seawall on Sunday 19th. Also heard were three reed warblers and a sedge warbler. In the fields were a pair of Egyptian geese, two shoveler, two lapwings, red-legged partridge, cuckoo, yellow wagtail and a flock of 25 linnets in the weedy field. Two marsh harriers and two buzzards were noted, a Cetti's warbler and a lesser whitethroat were heard by the Strood layby while 15 swifts were over the houses. Four avocets were seen feeding along the Strood channel.

At Cudmore Grove Daniel Woollard reported on Sunday seeing lots of warblers around feeding chicks, also cuckoo singing and a few common terns fishing. The nightingale sang briefly at the park.

Andy Field walked between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane on Sunday and reported the usual warblers especially blackcaps, also three red-legged partridges, sparrowhawk and a grey squirrel near Gyants Marsh and another in Shop Lane.

A sedge warbler sang along the dyke at Maydays farm on Saturday 18th, as did three reed warblers, four whitethroats, lesser whitethroat, a corn bunting singing and three Cetti's warblers. The male stonechat was still present along the dyke.
The nightingale was still singing in bushes by the track from the seawall to the farmyard and a house martin flew over the farmhouse.

Two lapwing, cuckoo, redshank, two marsh harriers were over Reeveshall and Maydays, five buzzards also noted with 8 shelduck and a common tern in the Pyefleet. On Langenhoe, two cuckoos were calling, lesser whitethroat and Cetti's warbler were also heard, as was the loud Marsh frog chorus.

Three cuckoos were seen by Andy Field flying over his West Mersea house as they flew towards the Strood Channel on Saturday afternoon.

A ringed plover nest with three eggs on the Cudmore Grove beach was roped off by Lea Merclova of the Bird Aware Essex Coast team. This is the second nest of ringed plovers that has been roped off along the beach, so hopefully the chicks will successfully hatch out in the coming weeks.

A barn owl was seen flying over Cudmore Grove on Saturday evening by Daniel Woollard, also four painted ladies seen.

A pair of Egyptian geese was seen briefly on a pool in the weedy field by the Strood on Friday 17th. Also noted during the walk along the Strood seawall were a marsh harrier, four buzzards, pair of shoveler, cuckoo, five avocets, lapwing, whimbrel, 2 common terns, Mediterranean gull, two sedge warblers, three reed warblers, whitethroat, as well as the nightingale, cuckoo, blackcap and whitethroat all heard singing on Ray Island. Five brent geese were near Cobmarsh Island.

Martin Cock walked between Shop Lane and Meeting Lane on Friday morning and reported ten blackcaps, two chiffchaffs, four whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, four Cetti's warblers, cuckoo, buzzard and the first sighting this spring of a brown argus butterfly

In recent days there's been a colourful carpet of thrift growing on the saltmarsh in front of the Firs Caravan park.

On Thursday 16th there was the rare sighting of two little terns seen fishing in the Ray Channel and latterly the Strood channel. Despite the drizzly conditions the birds stayed around for most of the morning fishing as well as resting on the mud bank on the far side. After the tide came in the birds weren't seen again, and that might be the only sighting at this end of the island this year.

Also seen during a brief visit to the Strood seawall on Thursday were cuckoo, two common terns, avocet, little egret, sedge warbler, reed warbler, whitethroat and two linnets with a song thrush by the caravan park.

Steve Entwistle also noted in the area eight shelduck, four swallows and at St Peters a song thrush, then later in the evening seven swifts near Upland Road.
The ring-necked parakeet was still being reported by Jack Hoy visiting his garden feeder in recent days.

At Cudmore Grove on Thursday Caroline White walked the circuit and noted near the Golfhouse blackcap, three swallows, three linnets and a distant calling cuckoo. From the seawall six reed warblers, seven reed buntings, cormorant fishing in the dyke, while on the grazing fields were pair of lapwing, pair shelduck, pair of greylag geese, five skylarks, also pair of ringed plovers on the beach. In the park were three whitethroats, song thrush, lesser whitethroat, two chiffchaff, two blackcaps and a pair of mute swans on the pond.

Caroline found lots of Rustic Sailors around the country park.

Caterpillars of Spindle Ermine moths photographed by Caroline at the park.

A Barred Red moth was nice to see in the Firs Chase garden moth trap on the 16th - only the second Island record since the first one in 2013 at the park.

Waved Umber

Treble Lines
A Black Sexton Beetle was a visitor to the garden moth trap.

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