Thursday 6 June 2024


At least two ringed plover chicks were seen at East Mersea Point on Thursday 6th, here a parent with a chick photographed by Andy Field.

The two ringed plover chicks were photographed by Andy running around on the beach at the Point, maybe other chicks were hiding among the grass. This nest site was roped off on the 15th May when it was first discovered on the beach, so the eggs have hatched three weeks later - or thereabouts.

Three Sandwich terns flew out of the Colne past the Point and headed west on Thursday morning - earlier they had been seen in front of the East Mersea Oyster Fishery by Martin Cock.

A family of Canada geese was photographed by Andy on Thursday with a brood of five goslings in the Pyefleet at Reeveshall. Also seen in the Reeveshall area were thirteen other Canada geese, barn owl, three marsh harriers and a corn bunting.

Michael Thorley visited East Mersea Point on Thursday afternoon and saw one ringed plover adult as a couple of carrions crows and black-headed gulls were keeping a close watch on the area. Also four linnets, a reed bunting singing and 49 oystercatchers on an uncovering sandbank.

Along the Strood seawall on Thursday, a large and noisy flock of 39 Canada geese and a greylag goose flew over the Strood causeway and continued down channel towards Salcott Channel and Old Hall. Two common terns hunted along the channel, the nightingale and a cuckoo were heard singing from Ray Island and another cuckoo singing by Feldy View. A buzzard, sparrowhawk, lapwing, pair of mute swans and four reed warblers were also noted during the walk.

Sixty-three common spotted orchids were in flower in the back garden of David Chadwick - who kindly allowed me to visit and admire them.

Most of the common spotted orchids flowers were this pale pink colour. All of the hundreds of green-winged orchids had finished flowering last month.

After much scrutiny a couple of adder's tongue ferns were found with the orchids in David's back garden.

An emperor dragonfly was photographed by Michael Thorley ovipositing in his East Mersea garden pond.

The emperor on a water lily photographed by Michael.

Rob Lee watched a stoat moving her six kitts across the patio of his house on Barrow Hill on Thursday afternoon, each kitt being carried individually in the mouth. Two cuckoos flew over, a female being chased by two males.

A little owl was seen perched on a telegraph post near Bocking Hall on Thursday evening and was photographed by Mark.

As well as seeing this little owl on the top of the pole near Bocking Hall, another one was also seen by Mark in a tree by the entrance to Cudmore Grove on Thursday, then while walking along Bromans Lane saw another one - three in one evening!
The barn owls were active at the park, also the kestrel chicks seen in their nestbox and a corn bunting heard singing in the park's fields on Thursday and also the previous evening too.

On Wednesday 5th a lone brent goose was seen feeding in one of the park's grazing fields, elsewhere a pair of lapwing was calling anxiously as if chicks were present in amongst the long grass. 

A reed warbler was singing from reeds beside the park dyke on Wednesday, three others heard and a sedge warbler as well.

Most unusual sight at Cudmore Grove this spring was seeing a corn bunting singing in the grazing field. I can't recall the last time this happened - if at all in the last forty years! Even when corn buntings were more widespread across the island up until the late 1990's, they never bred in the grazing fields.

Two lesser whitethroats, two whitethroats, Cetti's warbler and reed bunting were noted during the walk of the Cudmore circuit. Four sand martins, ten swallows and twenty swifts flew over, ten linnets, kestrel, six tufted ducks and five little egrets were seen too.

On the Golfhouse saltmarsh pools on Wednesday a pair of black-headed gulls was on its nest on the island while a chick was seen on a another nest nearby. A pair of redshank was calling anxiously and eventually a chick was seen in the saltmarsh, while a common tern was still sitting on her nest on the island. A grey plover roosted at high tide in the saltmarsh, a pair of ringed plovers was seen at the Point with at least one chick and a Sandwich tern flew out of the Colne.

Two young robins were calling continuously in Michael Thorley's garden, waiting to the fed by the parents.

On Tuesday 4th a barn owl was seen hunting over the park's grazing field by Caroline White in the evening. Also two common terns and a greenshank on the Golfhouse pools, the kestrel chicks showing in the box, two tufted ducks on the dyke, chiffchaff, Cetti's warbler, four reed warblers and three reed buntings noted during her evening park walk.

A brief circuit by the Firs Caravan park on Tuesday morning produced 24 swifts, lapwing, pair of mute swans, two reed warblers, whitethroat and a song thrush.

Andy Field walked the Cudmore circuit on Monday 3rd and photographed this ringed plover on the beach at the Point with 13 others on the nearby mud. A black-headed gull young chick was on its nest on the island on the Golfhouse pools, also common tern on its nest too here, while a pair of redshank were calling presumably chicks nearby. A whitethroat was noted, lapwing still on fields, five kestrel chicks in the box, little owl calling near the park pond, while on Langenhoe three marsh harriers were seen.

A couple of young linnets were photographed by Andy at Cudmore Grove on Monday.

A few Red-banded sand wasps Ammophila sabulosa were seen at the Point by Andy on Monday.

The Japanese Rose flowering at present at the Point photographed by Andy.

At Maydays farm on Monday morning Martin Cock reported seeing the osprey sitting on the distant post on the Geedons, also a peregrine seen, buzzard and the stonechat pair with two youngsters.

Michael Thorley visited Cudmore on Monday afternoon and saw the barn owl quartering the park's grazing fields, also three tufted ducks and four reed warblers along the park dyke.

Along the Strood on Monday morning three pochard flew down channel, marsh harrier, two buzzards and a sparrowhawk were seen, a cuckoo was heard calling as was the nightingale singing on Ray Island. Two common terns, three reed warblers, sedge warbler, six linnets and a Cetti's warbler were noted while 20 swifts were seen over the houses.
At Firs Chase a goldcrest was singing in the garden repeatedly while a buzzard circled overhead.

David Bullock photographed this male stag beetle in his East Mersea Road garden near the corner to the Oyster Fishery on Monday. The last one seen on the island was in 2017 while the last apparent record for East Mersea was back in 1963.

An emperor dragonfly was ovipositing in Michael Thorley's East Mersea garden pond on Sunday, also a cinnamon bug seen there too.

One of the two common terns seen flying up and down the Strood Channel on Monday.

Following the sighting last year of a broomrape in my sister in law's garden in Strood Close, I returned on Monday and counted twenty spikes growing in her unmown front lawn.

Also of interest in my sister in law's front lawn was a patch of mouse-eared hawkweed, usually found on sandy and acid soils.

On Sunday 2nd along the Strood seawall, a recently fledged stonechat was seen feeding by itself along the central ditch. The youngster still had the white spots on the back and wings but seemed very independent and sure of itself. The previous day at nearby Maydays a young stonechat was still being fed by the very concerned parents, so the Strood youngster must be from elsewhere.

Also seen from the Strood seawall were a red-legged partridge, six avocets, whimbrel, two common terns, two marsh harriers, four buzzards, two kestrels, cuckoo, two sedge warblers, three reed warblers, two whitethroats, lesser whitethroat, Cetti's warbler by the layby, nightingale singing on Ray Island, 16 swifts over the houses.

Chrissie Westgate had an unexpected visitor to her house behind the Dabchicks on Sunday when a muntjac deer took a wrong turning in her back garden and ran inside her house causing carnage to the living room as it tried to get out. Colin managed to open the front door and it duly escaped!

Among the very few moths noted in the Firs Chase moth trap was this Peppered moth on the 2nd June.

Silver Y moth.

Barred Yellow on the 4th.

Cream-spot Bark Moth Dasycera oliviella.

Dark-bordered Pearl Evergestis limbata.

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