Thursday, 15 June 2017


One or two common blues have been seen at the park in recent days, this one on birds foot trefoil on Sunday 11th. Conditions have been getting better and warmer for the butterflies recently.

The tall cotoneaster bushes have been buzzing with activity mainly honey-bees but there have been plenty of butterflies too with a couple of painted ladies present on Friday 9th - one pictured above.

There have been good numbers of small tortoiseshells on the cotoneaster flowers with up to 20 noted on Tuesday 13th. Also attracted to the cotoneaster in the car park has been 1 comma, 6 red admiral, 4 meadow brown and a holly blue.
Elsewhere on the park speckled wood, small skipper, large white and small heath have also been on the wing.

Two female black-tailed skimmers were on the wing at the park on Sunday 11th with this one at the Point while another one flew feebly into the long grass on its first flight away from the water.

At the Point the pair of avocets continued to look after their two chicks out on the mudflats, while ten other adults were on the nearby saltmarsh lagoons. At least two common terns were still sitting on the island, maybe the third bird too and also four black-headed gulls nesting. The ringed plover is now sitting on four eggs on the beach at the Point.

The sedge warbler was still singing at the Point on Sunday 11th, five reed warblers singing along the dyke, while three house martins flew over the park.

Six mallard ducklings followed closely behind their mother along the park dyke on Monday 12th.
Also that day a little grebe nest was found hidden amongst the reeds in the dyke, a reed warbler singing by the park pond, a Cetti's warbler singing at the back of the fields and a reed bunting along the central ditch. A pair of Mediterranean gulls landed on the mudflats calling to each other and six swifts crossed the Colne westwards to East Mersea.

Two turtle doves have recently returned after an absence of a fortnight back to the garden feeder on the edge of Willoughby car park. A pair was seen on Monday 12th in the early evening by Steve Entwistle who also found them again the next evening Tuesday 13th in the same place before they flew fast north-east over the car park.

A sparrowhawk flew over the car park on Tuesday 13th

These broken egg-shells of a moorhen were found in the park fields alongside several bits of crab half-eaten by some local crows.

A very grumpy young blackbird newly out of the nest awaiting to be fed by its parents in the Firs Chase garden in West Mersea.

Twenty swifts were flying over the West Mersea houses in the evening of Saturday 10th.

Two elephant hawkmoths brightened up the moth trap at 4.30am at the park, some of the 300 moths of 44 species noted during the night of Tuesday 13th.

A handful of the brightly marked barred yellow moths were found in the trap at the park on the night of Friday 9th.

A couple of L-album wainscot moths were also noted.

An adder was seen near the car park on Friday 9th.
A grey squirrel was found marooned on a pontoon mooring in Ray Channel on Sunday 11th. I gather an attempt was made to try and rescue the individual and point it back to the mainland.

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