Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club

Eupithecia absinthiata
find out more... larva feeding on Michaelmas Daisy petals Copyright: Robert Smith

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
HLF Logo A-Z Page Index

Visit Our Centre

EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are normally open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays 11am-4pm, check. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
Spring recording Record your Robin Record Common Frog Rana temporaria
Record Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum Record Tawny Mining Bee Andrena fulva
Record Dark-edged Bee Fly Bombylius major
Record Spring Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes
Record cuckoo bee Melecta albifrons

Your Forum

This forum has now been more or less replaced by the Club's Facebook page at
Essex Field Club on Facebook




The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more


Fri 30th July 2010 14:23 by Graham Smith
The Breeding Season at Blue House
Blue House Farm EWT Reserve, North Fambridge : The breeding waders enjoyed their fourth successful season on the trot. The number of Lapwing pairs on The Flood increased from 12 in 2009 to 20 this year and Redshank from 10-12 to 15+. Single pairs of Snipe and Little Ringed Plover also summered. Avocets were also on course to increase but several of the early nests failed to hatch. Three of these were in front of the New Hide and my notes indicate that the clutches were brooded for over five weeks (long past their normal incubation) before the adults began to lose interest and the nests were subsequently robbed by Coots (see my entry in May). There may also have been some losses to other predators but there was no evidence during the summer of any widespread predation by foxes, the usual culprits. I suspect that the myriad young rabbits along the railway embankment are a counter attraction to most predators. In the end, the five pairs of Avocet that did hatch young all succeeded in rearing at least some of them, ten youngsters fledging. The poor hatching success may have been due to the cold night-time temperatures in spring as Avocets are emotionally incontinent and more than once I saw a brooding bird leave its nest on a cold day to chase off birds as inocuous as a Pied Wagtail!

As for the Lapwing, the 20 pairs on The Flood reared around 35-40, an excellent return for a ground nesting bird such as this. Elsewhere, 6 pairs on The Fleets reared 8 young; Kestrels (which bred on the reserve this year) probably taking at least some of the chicks, while the 6 pairs on the Flat Fields failed completely; their first clutches probably being lost to cattle trampling and their second due to the extreme dryness of the fields later in the season. Many Redshank young were seen and this species definitely benefits from its close association with Lapwings and Avocets, which offer a far more effective defensive shield than they can provide on their own. An example of this occurred when a male Kestrel was foolish enough to venture on to The Flood and found itself on the losing end of a dogfight with ten Lapwings and five Avocets!

Among the wildfowl, a total of 24 broods of Mallard were seen along with 5 Shelduck, 3 Shoveler and single Wigeon, Pochard and Mute Swan. Around 40 pairs of Coot and 15 Dabchicks also nested. A pair of Water Rails with two fledged young was a bonus. Again, predation was very low; a brood of 13 Mallard ducklings in early May remaining intact (and nearly fledged) four weeks later and a similar number in early July losing only one of their number before fledging. Similarly, the Shovelers reared 9, 6 and 6 young respectively.

Wetland passerines included 80 pairs of Reed Warbler, 28 Sedge Warbler, 38 Reed Bunting and 5 Yellow Wagtail (up from one the previous year). On the downside, we lost our few remaining pairs of Corn Bunting and the two pairs of Turtle Dove that usually nest on the railway embankment failed to return this year. Both are red listed species in sharp decline. To end on a more cheerful note, a pair of Swallows nested under the eaves of the New Hide and reared four young.

link
 

Archives:

Jan 2019
Sep 2018
Jul 2016
Oct 2015
Jul 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Feb 2015
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Oct 2014
Sep 2014
Aug 2014
Jul 2014
May 2014
Apr 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jan 2014
Dec 2013
Nov 2013
Sep 2013
Aug 2013
Jul 2013
Jun 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Jan 2013
Dec 2012
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Aug 2012
Jul 2012
Jun 2012
May 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2011
Nov 2011
Oct 2011
Sep 2011
Aug 2011
Jul 2011
Jun 2011
May 2011
Apr 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Dec 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Sep 2010
Aug 2010
Jul 2010
Jun 2010
May 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Feb 2010
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Aug 2009
Jul 2009
Jun 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sep 2008
Aug 2008
Jul 2008
Jun 2008
May 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007

current posts