Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club

Ennomos alniaria
find out more... Ennomos alniaria Copyright: Graham Ekins

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 at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
Autumn recording Record Grey Squirrel Record Fly Agaric
Record Ivy Bee
Record Wild Teasel
Record Sloe, Blackthorn
Record Garden Spider Record Nigma walckenaeri spider

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

Thu 20th February 2014 12:01 by Graham Smith
Spring is springing
Red Admiral 4 Copyright: Graham Smith

February 19th. A grey morning when I set out to walk to Mill Green Common but a sunny one by the time I arrived half an hour later.  Had intended to collect some bryophytes but decided to sit in the sun for ten minutes before starting. Two hours later............... Is there anything more luxurious in life than the first gentle warmth of spring and blessed be to early retirement that I now have the time to wallow in it. The sunshine raised hopes that the first butterfly or two of spring might emerge and these were soon rewarded with a Peacock, sunning itself on a pile of Purple Moor Grass tussocks near where Rob and I had been working. Less expected were two Red Admirals, including this one, which flushed from the bracken and began nectaring at nearby Galanthus flowers. The wing tips were a little faded but otherwise both butterflies were in good condition. There have been some strong southerly winds during recent bouts of stormy weather but the chances are that these two had overwintered. Last year - which was admittedly a very poor one for this species – I did not see my first Red Admiral until August (and only two more thereafter) so to see a couple in mid-February was a delight.

Prunus cerasifera Copyright: Graham Smith

Of course, the spring can still go belly up but it’s a promising start. These Cherry Plum were photographed in Margaretting Churchyard : last year the first blooms did not appear until late March while the Blackthorn did not peak until the first week of May. Three months of wet has got to be better than the three months of unrelenting north-easterlies which we experienced last winter, but then I don’t live on the banks of a river.

Primula vulgaris Copyright: Graham Smith

Primroses and Lesser Celandine are also in flower locally and Rob has seen Coltsfoot on the banks of the M25.

Lesser Celandine Copyright: Graham Smith

The warmth today also brought forth my first Bumblebee of the spring, the White-tailed Bombus lucorum. Managed to catch one of them as it was suffering from a winter long hangover but it flew off very strongly when released. Sadly, according to the Breakfast News two diseases found in Honey Bees – Deformed Wing Virus and Nosema ceranae – the latter a tiny parasite that was first identified in Asiatic Honey Bees - have now been found in bumblebees as well.  Another unwanted import! Stress I reckon; that’s a major player in the recent bee decline. Believe me, you’d be stressed by mid-summer if you were a bee living in this area and your life depended on finding enough pollen and nectar to feed your offspring. Garden and roadside verges would be your best hope; there is precious little else in the wider countryside. Thank goodness for brownfield sites.



Aug 2019
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