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
Sun 30th December 2007 22:24 by Mary Smith
We saw a kestrel actually catch a small mammal yesterday (29 Dec). The kestrel was hovering over rough grassland just a short way in front of us, and it moved away to a young tree some 10m away as we approached. We thought we had scared it off. But no, it suddenly returned very fast, swooping in flight low to the grassy patch it had been looking at before, and caught a small mammal: mouse, vole, shrew, or similar, we suppose; we could see its tail and an oval sort of shape in outline as it hung below the bird. The kestrel did not stop, it just caught the mammal as it flew by without even slowing down. It circled round and returned to the small tree. We were amazed at the acuity of its eyesight; we would not have stood a chance of seeing something so small in thick, long grass at such a distance. We felt ourselves to be very fortunate to see such a good and close view of this beautiful bird getting its dinner. Mary Smith
Wed 5th December 2007 14:57 by Peter Harvey
Interesting. I would guess it hasn't yet hibernated and is still active - do you know what species?
By the way have you seen the new locate page using google maps and markup here for posts, also site map and related site information stuff (you can click on dots and links to site account etc, if sites have public access).
Wed 5th December 2007 14:25 by Adrian Knowles
A bumblebee has just been spotted flying around the garden at the Essex Wildlife Trust's HQ at Great Wigborough, near Peldon. Has it come out of "hibernation" or just not found somewhere suitable yet?
Tue 4th December 2007 09:30 by Del Smith
The Dragonflies of Essex by Ted Benton & John Dobson. Xii + 228pp. Published by The Essex Field Club in association with Lopinga Books. ISBN 10:0-905637-18-6. Hardback. £20.00 including postage. Book orders and cheques to John Dobson, 158 Main Rd, Danbury, Essex CM3 4DT or contact email@example.com
Nineteen years have passed since Ted Benton produced the first Dragonflies of Essex, as good as it was this volume far surpasses it in scope and production. A hard backed washable and illustrated cover conceals 228 pages with numerous colour photographs and distribution maps. A chapter on biology and conservation is followed by a very useful illustrated guide to many of the best Essex sites for Dragonflies. The main body of the book, the species accounts includes sections on identification, flight period, habits, distribution and conservation. Excellent photographs of each species are included within the accounts as well as an Essex distribution map of each species. Early records are also discussed at the conclusion of each account. Chapter four is devoted to a history of dragonfly recording in Essex, dealing with many notable entomologists from Victorian times until the present day. There are appendices on former Essex species, possible future arrivals and a couple of rare species as well as a plant list. An extensive bibliography is included and the whole is fully indexed. All in all a first class book essential for all Essex field naturalists as well as dragonfly specialists. It is well bound and produced on quality paper, place your order today.