Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club Essex Field Club video

Oligia fasciuncula
find out more... Oligia fasciuncula  Middle-barred Minor 1 Copyright: Graham Ekins

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


Essex Field Club

When you shop at Amazon DonatesAmazon Donates

Visit Our Centre

EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise 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 normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

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

Sun 15th January 2012 17:43 by Graham Smith
January 8th to 14th
Balmy winter weather prevailed for most of the week, turning to sunshine, followed by overnight frosts on Friday and Saturday. Like Mary, I found both Wood Blewits Lepista nuda (Stow Maries Halt EWT Reserve) and Field Blewits L. saeva (Althorne) during the week (the former still in edible condition) while other species defying the season have been Russula silvestris, also at Stow Maries, and Petticoat Mottlegill Panaeolus papillonaceus on cow dung at Blue House. The former, which grows under oaks, was once considered to be con-specific with The Sickener R.emetica, which occurs with conifers, but has since been split. The taste is similar though - fit to skin your tongue! 

The garden moth trap produced a Chestnut on 8th while other members of the Essex Moth Group have reported both Red Admiral and Peacock on the wing and Angleshades, Dark Chestnut, Satellite, Hebrew Character and Silver Y in their traps, the last named surely a survivor from last autumn's migration. Another likely lingerer from last year was a Common Wasp at Stow Maries, not a queen but an ordinary working-class individual! We also disturbed this hibernating Hawthorn Shieldbug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidae while clearing scrub on the reserve. An Irish Yellow Slug also took refuge in my moth trap one night, a species first identified for me last year by EFC recorder, Simon Taylor. It actually hails from the Baltic states but was first recorded from these isles in Eire, hence it's name.

Acanthosoma haemorrhoidae Copyright: Graham Smith

Recorded 25 species of wild flower in bloom during the first week of the year compared with only three during the same period last year, not surprising considering the bitter weather in December 2010. Among them have been most of the regular garden weeds including Hairy Bittercress and Petty Spurge plus more unlikely candidates such as Musk Storksbill (naturalised at a couple of sites in Ingatestone), Wild Carrot, Fennel, Red Campion and Shining Cranesbill. Hazel catkins have also been shaking their pollen on to the breeze for the first time this winter. The highlight for me - although not found in bloom - was my first parish record of Milk Thistle, a rare event now that the number of vascular plants recorded from the area is well over 600. It's probably about time I wrote a Parish Flora for the EN, assuming that is they would publish it!

Birds seen this week included up to 200 Redwings feasting on the last of a bumper crop of holly berries at The Backwarden EWT Reserve and single pairs of Treecreeper in three of the woods at Writtle Park, a species which I need to see in order to record nowadays as I can no longer hear their thin, high pitched calls! There have also been a good number of raptors on display at Blue House including up to 6 Buzzards soaring over the Woodham-Burnham ridge, 2-3 Marsh harriers, a female Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Merlin while a pair of courting Peregrines have been upsetting all and sundry, the tiercel demonstrating his prowess by making spectacular, 100mph stoops at prey both real and imaginary!



May 2020
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