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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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In response to the coronavirus problem and the Government's recommendations, the EFC Green Centre public activities will be closed until further notice.

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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

Sat 28th April 2012 10:11 by Mary Smith
Friday 27 April finds
Out in the wilds of open countryside between Wennington and Rainham I had next to no rain, only a few spits and spots at times, but my husband went up to London and got drenched!  We always knew that South Essex gets less rain than anywhere else, and yesterday confirmed that.  I was in clouds of St Mark's Flies for much of the day. I don''t much like them as they get in my hair and fly too close for comfort.  They are easy to identify as they are quite large flies, all black and rather hairy, and their long black legs hang down while they are flying, but folk who know tell me they are harmless. 25th April is St Mark's Day, so these flies were good at following their own rules. There were huge swarms of them. In the same area I heard a cuckoo! Only one bird, who called twice within about 5 minutes.  No trees close by, so where he was I have little idea, but presumably within about 500m radius of me. I was especially glad to hear this harbinger of spring, as we are being told that they are nearly extinct in UK due to global warming. It seems that British small birds, the ones that usually host cuckoos' eggs, are nesting and with young a little earlier every year, and the cuckoo arrives at his regular time but is too late, as nestlings fill the nests instead of eggs. But at least we should be getting an increase in the small birds that previously had been heavily parasitised by cuckoos.


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