Essex Field Club on Facebook

Video about the Club Essex Field Club video

Steatoda grossa
find out more... Steatoda grossa Copyright: Peter Harvey

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

Visit Our CentreEFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are open today

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

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

Wed 17th April 2013 17:23 by Graham Smith
What a difference..............
What a difference indeed! Goodbye bitter north-easterly, hello warm southerly. Farewell until next winter (we hope) to those winter woolies, fleeces, overcoats and heavy mud-caked boots that make you feel like a knight in medieval armour. How good it is to walk rather than paddle in the garden once more. Hard work though: digging in compost on one of the vegetable beds, followed by a cup of tea; raking over the bed to level it, tamping it down, then re-raking to create a tilth, followed by a second cup of tea; making seed drills with the hoe, removing any large stones, sowing parsnip, spring onion and spinach, then carefully filling in with soil, followed by a third cup of tea; cleaning the tools, sweeping up the loose soil on the path, leaning on the hoe to watch the seeds grow, followed by.............. Exhausting! My old Granddad spent hours leaning on his hoe watching his peas grow after he retired and as a youngster I watched alongside him. He was a good teacher. Without his guidance I might not have seen the Buzzard soaring over the garden, the Bee-flies and newly emerged Peacock butterfly seeking nectar from the early spring flowers, and the Swallow skimming across the rooftops while I was leaning on mine this afternoon.

At Blue House The Lapwings have at last begun to lay on Round Marsh, three weeks later than usual, and have been joined by several pairs of Redshank and a few Avocets. While approaching the hide I inadvertently flushed a Mallard from her clutch of eight blue-green eggs, situated a few feet within the fox proof fence, and when I left she had already settled back on them. Reptiles have also begun to emerge from hibernation and indulge in a bit of sunbathing, including this Common Lizard on one of the hand

Common Lizard 2 Copyright: Graham Smith

rails outside the hide. The other day their habit of laying almost comatose in the spring sunshine cost one of them its life when a migrating Red Kite (one of many seen in Essex recently) casually snatched it in passing from the top of a counter wall and paused only briefly - the lizard dangling helplessly from its beak - before swallowing it in a single gulp, a mere morsel for such a big bird. Elsewhere, a mixture of winter and summer visitors were mingling on the reserve; many of the wildfowl delaying their departure north to their Arctic breeding grounds, among them these Whooper Swans, while Swallows, House Martins and

Whooper Swans Copyright: Graham Smith

a single Sand Martin flitted between them in pursuit of midges. A few feet away half a dozen Wheatears were pouncing on insects from fence top lookouts and in the adjoining meadow ten or more Yellow Wagtails dashed after dung flies disturbed by grazing sheep. It is not all good news of course; it never is. Five dead Barn Owls have been reported from the Tillingham area in recent weeks; almost certainly succumbing to starvation as the vole population has crashed, a normal party of their four year cycle. But spring at last does appear to be hear and hallelujah to that. I have even begun to catch a few moths, including this first generation Early Thorn.

Early Thorn 1st generation Copyright: Graham Smith



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