Dropping water levels on Vange Marsh has attracted an array of feeding waders, with peaks of over 75 Black-tailed Godwit, 85 Lapwing, 35 Redshank, 13 Spotted Redshank, 15 Greenshank, along with smaller numbers of Whimbrel, Curlew, Ruff, Snipe, Green and Common Sandpipers. There was also a very brief visit from a Curlew Sandpiper which unfortunately didn’t stay for very long.
The warm sunshine means there’s a great chance of seeing basking reptiles across our reserves, especially West Canvey where Adder, Slow-worm and Common Lizard have all been recently spotted. As we get later in to summer, also keep a look out for increasing numbers of Bumblebees on our reserves, now is one of the busiest times of year for them as they fly around from flower to flower collecting pollen. Especially keep a look out for the rare Shrill and Brown-banded Carder Bees, favourite flowers for them include Birds-foot trefoils, Clovers, Nettles and Red Bartsia.
Three Southern Migrant Hawkers were found on West Canvey Marshes yesterday, the first time for the reserve. This is a very rare dragonfly of which there was only one confirmed UK record in the twentieth century. In recent years there have been a few records in the south-east of England suggesting that it may have colonised from it usual range of southern and central Europe and around the Mediterranean. Another name for this beautiful insect is the Blue-eyed Hawker. These blue eyes and the black and blue body (abdomen) are what to look out for (these are the males). If you want to catch a glimpse of these dragonflies on West Canvey you will need to search along in the wide ditch at the start of the Pantile track (the track with the double hedgerow). Let us know if you find them. Thanks to Les Steward for the image below.
At Wat Tyler Country Park a male Southern Migrant Hawker has also be seen near the new toilet block while Scarce Emerald Damselfly was seen on the first pool on right past entrance gate,