We crossed over The Strood, the small causeway bridge separating Mersea Island from the Essex mainland. There are certain tides in the year when you cannot cross for a few hours, but as you can see, we had no difficulty today.
I was quite excited by this caterpillar. The two red spots suggested to me that it would be potentially harmful, so I only allowed myself to get 'up close and personal' via my zoom lens.
The caterpillar turns out to be the larva of a Brown-tailed Moth. I have only seen this species once before, and that was on the Spurn Head peninsula. You can read the health warning here. You can read about these caterpillars in Suffolk here.
On Spurn, we had seen the tents, but here I could only find the one individual in my photos. It will turn into a black chrysalis later this month, before emerging as a brown-bodied white-winged moth in July.
... taking in the views ...
... and looking right across to Bradwell and Othona. My zoom was on maximum, and the image was very fuzzy, but I quite like the effect. The building above is St Peter's Chapel. It was constructed in 654 by St Cedd from the masonry of a nearby Roman fortification that formed part of the Saxon Shore. The ruined chapel was used as a lighthouse in Tudor times. You can read more here.
The photo above shows the footpath on Mersea Island to the foot ferry to Brightlingsea. We saw Lapwing and Swallows from this path - and Skylarks as we walked through the footpath in the grassy areas of the country park.
Mehalah, a Gothick novel of violence and tragedy, about the island. The tale is certainly atmospheric (rather like parts of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins). Mehalah is a very strange read!
- Mersea Island blog about wildlife on the island