Sunday, 6 June 2010


Julia Newman who lives close to the country park, photographed this muntjac deer in her next-door garden, when it came visiting on Wednesday 2nd. Having just been told about this sighting over the weekend, I found myself watching the same deer on Sunday 6th, at the back of the park grazing fields. Deer have only recently become established on the Island and at present they still have a novelty factor rather than pest factor.

Whilst watching 2 fox cubs playing with the vixen along the back of the grazing fields late in the morning, a third cub was spotted close to a muntjac deer. The cub seemed as if it wanted to play with the deer, or maybe just provoke it. At one point it bounded cheekily over to the deer, which quickly turned its head round, ready to repel the over-playful cub. The cub quickly stopped its charge and the deer carried on browsing a bramble bush. A fourth cub was also seen nearby and once the whole family had retreated into the hedge, the muntjac headed back to the copse behind the pond.

On the pools in the fields, topped up with overnight rain, were about 5 lapwing chicks from 3 broods, although no sign of the redshank chicks. Four adults were present as was the resident black-tailed godwit with the droopy wing, while also in the area were a pair of stock doves and a singing reed warbler from the back hedge. At the pond 2 tufted ducks and a male pochard were noted.

In the car park the two nightingales were heard singing as was the cuckoo at the end of the day. A marsh harrier was mobbed by crows as it flew over the park entrance in the afternoon.

Conditions were ideal for moth activity over Saturday night as the air turned muggy and cloud cover increased. The moth trap operated at the park during the night and survived the thunderous downpour. Thirty-seven species of macro moth were noted, by far the best session of the sping so far with this common elephant hawkmoth pictured above, the most eyecatching with the pink markings.

Another regular visitor to the trap here in late spring, is this strikingly marked cream-spot tiger moth, pictured above and below. In previous years there have often been a handful of these moths in the trap by morning which is a great sight to see - especially if you get a close-up view of it's bright red body.

Some of the other moths noted included pale tussock, blood vein, mullein wave, sandy carpet, green carpet, common carpet, red twin-spot carpet, common marbled carpet, rivulet, lots of marbled minors, light brocade, pale oak beauty, clouded silver, light emerald, pale prominent, pebble prominent, white ermine, cinnabars, heart and dart, shuttle-shaped dart, flame shoulder, brown-line bright-eye, white-point, common wainscot, shoulder-stripd wainscot, knotgrass and rustic shoulder knot.

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