Saturday, 19 June 2010


The northerly breeze had a chill in it on Saturday 19th, which didn't provide favourable conditions for butterfly activity. One of the few insects seen at the park was this large skipper, the first of the year here, pictured above. It was resting low down on a small oak tree. sheltering out of the chilly breeze. Other than a speckled wood along a sheltered path, no other butterflies were seen at the park during the day.

This common yellow shell moth was seen fluttering around some bushes, hiding briefly amongst the foliage before flying a short distance to another bush. Quite a few have already been seen over the last few weeks during the day, flying between bushes or out of hedgerows as you walk past. One or two six-spot burnet moths were resting low down amongst the long grass, waiting for the weather to warm up.

The horse paddock beside the Golfhouse, to the north of the park, has an eyecatching yellow carpet of creeping buttercups, covering most of the small field. Not much fodder for the horses but certainly a colourful scene to look at. A few swallows were flying around hawking after insects and also the welcome sight of one or two house martins which appeared to be gathering mud for nest-building at the Golfhouse. Unfortunately the mud was being collected from a saltmarsh creek, which isn't as strong as "freshwater" mud. House martins used to nest on the Golfhouse up until about 25 years ago but their salt-muddy nests often crumbled down.

In the grazing fields a green sandpiper joined the 15 black-tailed godwits on the muddy pools. There were still various lapwing chicks feeding amongst the clumps of docks with their parents watching closely over them nearby. Twenty mallard rested on the pools with a couple of broods of 7 and 12 ducklings noted. A fox cub was seen at the back of the fields also watching over the various birdlife on the pools. On the park pond two young little grebe chicks were seen for the first time and there was still a male tufted duck also present.

A check on this sandy cliff at the park revealed about 20 sand martin nest holes being used this summer. Last year's count was 90 holes but those were noted later in the summer, after the usual mid-summer influx involving families arriving with their youngsters reared somewhere else. A green woodpecker and a family of pied wagtails were seen on the beach in the morning.

At the end of the day a little owl was seen standing on a gatepost just inside the park as the light faded.

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