Friday, 20 August 2010


Painted lady butterflies have been catching the eye over the last few days. After the unusually huge numbers seen in recent summers, sightings this year have been back down to the normal of ones and twos. Three have been present at the country park on the white buddleia in the car park, where this one was photographed.

Also seen on the buddleia this week have been small tortoiseshell, red admirals, commas, small copper, small white, large white and meadow brown. A brown argus was also seen beside one of the paths in the park on Tuesday and there was the very unusual sighting for the park of a brimstone butterfly flying across the car park on Thursday.
Another painted lady was seen on the golden samphire along the Strood seawall, as in the picture below, in the late afternoon of Friday 20th.

Amongst the 400+ redshank along the Strood were 4 greenshank, common sandpiper, 20 grey plover and 5 golden plover as well as the usual curlews, oystercatchers and lapwings. Three little egrets were noted in the Channel as was a little grebe.

In the dyke some young little grebes were calling loudly to their parents, while nearby the mute swans were with their three cygnets. Beside the fields there were small flocks of 20 corn buntings and 25 linnets with a few greenfinches and reed buntings noted too. A young great spotted woodpecker perched on a telegraph pole in the middle of a field, and a yellow wagtail flew over.

Lots of parasol mushrooms have sprung up in various spots around the country park, some amongst the long grass, while others have sprouted under the trees such as this one in the photo.

One of the park's nightingales called loudly on Wednesday afternoon and then obliged by sitting briefly on the side of a hedge to give a good view. Two willow warblers were noted amongst a tit flock on Monday morning in the park and one or two were seen at Bromans Farm where a pair of turtle doves were also seen. One or two yellow wagtails have been noted daily, while along the cliff-edge 15 sand martins are still present. A small flock of mistle thrushes have gathered around the red berries of the rowan trees, with six birds counted so far during the week. A badger was seen trotting along Bromans Lane after dark on Wednesday night.

Martin Cock saw the hobby and a willow warbler near Meeting Lane on Monday and had reported 6 common seals in the Pyefleet at Maydays on Sunday.

On Monday 16th, Glyn Evans reported that his WeBs bird count round the Island revealed a hobby, 5 marsh harriers, 169 avocet, greenshank, whimbrel, common sandpiper, green sandpiper, knot, 78 golden plover, 22 common tern, 15 yellow wagtails, 2 turtle doves as well as a juvenile adder. There was also a view of two harbour porpoises seen offshore from the country park.

Andy Field and Richard Hull visited Langenhoe ranges on Sunday 15th and noted a little stint, 3 little ringed plovers, 12 green sandpipers, 6 common sandpipers, 12 whimbrel, 4 turtle doves, garganey, whinchat, wheatear, bearded tit, 6 marsh harriers, 2 hobbies and a barn owl.

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