Sunday, 10 October 2010


Duck numbers continue to increase on the pools in one of the grazing fields at the park with about 200 wigeon (photo above) present on Sunday 10th. There seems to have been quite an influx in the last few days, as there were only 50 a week ago. Still outnumbering the wigeon around the pools at the moment are the 300 teal, along with a few mallard and shoveler.

The boggy pools provides good feeding for snipe with about 20 birds dotted about, although many kept well hidden. A handful of lapwings, 10 black-tailed godwits and 20 redshank were also seen feeding. At high tide a little egret joined all the wildfowl at the pools while the regular curlew roost reached 170 birds on Saturday.

On the park pond a pochard and tufted duck joined the 6 gadwall and 40 mallard, while the evening saw 3 foxes come out. A snipe had been present at the edge of the pond on Saturday.

On the saltmarsh pools near the Point there were 11 juvenile brent geese seen in a flock of 65 birds, so the early indications suggest they've had an average breeding season. Another count of juveniles in a much bigger flock in a month's time will provide a better picture.

No sign of the wheatear or the 2 rock pipits that were present at the Point on Friday. On the nearby mudflats there were 50 avocets and 800 golden plover.

Two redwings flew away from the car park this morning, while 5 siskins and a redpoll were noted flying west over the park, although the only group of swallows seen were 4 flying east in the afternoon. At least one chiffchaff was seen and a couple of goldcrests were heard calling. A flock of 25 jackdaws flying over the park mid morning was an unusual sight, as was a rook perching on a tree near the pond. Both these species normally stay away from the park.

Enjoying the sunshine out of the fresh wind were one adder, 10 common lizards, 5 small coppers, peacock, red admiral, speckled wood butterflies and also several common darter dragonflies.

Managed to fit in 4 successive nights of moth trapping taking advantage of the dry nights and it proved reasonably rewarding. The highlight of the recent trapping has been the appearance of the attractively marked merveille du jour moth, two of which were found at dawn on Saturday morning (photo above). The one trapped on Wednesday night was slightly more worn than these two individuals, so three seen this week.

The 36 species of macro found at dawn on Sunday morning was the best tally for 2 months with about 160 moths noted, despite the very heavy dew. Another 9 species were recorded from the other nights, so the total of 45 species meant it was a busy few nights.

This pink-barred sallow is the first one of the year here and although it is usually seen each year, it is just one or two individuals. This member of the sallow family is one of the few whose caterpillars actually feed on sallow.

This nicely marked red-green carpet seems to be a fresh specimen and showing a nice dark colour of green. Three were seen on Sunday morning which is a typical catch for October.

This delicate moth is a scarce immigrant to the county and although several have been noted here before, it hasn't been seen here for about 4 years.

Some of the peak counts during the last four days have been 20 L-album wainscot, 10 black rustic, 40 lunar underwing, 20 square-spot rustic, 10 autumnal rustic, 15 setaceous hebrew character, 15 large yellow underwing and 10 angle shades.

Other moths recorded included the streak, blair's shoulder knot, grey shoulder knot, silver-Y, dusky-lemon sallow, vine's rustic, flounced chestnut, dark chestnut, satellite, dark swordgrass, common marbled carpet, feathered thorn, red-line quaker, yellow-line quaker, white-point and November sp moth.


Wildlife Tours UK said...

Great shots. Wigeon are one of the most beautiful ducks to visit the UK.

Dougal Urquhart said...

Its great to have them back again here for the next few months. Dougal