Sunday, 24 April 2011


The glorious sunshine beat down on the park on Easter Sunday bringing out the masses of visitors to the park, as well as lots of the bluebells in various corners of the park. The sunny spring has brought the bluebell season forward a fortnight at least. This picture above shows the last remnant of the bluebells in the Cudmore grove on the clifftop. Much of the original grove has collapsed into the sea.

This patch of bluebells in the small dell near the car park enjoys some of the shade under the big oak tree. Elsewhere in the park small clumps of bluebells continue to spring up under trees, along hedges and out in the grassland.

Visitors arriving in their droves to the park this morning were greeted by the cuckoo and two nightingales near the entrance. The cuckoo has been doing its regular circuit in recent days, perching and calling from trees near the pond. A pair of Mediterranean gulls circled over the car park calling in the morning, a sparrowhawk flew off with some prey and a yellow wagtail flew east over the park. Offshore at least 5 eider were seen in the early evening as the tide receded.

Over the weekend 2 pairs of pochard and 5 pairs of tufted ducks have been present while on the fields, 2 pairs of shoveler and a pair of gadwall were noted along with 25 teal and a male wigeon. A pair of Canada geese have been near the pools in recent days and a little egret was also noted.

Near the village shop in the morning a marsh harrier was seen off by one of the local crows. The previous day Steve Entwistle saw and heard a garden warbler at Gyants Marsh near Meeting Lane.

One adder was seen alongside a path on Sunday, most of the others have retreated from view in the last fortnight. A green hairstreak was seen around some bushes near the hide on Saturday.

There have been impressive swarms of thousands of green longhorn moths around the park in the last few mornings. The biggest gatherings have been around the oaks on the clifftop, which was in the morning sunshine and sheltered from the breeze.

The male green longhorns have extremely long antenna that are waved around as they dance around the bush-tops. At rest the fore-wings show a metallic green sheen which reflects the bright sunshine.

There were two of these maidens blushes in the moth trap on Saturday morning amongst a catch of about 38 individuals of 12 species. Other moths included lime-speck pug, brindled pug, oak-tree pug, herald, lunar marbled brown, common quaker, early thorn, early grey and common carpet.

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