Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Someone switched the spring season on early on Wednesday 6th with a big increase in the warmth and sunshine compared with recent days. The wildlife at the country park responded to the spring weather with one of the best spring days for many years.

As well as the six adult adders in their usual spots, there were two young ones seen in two different parts of the park. Both were very small compared with the full grown adults and were this reddish-brown colour with an indistinct zig-zag line along the back. This one above allowed the camera to be held about a foot above it, while the second youngster was much more nervous about being approached. Also around the park were half a dozen common lizards.

There was an incredible sight of 500+ black-tailed godwits gathered in the pools in the grazing fields during the afternoon high tide. It was the largest group I'd seen here as well as being the noisiest and most colourful too with all the ginger plumages. The ruff was still present as well as 50 roosting redshank mixed in with the godwits.

The real bird action occurred along the hedgerows and trees with a big influx of summer migrants. The clearance of the overnight clouds leaving the morning sun to shine brought in lots of birds. The first nightingale of the year was back in its usual hedge near the park entrance, briefly singing and also perching up in view as well. Nearby a common whitethroat also returned back early - both birds about a week earlier than usual.

At least four willow warblers were singing in the morning with 3 of them near the overflow car park. These birds won't stay more than a day and will probably be gone in the morning. Three chiffchaffs were also heard singing in various parts of the park. Around the park it seemed as if up to 15 of these willow-chiffs were busy feeding up along the hedgerows. Up to six blackcaps were also foraging through the bushes and trees.

On the beach 2 male wheatears sat motionless as if they needed a good rest after a long flight. By the cliff 8 sand martins were checking out potential nesting holes while over the grazing fields 3 swallows were noted and a yellow wagtail flew overhead calling.
Martin Cock had noted during his morning walk near Rewsalls 2 yellow wagtails and a wheatear too.

Other wildlife enjoying the morning sunshine was a buck muntjac deer seen briefly at the back of the pond. A muntjac was also reported being seen along Bromans Lane the previous evening. A brimstone butterfly flew rapidly along the track as it headed into the park from Bromans Lane direction. Although I saw a brimstone last August in the park, this one was the first spring record for about 14 years. Other butterfles noted were 5 peacocks and 3 commas and a number of bee-flies in the park.

This dotted chestnut moth was a nice surprise in the moth trap on Wednesday morning amongst the 36 other moths. This is a nationally scarce moth which appears to be slowly spreading in recent years from southern England into several other counties including Essex. There have been several sightings mainly in the west of the county since the first county record in 2002, while Suffolk's first one was in 2007.

Two streamer moths were noted with this one above showing a nice purplish colouring. One or two streamers are normally seen each spring here. Also noted were a couple of blossom underwings, small quaker, common quaker, red chestnut, and hebrew character.

Yesterday in the river Colne 9 eider were present in the outer part of the estuary, while over the grazing fields were 2 swallows in the evening, probably present in the area since Monday.

No comments: