Wednesday, 23 May 2012


It was like mid summer on Wednesday 23rd at the country park with plenty of sunshine throughout the day.
There was little wind too which was a change and the afternoon turned quite muggy.
The recent dry weather and increase in warmth has encouraged a nice carpet of daisies to flower in the overflow car park, as in the picture above.

Whilst beside the clifftop during the afternoon, a Sandwich tern called as it flew westwards, while six little terns flying east were the first ones noted from the park this spring. A whimbrel flew onto the mud as the tide receded as did several curlew. Apart from lots of oystercatchers on the mud, 2 little egrets were noted too.

On the grazing fields two black-tailed godwits, pair of oystercatchers, one redshank, five lapwing were seen including the one month old chick as well as a young one of a few days old. Seven gadwall, one wigeon, one teal, 4 mallard, 7 greylag geese and a pair of Canada geese present too.

On the park pond 6 tufted duck and 3 pochard were seen and the swans were still sitting on the nest. Nearby, the chicks of the great spotted woodpecker are still making a lot of noise from the old hawthorn tree in the ditchline, while a reed warbler sang from bushes. A sparrowhawk flew over the fields while in the old oak tree the pair of kestrels are still using the nestbox. Twenty swifts were noted at various times during the day

The recent warm weather has seen lots of damselflies emerge and this azure damselfly was one of 50+ gathered well away from the water, resting out of the wind on the cliff-top. It was also nice to see a green hairstreak also near here alighting on a broom bush, while a second individual was seen in the car park.

This speckled wood was resting alongside one of the paths before the morning had warmed up.Other butterflies seen were several orange-tips, two small heaths, small white, green-veined white, large white, holly blue and peacock.

It was apt that the cuckoo was seen flying twice during the morning over the only clump of cuckoo flowers that grow on the Island, near the park pond. The cows in the field here have done a good job in nibbling some of the flowers off. Hearing the cuckoo in this area reminds me that I have to check out this small patch of plants before they finish flowering or get eaten.
A second cuckoo was seen flying strongly east along the clifftop and continuing across the river Colne towards Point Clear.

After a very empty moth trap on Tuesday 15th night, several species made an appearance the following night such as this herald moth pictured above. Maybe seeing this moth will herald the start of some better mothing nights at the park.

The brimstone moth pictured above usually adds some colour to the traps during May but this individual was the first one of the season.

The green carpet in the photo above is a regular moth to the trap in the spring with the caterpillars feeding on bedstraw.

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