Tuesday, 9 April 2013


More young rabbits are appearing around the country park such as this little bunny pictured above helping to keep the grass cropped in my back garden. This first generation of the spring were first seen about three weeks ago hopping about the place.

The other mammal of interest at the park was a pair of muntjac deer that emerged behind the park pond at the end of Tuesday 9th. The male buck with the little antlers came out from the hedge closely followed by the antler-less female doe. It has been almost a couple of months since any muntjac have been seen at the park.

The nervous-looking muntjac had only been out for 3 or 4 minutes when a sparrowhawk came flying low over the grazing fields, sending 200 wood pigeons clattering into the air, spooking the deer in the process back into hiding.

Another bird that got spooked by the sudden commotion was a very obliging water rail that had been feeding on the grass by the pond, in front of the hide. The sparrowhawk passed low over the pond and over the water rail too which dived into cover while the hawk kept flying westwards.

Two flocks of redwings passed over the park on Tuesday with one group of 20 in the morning and then about 30 birds flew over the car park in the afternoon. Six fieldfares and two mistle thrushes were feeding near the park entrance on Sunday 7th.

Birds on the grazing fields have been fairly similar over the last few days with most birds seen during the high tide roost. Noted were 200 wigeon, 200 brent geese, 50 teal, 10 snipe, 10 shoveler, 10 gadwall, 20 redshank, 20 curlew, 10 lapwing, 10 dunlin as well as a ringed plover and a grey plover. The kestrels are still in or around the nestbox tree while a little egret has been feeding in the fields most days.

All the birds took off the fields when a peregrine flew south-east on Sunday afternoon. On the pond 2 pairs of pochard were present on Sunday while 10 tufted duck have still been around too.

Andy Field did the Coopers Beach/Youth Camp loop on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday he reported; c200 Brents at Rewsalls with a few teal and Snipe. Pair of Med Gulls overhead. Little Owl in trees to left of Youth Camp entrance gate and a few Redwings and Fieldfares in the poplars beyond the line of Alders. Also 4-500 Golden Plover in the arable field behind Rewsalls.

Monday similar, fewer Golden Plover which kept getting disturbed. About 20 Curlew on Rewsalls with Brent. 5 Snipe and 7 Curlew on the football field at Coopers. Little Owl not far from yesterday's spot. Only new bird was a single Redpoll (lesser type) in the Alders then feeding in the weeds below giving views down to 10 feet. At least a dozen each of Fieldfare and Redwing  (may well have been more out of sight) feeding between the rows of vines with a couple of hundred Starlings. "Not a sausage on the migrant front, next to nothing on the sea!"

The moth trap came out for only the second time this year, operating during a frost-free Monday night. It has been four weeks since the trap was last put out when temperatures were a few degrees above freezing.
Only a small haul was expected and nine moths were in the trap on Tuesday morning with this nicely marked oak beauty above one of two noted.

A couple of hebrew characters were also in the trap, a typical moth of early spring.

Three common quakers were also noted, one pictured above, while two small quakers were present too.
The four regular adders were seen on Sunday and Monday in the usual places.

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