Thursday, 5 June 2014


Marsh harriers have been visiting the park's fields and pond at least a couple of times each day this last week. Usually it is the male that is seen but this individual pictured above is the female with the pale shoulder markings which was pictured on Tuesday over the pond.

The same female marsh harrier passing over the pond at the park on Tuesday evening, in its distinctive "V" shaped profile. The following evening the male marsh harrier was chased away from the saltmarsh near the Point by a pair of noisy avocets.

The cuckoo has been calling daily from the hedges and trees near the pond, where this one was pictured on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday one flew low over the middle of the grazing fields early evening.

All six cygnets are still following their mum around on the park pond. A second pair of swans have been seen on the dyke in recent days which will no doubt lead to conflict with this resident family.

Having recently enjoyed the sight of the first ever brood of shoveler at the park, now the first ever brood of gadwall have now appeared at the park. Six tiny ducklings were seen on the dyke with the female gadwall on Wednesday and Thursday. The seven shoveler ducklings were also seen on the dyke again.

Two little egrets were perched in the trees beside the pond on Wednesday and there was the usual 50+ black-tailed godwits in the fields. A grey plover was seen on the Golfhouse pools on Tuesday morning.

The first meadow brown butterflies of the season were seen on Tuesday afternoon when two individuals were keeping low amongst the long grass at the park.
Other butterflies noted on Thursday included small white, small heath, speckled wood, red admiral and small tortoiseshell.

Three colourful elephant hawkmoths were in the moth trap in Firs Chase on the night of Monday 2nd. This one pictured above from the underneath, seemed to be hanging from the edge of the moth trap by its fingertips. There was also the first showing of a small elephant hawkmoth too.

Thirty species of macro moth was a few more than other recent nights, the conditions quite warm overnight.

Two miller moths were noted that evening, a widespread moth in small numbers. The distinctive hairy caterpillars feed on birch.

This faded orange footman is probably the same one seen in the trap a couple of times last week, when it was more orange in colour. Numbers across the county have been increasing in recent years.

Some of the other moths noted were pebble hook-tip, riband wave, garden carpet, lime-speck pug, peppered, clouded silver, coxcomb prominent, dark arches, treble lines and shoulder-striped wainscot.

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