Monday, 5 September 2016


Two different red squirrels have been seen recently at the country park for the first time. This one pictured was crossing behind the park bungalow in the afternoon on Monday 5th. On Saturday one red squirrel was reported by a visitor in the car park early in the morning and after a little bit of searching, it was watched trotting up the entrance track towards me before turning back and heading back out through the park gates. This individual had a small worn patch on its snout.

A short while later in mid morning another visitor reported seeing a red squirrel in the trees above the horse-ride on the northern side of the main part of the park. This one was also relocated and was watched inspecting a number of acorns but leaving them on the branches.

I've had a number of red squirrel reports from various island locations over the last week such as Ivy Lane, top of Meeting Lane, Chapmans Lane, Fairhaven Avenue and Mill Road.

A family of pied wagtails has been feeding in the car park for the last week, including foraging on the roof of the buildings. Two yellow wagtails were with them on the ground on Monday and another six were heard passing over during the day.

A hobby flew over the car park towards the cliff on both Monday and Sunday upsetting the flock of 20 swallows. A hobby had also been seen flying rapidly west over the car park entrance on Friday 2nd. A sparrowhawk also upset the hirundines on Monday too as it drifted west.

There was a big feeding flock of 250+ herring gulls on the Chapmans Lane field early on Monday 5th.

The grey herons have been a bit outnumbered by little egrets at the high tide roost at the park pond recently. The largest little egret count so far this autumn was on Saturday 3rd with 97 birds counted.
A kingfisher made a brief but noisy appearance on Saturday.
Duck numbers are slowly building up with forty mallard and eight teal seen on the pond on Monday. There was a wigeon and ten teal on the pond on Thursday 1st with 10 house sparrows in a nearby hedge.

At the Point on Saturday a sanderling, wheatear and two ringed plover chicks were seen by David Wallace.

At Maydays farm Martin Cock reported seeing on Saturday 3rd, 6 whinchat, 5 wheatear, curlew sandpiper, 2 green sandpiper, 2 greenshank, 42 knot, 30 bar-tailed godwits, 313 grey plover and 3 little terns.

Several migrant hawkers and common darters are hunting around the park at the moment.

This small toadlet was crawling along one of the dried ditches at the park on Thursday 1st.

The moth trap at the country park has noted about thirty species of macro moth over three recent nights. The most notable being four large thorns, one above, on the night of Sunday 4th. The first large thorn of the season was just two nights earlier.

There has been a reasonable number of moths in the trap over the last week or so with nearly 190+ noted of which fifty percent were setaceous Hebrew characters and square-spot rustics.
Other moths noted included oak hook-tip, Chinese character, common carpet, green carpet, latticed heath, small blood vein, cypress pug, common wave, poplar hawkmoth, turnip, flame shoulder, large yellow underwing, nutmeg, common wainscot, white-point, flounced rustic, silver-Y, snout, vines rustic, angle shades and rosy rustic.

This large old lady moth was found hiding in the gents in the park toilets.

The white spots on the vapourer look like a pair of eyes, this one caught on 31st August.

The neatly patterned feathered gothic is a regular moth in early autumn at the park, two noted on 31st.
A common moth at the moment is the light emerald, the second generation on the wing now in good numbers with ten on each of the three recent nights.

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