Friday, 14 August 2009


This large female wasp spider was hugging its bound-up insect caught in its web in the long grass at the park on Thursday 13th. A second wasp spider was also close by and no doubt a closer look amongst the long grass would reveal more of them. Other insects seen around the park included a dozen painted ladies, comma, common blue, small tortoiseshell, speckled wood, large white, small white. Also ruddy darter, migrant hawker, southern hawker, emperor dragonfly and blue-tailed damselfly.

The main wildlife highlight of the day was a wood sandpiper found on the pools on the park grazing fields by Andy Field. The bird is a nicely marked individual with some bright white spots on the wings. It has been feeding actively as it wades through the shallow water, picking at insects on the surface.
Having waited ten years since a wood sandpiper was last seen on these fields, this individual is now the sixth wood sandpiper to have visited these fields since early May. Also feeding in the pools were 2 green sandpipers and 6 black-tailed godwits including the colour-ringed Portuguese bird.

Along the park beach Andy found 2 wheatears on Thursday morning although the first birds seen were by a regular dog-walker who reported 3 birds on the seawall the day before. Along the dyke were sedge warbler and reed warblers while 2 yellow wagtails flew overhead.

In the park there were a couple of willow warblers, chiffchaff, blackcap, whitethroats and lesser whitethroats. Amongst a group of 100 hirundines flying around to the north of the park was one swift, the first for a few days as numbers appear to have dropped off recently. On the nearby mudflats 80 golden plover were noted along with at least 100 black-tailed godwits.

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