Wildlife June 2013

30 June 2013

I decided to walk around Landseer Park this morning mainly to look for butterflies but also to see what else was around. With the sun in and out butterflies appeared sporadically but I still saw: Large Skipper (3), Small Skipper (5), Large White (3), Small White (1), Meadow Brown (6) below, Small Tortoiseshell (10+) and Speckled Wood (10+).

Birds of note seen and heard were: Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Kestrel, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and Starling (50+)
29 June 2013

PM- Sarah Kilshaw and Parrish Colman were in the park this afternoon and saw a Kingfisher on Pond 1 along with a Kestrel (below)perched up near the bat roost.

Butterflies seen included the park’s first Large Skipper (below) of the year along with good numbers of Speckled Wood in the Eastern Woods near the Nacton Road gate and a few Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell.

AM- A mid-morning walk allowed me to catch up with the park’s wildlife today. The sun was just starting to appear and the temperature was picking up so I had hopes for a butterfly or a dragon. Along the canal three Mandarin drakes were seen and another female was found on the Canal Pond. Unfortunately, no young Mandarinswere found but the two pairs of Coots were raising their broods (five chicks and four chicks). Out on the meadows a male Kestrel was seen hovering and then flying low over the tree tops. A Mistle Thrush was feeding along the meadow edges and a family group of Magpies were hunting insects in the cut grass. A Whitethroat was singing along the allotment fence line and both Chiffchaff and Blackcap were also singing in this area. On the Moat Pond two pairs of Tufted Duck were present along with a tatty drake Mandarin. No dragonflies or damselflies were seen but I did manage to see a few butterflies: Speckled Wood (2) and Small Tortoiseshell (3) as below.

27 June 2013

A Hobby was seen hawking over treetops in the Conservation Area of Holywells Park late afternoon today. It was also seen again over trees behind Draymans Way before heading off towards Landseer Park. Good numbers of Swifts and hirundines (House Martins and Swallows) were also seen, no doubt pushed low by the incoming weather system from the north-west.

Matt Garnham also had a great day of wildlife observation in the park. Butterflies seen were: 1 Common Blue, 1 Comma, severalSmall Tortoiseshell, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Meadow Brown and 6+ Speckled Woods. Dragonflies seen were: Blue-tailed, Large Red, Common Blue and Azure Damselfly. In addition, afemale Emperor Dragonfly(below) was foundin the Meadows.

A Kingfisher was seen on Pond 1, two terrapins (probably red-eared)were seen on the Canal Pond (or Pond 6) and good numbers of Common Lizards (below) wererecorded around the resettlement sites.

Significantly, Matt heard a Nuthatch calling from near the path leading to the orchard. There have a been a few possible sightings of Nuthatch this year but nothing definite. Hopefully, we will start to see this enigmatic species on a more regular basis. My last record for the park was in 2007!
25 June 2013

A late afternoon walk allowed me to catch the last hour of warm sunshine in the park. Luckily a large patch of nettles was still in the sun and several butterflies were seen. A single Red Admiral and a trio of Small Tortoiseshells were found here. A male Kestrel was seen several times in flight and then finally as it flew low north with a prey item in it’s talons. Both Chiffchaff and Blackcap were heard singing and a pair of Song Thrush were seen near to the stable block buildings. Both Swallows and Swifts were seen flight over the park and a fly past of 11 Jackdaws was also enjoyed.
24 June 2013

I had a quick walk around the park this evening and was pleased to hear both Chiffchaff and Blackcap still singing. Most of the adult ducks were seen to be in eclipse plumage or starting to show signs of feather moult. Three drake Mandarins were seen and appeared to be very scruffy in appearance due to the moult process underway. A single drake Tufted Duck was seen on the Moat Pond along with 20+ Mallard ducklings. Over the meadows several Common Swifts were hunting flies and a good passage of Herrring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls was underway. Along the Canal several family parties of Blue and Great Tits were seen and another (the seventh this year?) brood of Coots was seen.
19 June 2013

Helen Saunders found a few butterflies today with singles of Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Large White seen in the Orchard. Four frogs were found along with several Voles.
08 June 2013

An early morning visit to the park proved rewarding from a birding point of view. 11 Mandarins (7m, 4f) were found along the Canal and on the Canal Pond, but unfortunately no ducklings were seen. Also on the Canal Pond were four Tufted Ducks (3m, 1f) and a Grey Heron. On Pond 3, I found 11 Canada Geese which I think is the highest number that I have seen. It will be interesting to see if this number rises any higher over the Summer. Whilst watching the geese a Pied Wagtail flew over followed by a small party of Jackdaws. The next fly over bird was very interesting as it turned out to be a calling Greenshank! This is my first record for this migrant wader in the park this year. Other birds seen and heard of note were Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Coal Tit. It was also great to hear Blackbird, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush all singing against each other around the meadows.
03 June 2013

A Willow Warbler was heard singing in the Conservation area off Cliff Lane anda pair of Shelducks anda pair of Oystercatchers were seen in flight over the park this morning.A flock of 50+ Starlings were also seen in flight over the park heading in the direction of Landseer Park, no doubt heading to feedon the recently cut grass.
02 June 2013

Sarah Kilshaw was in the park today and reportedCommon Blue, Azure and Large Red Damselflies (see photo of a pair in tandem).She also saw two Hairy Dragonflies in tandem across the paddling pool which is a significant Odonata breeding record for the park. In other areas of the park she saw a partyof fledgling blue tits andfledgling great tits being fed byparent birds.Eight Canada Geese were present on Pond 3.

Steven Bird

Bird Watcher at Holywells Birds
Investigating our natural environment, and how the impacts of nesting can inhibit and benefit the local ecosystem.

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