SUMMARY OF THE BIRDS AND WILDLIFE SEEN IN THE PARK AND LOCAL AREA IN JULY 2012
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Holywells Park- Another late afternoon visit to the park today. Along the canal path I found at least three Willow Enerald Damselflies including the one pictured below. A Brown Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly were also encountered. Another five or six Willow Emerald Damselflies were found in the Wildflower strip alongside the Moat along with Blue-tailed, Common Blue and a single teneral Large Red Damselfly. Another Emperor Dragonfly was seen over the Moat Pond, a male Black-tailed Skimmer was seen on Pond 3 and a male Southern Hawker was seen with prey over the south west meadow.
Butterflies recorded today were: Small Copper -see below- (3), Small Skipper (10), Large Skipper (3), Gatekeeper (12), Speckled Wood (5), Meadow Brown (25+), Ringlet (30+), Large White (10), Small White (3), Green -veined White (2), Comma (6) and Red Admiral (2). Birds recorded included good numbers of House Martins, Swallows and Swifts which were hunting insects over the allotment area together with numerous Black-headed Gulls. Chiffchaff and Blackcap were heard singing and a Song Thrush was seen feeding a youngster.
Holywells Park- PM- I managed a late afternoon visit to the park and set out to see what butterflies and dragonflies were still about. Over the meadows and Paddling Pool area I saw three Brown Hawker dragonflies and two male Migrant Hawkers. Damselflies seen were Blue-tailed, Azure, Common Blue and at least 11 (7 tenerals and 4 adult males) Willow Emeralds (along the Moat path and amongst the wildflower strip). Butterflies recorded whilst hunting dragons were Comma (7), Large White (5), Small White (3), Meadow Brown (10+), Ringlet (20+), Large Skipper (5), Small Skipper (6), Essex Skipper (3), Gatekeeper (3), Red Admiral (3) and Speckled Wood (3). Given the weather I decided to start checking particular Oak trees for signs of Purple Hairstreak butterflies and after a wait of about 20 minutes (just before my neck started aching) I saw a small spiral of three butterflies. Watching them closely as they flitted in and out of the high sunny patches confirmed them to be my first Purple Hairstreaks of the year. Another trio of Purple Hairstreaks were seen at a spot close to Brimstone Alley. Hopefully, we will see more of them this week as the fine weather continues. Pushing my luck I moved back to the meadow area and started to watch the top of the Japanese Elms which were still in full sun. Again a trio (why is it always three?) of small butterflies were seen flitting amongst the leaves at the top of the trees and after a few good views I was able to confirm them as White-letter Hairstreaks. Another was seen as it tumbled down the edge of the elms on the allotments side and presumably went to seek nectar.
Holywells Park- AM- Sarah Kilshaw managed to find a Brown Hawker resting on reeds within the Paddling Pool and take it's photograph (as below). In addition, she also recorded Common Darter again.
Holywells Park- Gi Grieco saw a Willow Emerald Damselfly this morning along the edge of the Moat in Rosebay Willowherb. A Willow Emerald Damselfly was also recorded and photographed by Paul Sherman, see below. These are the first records (that I am aware of) for the park this year so well done both.
Several Large White, Small White butterflies were also recorded today along with Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper (see Phil Sherman's photo below), Comma and Ringlet.
Landseer Park- Parrish Colman recorded several species of butterflies: Essex, Small and Large Skipper, Large White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and 3+ Marbled White (including the one below).
Parrish also took a fine photograph of one of the park's Whitethroats (see below)
Chris Upson also enjoyed the Landseer Park Marbled White's and has kindly provided the image shown below.
Landseer Park- 5+ Marbled White butterflies were seen this morning including the individual photographed low in grass as below. Hopefully, more will be seen over the next few weeks and in better weather conditions.
Other butterflies recorded were Essex, Small and Large Skippers, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Comma and Large White.
Holywells Park- Parrish Colman recorded Comma (including hutchinsoni form see below), Meadow Brown and Large White butterflies and photographed a male Southern Hawker dragonfly (see below)
Today is the first day of the Big Butterfly Count which is being run by Butterfly Conservation.
The recording period runs between 14 July 2012 until 05 August 2012. Please support it by logging your sightings at www.bigbutterflycount.org. Records are really important especially given the poor summer that we are experiencing.
Sarah Kilshaw was in the park today and found several Ringlet butterflies and a lone Small Copper. Sarah also managed to find some Essex Skippers and captured them in the photos below. Of interest, Sarah's Essex Skipper records bring the total of butterfly species seen in the park this year to 20!
Sarah also saw and photographed a male Southern Hawker dragonfly as shown below.
Landseer Park- Parrish Colman returned this evening and managed to capture images of both Small (top) and Essex (below) Skippers.
The first White-letter Hairstreak butterfly of the year was seen today in the park by Matt Berry as per BC Suffolk's tweet today on Twitter. A single butterfly was seen flying over the top of the Japanese Elms which are situated in the corner by the Bowling Green and Allotments.
Although not in the park, this male Stag Beetle turned up in my garden which is located between Holywells and Landseer Parks. He was found in amongst some grow bags. I am incredibly lucky to regularly record Stag Beetles in my garden and one was also flying around at dusk last night.
Back in Holywells Park, Sarah Kilshaw recorded a Southern Hawker dragonfly in the Paddling Pool as below. It appears to have been stranded in the water but thankfully it made it to the reed stem and climbed out. More photos can be seen on Sarah's Flickr page. See under Links page
In Landseer Park, the first Essex Skipper butterfly of the year was recorded.
Parrish Colman was in the park today and captured a superb image of a pair of Four-spotted Chaser dragonflies in a mid-air tussle (as below). Parrish also recorded Little Egret on the Wilderness Pond and numerous butterflies on the meadows including Small Skipper.
I spent a couple of hours in the park this morning and enjoyed a terrific time watching butterflies and dragonflies in the sun. Walking initially around the meadows I came across my first Ringlet butterflies in the park this year. Good numbers were seen flying slowly but restlessly through the long grass. On occasion one would stop and bask and I managed to grab a photograph of this occuring (see below).
Other butterflies seen were Red Admiral (3), Large White (3), Large Skipper (10), Meadow Brown (15), Comma (1), Small Copper (2), Holly Blue (2), Speckled Wood (3) and a single Small Tortoiseshell (see below). Several day-flying moths were also seen: Silver Y, Mother Shipton, Five-spot Burnet sp and Burnet Companion.
Both Emperor and Black-tailed Skimmer (m) dragonflies were seen over the meadow area but the Paddling Pool was the place to be. Here, at least four Four- spotted Chasers were present along with a male Broad-bodied Chaser and male Black-tailed Skimmer. In addition two Emperor Dragonflies (see below) were also seen and a single Southern Hawker also passed over. Damselflies seen were Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed.
Sarah Kilshaw also reported several dragonflies today with a great count of three Black-tailed Skimmers on Pond 3, including a pair seen in tandem and egg laying (see below).
Sarah also captured a male Black-tailed Skimmer in flight as shown below and saw a pair of Emperors egg laying in the Paddling Pool.
Parrish Colman spent sometome in both Landseer and Holywells Park today. Both parks produced Meadow Brown and Large Skipper butterflies as shown in the two photographs below.
Parrish also found this stunning male Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly (below) in the Kissing Gate Lane Meadows. A pair of Four-spotted Chasers were still present in the Paddling Pool area.