Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday 12th April

I was in Mote Park all morning today. This April the Kent Wildlife Trust is holding 2 walks in Mote Park, the first one was today, so I decided to join. A fairly strong south-westerly wind made the temperature very cool, and it also meant that the warm sunshine was occasionally hidden by cloud-cover.

I was without my notebook this morning so the bird sightings are summarised. Around 5 Blackcap were heard singing, lots of Chiff Chaffs were singing, with most of them along the River Len, a Willow Warbler sang beautifully from a Willow by the large reedbed by the Weir, several Nuthatch were heard as they proclaimed their territories, a pair of Green Woodpeckers were seen clambering up the top of Oak in the rough grassland, 2 Stock Dove were seen, roughly 5 Treecreeper were noted – with 1 bird giving a short burst of song, 2 Swallows and 5 House Martins were watched flying high above the Lake, and several Goldfinch were heard.

Birds seen on the Lake were a few Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swan, a pair of Tuftie, and the countless Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. The gull flock on the Lake consisted of roughly 24 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Common Gulls, and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Also seen was a Grey Heron perched along the edge of the River Len, and 2 Grey Wagtails were seen as they flew up from the Pond.

Also noted was Butterbur and Bluebells in flower, a Red-eared Terrapin was sunbathing on a submerged branch on the eastern side of the Lake, and as I walked back home from the cafeteria a Black Swan flew onto the Lake and began preening.

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Red-eared Terrapin

Black Swan

For anyone interested, the best spot in the Park to see flowering Cuckoo Flowers (or Lady’s Smock) is just to the left of the small kiosk by the boating ramp. They are giving a wonderful display with roughly 50-60 plants flowering at the moment.

Cuckoo Flower (Lady's Smock)
Cardamine pratensis


Warren Baker said...

A productive trip round Simon. Bet all those Ladies Smock look a picture.

Steve said...

Nice Cuckoo flower pics simon. strangely not many around New Hythe this year (yet) which is strange....Like the wide angle you use for these makes a change from the macro shots usually seen (taken by me anyway ;-)!

Kingsdowner said...

Yes, good shots of the flowers - lovely colour.
For future reference, is the drumming Lesser Spot at the entrance end of the Len, or by Mote House?

Simon said...

The Lesser Spots can be seen/heard throughout the Park, from the main car park right to the entrance of the River Len along Willington Street.

The places you are most likely to locate them are along the River Len from the entrance from Willington Street, between the 2 bridges (usually in an Oak), and in the wet Alder wood that runs adjacent to the footpath. Hope this helps.

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