Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday 21st July

I was out in a very quiet Mote Park this morning. Hardly any birds were singing or calling, and there were very little people too. It was a beautiful morning, a warm Sun set in a blue, cloudless sky.

Along Laurel Walk a Coal Tit sang from a Yew next to the old Burning Yard, whilst 2 Goldcrests called from within the Yew’s dense foliage, a Blackcap, 2 Chiff Chaff, and 2 Whitethroat were heard singing, 5 Swifts hunted flying insects above the Horse Chestnuts on the Northeast edge of the Lake, 3 Green Woodpeckers were noted, and a cock Pheasant called loudly from the centre of the large area of rough grassland.

On the Lake were 3 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Tufted Duck, and the countless Mallards, Moorhens, and Coots. 3 Mute Swans were seen, with the resident pair preening next to the Weir, and 84 Canada Geese were flocked around the Lake’s western edge, mainly next to the wildfowl feeding area. There were 7 Black-headed Gulls on the Lake, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull bathed in the Lake right next to the Boating Ramp, a Grey Heron perched on a bough overhanging the Lake’s western edge, and 2 Reed Warblers were heard singing around the perimeter of the Lake.

Lots of butterflies were seen. 9 Speckled Woods, 1 Holly Blue, and 5 Comma were noted next to tree and hedge cover, and in the large area of rough grassland Essex Skippers were far more numerable than the Small Skippers with both species feeding on the nectar from the thistles, clovers and Knapweed, a Large Skipper was spotted feeding on a Knapweed flower, several of both Large and Small Whites were seen, 6 Meadow Brown were noted, and roughly 16 Gatekeepers were seen. The best butterfly of all, though, was a SMALL COPPER – the first time I have ever come across this butterfly in the Park.

Male Gatekeeper

Common Knapweed
Centaurea nigra

Small Copper

A Common Blue Damselfly in the nettles on the Lake’s eastern edge, and it is also worth noting that the Park's Rowan trees are laden with heavy heads of bright red berries, and that the Hawthorn berries are beginning to ripen.


Warren Baker said...

Well done with the Small copper Simon. I've only had one on my patch. It is very quiet out there, birdwise!!

Greenie said...

Simon ,
Always great to see Small Copper . If you get any more , keep an eye out for ones with blue spots above the copper margins on the hind wings .
Good bird list as well given the time of year .

Steve said...

Well done with the Small Copper Simon!

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