Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday 30th August

The Sun was out in a cloudless sky this morning, with the temperature very warm and humid.

3 Nuthatch were heard calling - 2 along Jenner’s Bank, and 1 from the Alder Carr along the River Len – 5 Treecreeper were heard throughout the Park, a Blackcap sang from the berry-laden Hawthorn hedge that runs along the eastern edge of the Lake, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker were heard calling, 2 Coal Tits were singing from the Yews along Laurel Walk right next to the Park & Ride, 2 Chiff Chaff were calling from the area of scrub on the west edge of the rough grassland, 7 Goldcrest were noted, 8 Swallow were seen passing through flying southwards, a Sparrowhawk was seen flying over the Horse Chestnuts on the Lakes eastern edge, a Green Woodpecker was heard this morning, a young hen Pheasant took was seen at the eastern edge of the rough grassland, and a few parties of Long-tailed Tits were seen.

On the Lake were 4 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, and the countless Mallards, Moorhens, and Coots. It was also interesting to see the Great Crested Grebe numbers rise to 9 individuals - I wonder if they are gathering to moult. 2 Common Gulls were with the flock of 23 Black-headed Gulls and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull on the Lake – the first back from there breeding grounds - a Kingfisher fished from the north-west edge of the Lake, and 2 Grey Wagtails were feeding along the River Len.

(Due to the development of Mote House and the Old Walled Garden the sailing club have been unable to use the outbuildings for storage of equipment and meetings. Consequently there has not been any sailing on the Lake since the middle of summer. It has been interesting to record the numbers, and consistency of numbers, of wildfowl this summer compared to what there usually is in past years. The numbers of Canada Geese recorded in the middle of summer peaked at 109 – a number not usually reached until the middle to late autumn. The average numbers of Mallard usually present during the summer have remained at 35, compared to past summer averages at between 27 and 33. The Coots numbers this summer have been on average at 21, compared to past summer averages at between 15 and 17. This year has seen the Great Crested Grebe numbers peak at 5 which is the same as past summers; however they have remained consistent, unlike past summers. It will be interesting to see what the species and numbers are as summer progresses into autumn, and then into winter.)

Also noted were several Red Admirals, 5 Common Blues, at least 17 Speckled Woods, both Southern and Migrant Hawkers were noted, and 3 Slowworms were seen in the wet meadow along the River Len.

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