Goldcrests were very evident today with 7 birds being seen, mostly along Laurel Walk. Also along Laurel Walk were 2 Coal Tits. The whole length of the Len Valley was alive with birds this morning, with lots of mixed feeding flocks noted passing through. Birds spotted amongst the tit species were 7 Nuthatch, several Chiff Chaff, 2 Treecreeper, a few Blackcap and 4 Willow Warbler. A flock by the old carriage bridge attracted the attention of a female Sparrowhawk!! 3 young Sparrowhawk could be heard calling from various places in the Park, 5 Green Woodpeckers were noted, a flock of 6 Swallows flew north-east over the grassland, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker were spotted, 3 Spotted Flycatchers were by the large Beech tree in the area west of Mote House, at least 13 House Martins were feeding over the Lake, and at least 8 Bullfinch were seen.
A Kingfisher was seen flying along the eastern edge of the Lake, a Grey Heron was perched on the dead tree on the Golf course side of the Lake, and 1 Reed Warbler was singing from the marsh area. On the Lake were at least 7 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Mute Swans, 10 Canada Geese, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 1 Herring Gull, and at least 14 Black-headed Gulls were noted.
Gatekeeper on thistle
At 8.45 this evening I returned to the park to carry out a bat survey. Bat surveys are always a good excuse to listen out for owls too and tonight 4 Tawny Owls were heard - mainly around the yew wood and Old Walled Garden east of Mote House. 7 species were seen in total, including Noctule, Serotine, Natterer's, Daubenton's, and Common and Soprano Pipistrelles. The 7th species recorded were 2 NATHUSIUS' PIPISTRELLE down by the Weir - the first ever recorded in the Park!!! What a day - 2 new species!!!
Nathusius' Pipistrelle have only been recorded in Britain since the 1940s and were long believed to be a migrant from the continent. In 1997, however, they were confirmed breeding and are now classed as an all-year-round resident. They have a scattered distribution but appear to be increasing fast.