Hi, my name is Simon. My local patch is Mote Park, one of Kent’s largest parks and right on the edge of Maidstone, the county town of Kent. It is a former country estate, and records of the Park date back since before the 14th century. The park has a variety of habitats and this blog will note all the wildlife that I encounter in them.
A lovely sunny spring-like morning today - it’s wonderful how the air changes with a bit of sunshine. It goes without saying that with all that rain we had over the weekend the park’s waterways and wetlands were completely flooded. In fact I’ve never seen the park so flooded in all the time I’ve been visiting - the Lake and the River Len were bursting their banks, and only the Old Carriage Bridge was passable across the River Len!
4 Goldcrests were noted, 2 Treecreeper were singing, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were noted, a Green Woodpecker was heard calling, 4 Nuthatch were heard calling, 1 Redwing passed over, 2 Coal Tits were seen, 4 Jay were seen, a few Siskin could be heard in the Alders along the Len Valley, a Kestrel was spotted hunting in the rough grassland north of the River Len - new for the year - a Skylark and 1 Meadow Pipit were noted passing through the Park, and a Stock Dove was perched in the old Ash tree in the grassland north of the River Len. 4 Grey Herons were seen, and in the old pond were 2 out of the walk’s total of 4 Water Rails and a Little Grebe.
Crow & Heron
Of particular note on the Lake were at least 4 Pochard, 4 Great Crested Grebes, and 2 Mute Swan, and apart from 5 Black-headed Gulls and a Common Gull most of the gulls were feeding and roosting on the top playing field.
Med Gull (top)
The gull flock on the top playing field (the Old Showground) consisted of at least 180 Black-headed Gulls, 17 Common Gulls, and 10 Mediterranean Gulls – 2 of which were nearly in full summer plumage. The ‘Meds’ were calling regularly so gave themselves away fairly quickly. One thing I hadn’t noticed quite so apparent until this morning was just how Barn Owl-like they appear in flight. The ‘Meds’ gave this impression as they flew with their comparatively rounded wings over the fields looking for a good place to pitch down – their white wing-tips adding to the effect.