Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday 14th January

No lectures again this afternoon which meant I could attempt to beat the Friday evening motorway traffic back to Kent. I reached Maidstone and got into the park at quarter past 3 and spent an hour and a half in the park until it was too dark.


Of particular note on the Lake were 6 Mute Swan, 10 Tufted Duck, 13 Pochard, and 2 Grey Heron. Water levels along the River Len and stream by the 'Old Pond' were very high after the recent rainfall, but thankfully the Weir bridge wasn't flooded.

40+ Redwing were seen, 3 Goldcrest were noted, a Treecreeper was heard, 5 Stock Dove were perched in an Oak on the north-eastern corner of Jenner's Bank, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker were heard, a Green Woodpecker was seen in the parkland west of Mote House, a Coal Tit was heard singing, a Cormorant flew west, a Pheasant was heard calling by the Walled Garden, a flock of Long-tailed Tits were seen moving through the hedge on the eastern edge of the Lake, plenty of Chaffinch were roosting, and without doubt the highlight of the walk was a flock of at least 100 Linnets roosting - a first of the year, and the first time I have recorded this species roosting in the park. (I have been told by another birder that 152 were seen roosting at the weekend). Also seen were 54 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Herrings Gulls flying north over the park


Warren Baker said...

Excellent Linnet count Simon, Ive got a linnet roost on my patch of around 50 or so :-)

Paul said...

Hi Simon, good news about the local linnets.
Could I ask you a question please? Back in the 2010 summer months, myself and my young son noticed 2 adult turtles in Mote Park lake, both of them basking on logs in full view. I take it you know about these?

Simon said...

Hi Paul, thanks for the comment. I'm always happy to answer questions about the park.

Yes, I am aware of the turtles you mention. I think there are several in the Lake, and a few of them are quite a large size. They are a species of Terrapin known as Red-eared Slider Terrapins. In the summer walk along the eastern side of the Lake and you'll sometimes see them basking if its a sunny day.

Paul said...

Hi Simon, cheers for answering that question. I thought that they might be Red-Eared Sliders. I took a couple of long range photos of them basking, one was not too bothered about people being in the area, but the other was very weary of me, it jumped of its log as soon as it saw me!

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