Friday, April 22, 2011

I couldn't get into the park until lunchtime today, and as you can imagine the park was 'heaving' with people - great to see lots of people exploring the park, but it makes the job of finding birds so much harder. The weather was absolutely stunning, with the heat of the Sun in places appearing to be Summer temperature, and there were small puffs of cloud scattered across the sky.

Cow Parsley

Butterflies were out in force with at least 20 Orange-tips being seen, 4 Holly Blues, 1 Peacock, 1 Comma, several Small Whites, 4 confirmed Green-veined Whites but probably more, and 18+ Speckled Woods.

Wood Anemone

1 Sedge Warbler remains on the Pitch & Putt side of the Lake - I wonder if the clearance of some of the vegetation on this side has made the habitat to the Sedge's liking for breeding? - 6 Reed Warblers could be heard singing - including one along the Len Valley - 14 Whitethroats were singing around the grassland and scrub areas, the scrubby area opposite the Inlet produced a singing Willow Warbler, and 8 Blackcaps and 4 Chiffchaffs were singing.

Visiting Canada Geese
(Wildfowl can often be seen flying east or west along the Len Valley, following the river to and from places such as the River Medway, Leeds Castle and nearby Mallards Way Open Space)

4 Nuthatches were noted, 3 Treecreepers were seen, 3 Green Woodpeckers were heard, and a male Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in an Oak in the Jungle (the wood in the south of the park, by School Lane entrance).

Several Starlings were seen, a male Linnet continues to sing, a Mediterranean Gull was seen and heard flying south with a flock of Black-headed Gulls, and 3 House Sparrows - new for the year - were spotted in hawthorn bushes and on a wire fence by Keeper's Cottage within the park's southern boundary. House Sparrows and Tree Sparrows used to breed in Mote Park in the past. The Tree Sparrows were the first to stop breeding, but continued to use the park as a wintering site up until the early nineties. Right up until the mid-nineties large flocks of House Sparrows could be seen in the park, often taking advantage of the bread being given to the wildfowl, but numbers have slowly dwindled away.

Male House Sparrow

Of particular note on the Lake were 12 Mute Swans, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, and around 50 Black-headed Gulls.

Resting Mute Swan

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

There are many more Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs at the park than there is on my patch Simon, with no Sedge or willow warblers here, mind you it is mostly farmlnad here!

Great pics mate :-)

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