Thursday, April 14, 2011

There were a few rain drops falling when I left home this morning, and they continued to fall during the first quarter of my walk. The sky was overcast but brightened up as time went on, and the cold wind that we have had for the past 2 days had dropped. There appeared to be alot of Blackbirds collecting earthworms this morning - almost as if the park's population had decided to hatch young all at the same time!

Female Blackbird

Laurel Walk (the road that enters Mote Park from the Park & Ride, along Willington Street) was alive with birds today, with warblers and thrushes being the most vocal. As I stood on the bank next to the awesome Giant Redwoods, listening in the hope of a early Nightingale, a bird began drumming on one of the old parkland trees. I knew instantly, with its weak drawn out quality, that it was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, fantastic!! These birds have proved tricky to 'pin down' over the past 2 years, and I have never noted them in this area of the park before.

Blue Tit

A pair of Coal Tits were investigating the soft bark of one of the Redwoods along Laurel Walk, 5 Goldcrests were heard singing, 12 Blackcaps were counted, 10 Chiffchaffs were singing, and there are now 4 Whitethroats singing in the rough grassland areas. It was a joy to hear the first Willow Warbler of the year, which was found singing in the large Goat Willow in the scrub and rough grassland area opposite the Lake's Inlet (they have such a wonderful song don't they?!)


4 Jays were seen throughout the park today, 2 Stock Doves were displaying above Laurel Walk and Jenners Bank, and 5 Bullfinch were seen - 3 in the Wild Cherries on the far north-eastern end of Jenners Bank, and a pair by the Downswood, Willington Street, entrance to Mote Park.

Male Bullfinch

4 Green Woodpeckers were noted, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen, 5 Nuthatch were singing, 2 pairs of Linnets were found in the largest area of rough grassland (Old Cattle Area), and 2 Treecreepers were heard singing along the River Len.

Grey Heron

11 Mute Swans continue to grace the Lake, 7 Great Crested Grebes were present, a Lesser Black-backed Gull stood on one of the Lake's buoys, 1 Grey Heron was seen preening on one of the collapsed islands, and the gull flock consisted of at least 74 Black-headed Gulls and 8 Common Gulls.

Mute Swan


Phil said...

Some lovely pictures there Simon. And well done with the Lesser Spot. Hope to be finding one myself this weekend.

Redgannet said...

Great post Simon, the pictures are looking superb.

Mike H said...


It seems that a lot is happening in the park and with great photos like yours seems like two good reasons to make a visit again.

Alan Pavey said...

Great pics Simon and a nice lot birds, great especially to find the Lesser Spot!!

Greenie said...

Simon ,
We had that morning rain too .
Great shots and well done with the LSWoodpecker , long time no see .

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