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.
I was leading a walk elsewhere in Kent this morning, so it wasn't until lunchtime today that I could visit Mote Park. It was predominantly bright and sunny, but dark clouds rolling in and the wind getting up hinted that rain may be on its way!
11 Blackcaps were singing, 12 Whitethroats were singing, 3 Chiffchaffs sang, a Great Spotted Woodpecker called, 6 Goldcrests were noted along Laurel Walk, 4 Jays were seen, 3 Sparrowhawks were seen, 2 Pheasants called, 2 Treecreepers were singing from trees along the River Len, a Kestrel flew high over the rough grassland north of the River Len, and 5 Swifts were spotted flying over the Old Bothy. Highlight of the visit was undoubtedly the sound and sight of a Turtle Dove at the top of the rough grassland north of the River Len, which 'purred' from within the dense tangle of scrub at the top of the bank. It did fly out from the cover of the leaves once, perching on the bare branches of the old large Ash tree nearby, allowing me to grab a quick record photo of this super long-distance summer migrant.
At least 7 Reed Warblers were singing around the Lake, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Mediterranean Gulls flew above the water of the Lake, and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull and around 60 Black-headed Gulls formed the gull flock on the Lake. Of particular note on the Lake were 6 Great Crested Grebes, 9 Mute Swans, and a pair of Tufted Duck.
A few Small Whites and 2 Orange-tips were the only butterflies seen.