WICK COUNTRY PARK WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS - August 6th 2020Our first night-time walk around the park took place on Thursday 6th August with 8 of us attending. Weather was fine and warm with clear skies - perfect for walking around the Park. What was surprising was that several other people thought the same and there were plenty of people wandering around the Park, even well into darkness!
Birds were very quiet as expected and we did not hear or see any Owls. Once it got dark however, we did see plenty of bats and with Paul's detector, we managed to identify both Common and Soprano Pipistrelles. My guess would be that we saw/heard around 10+ Common Pipistrelles around the lake and probably half this number of Soprano Pipistrelles flying over the lake. We did think we had another bat call at a lower frequency over the lake, so there is likely to be at least one other species of bat in the park but we couldn't identify that one. Perhaps we will invite someone from the Bat Group along next time but we will ponder that next year.
We also obtained some information from the fishermen at the lake as to what fish species are in there. During the week they had seen someone catch a 26lb Catfish!! Now that's a big fish and they are probably breeding as the fishermen had caught smaller catfish (seen on their phones.) We also saw a photo of a big red Goldfish they had caught at some stage. They caught a Bream while we watched and had also caught a Carp previously. So, there are several species in the lake, including many that have been stocked ad-hoc from who knows where, including Goldfish! Catfish can grow to 200lb plus if there is enough food for them and can live for a long time - the dogs swimming in the lake need to watch out if this one gets any bigger!
A big plus on the night was the night sky - fabulous. You could see lots of stars and we also saw Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. Through the binoculars you could make out the four Galilean moons around Jupiter, which are always an amazing sight. Would have been a perfect night for our star-gazing - again one for next year.
Our final stop was at the pavilion to check a few moths hovering around the lights, one of these was a Vapourer Moth and I think another may have been a Marbled Beauty but without a moth expert we couldn't identify the rest.
So, overall, a really nice night for a walk around the park and something we will definitely do again next year. Nice to find plenty of bats in the parks and we will have a better go at identifying them next time around.