This page was updated on Tuesday, 26-Sep-2023 20:36:31 BST


This month's wildlife walk took place on Wednesday 23rd August. It was a very warm sunny day, so pleasant for wandering around the park, albeit a bit hot at times. It is a quiet time of year for birds, breeding season is largely over, and birds can just concentrate on feeding but we did get a couple of highlights. The main one being a Kingfisher with a fish in its beak flying from the lake, over the teasel field and away! Very unexpected and probably shows that Kingfishers visit the lake more regularly than we think - there are plenty of places for them to hide!

Robins were very active this month singing from all parts of the park. At this time of year they are sorting out their winter territories, so expect plenty of Robin song over the next few weeks. There are plenty of juvenile birds in the park at this time of year, all learning their songs and at times it was difficult to identify the various tweets and whistles from the hedges as they do this - a bit frustrating but all part of the fun! By the winter they will all have learned to sing from the adults, and we will again be able to identify them.

There were a few Swallows and House Martins overhead, probably feeding on their slow migration south, as was a late solitary Swift. Hard to believe that Swallows travel all the way to South Africa, although a very small number do over-winter in the UK mainly in the South West!

With the sunny weather it was a good day for butterflies, although numbers were down on last month, as this year's adults come to the end of their time. Many butterfly species seem to have had a good year, but we have not seen a Common Blue or many Skippers this year, so perhaps these species have been affected by last year's drought? Only by recording and counting as we do will show over the years what is happening to our wildlife populations in the park.

We saw a few dragonflies and damselflies at the lake including a very elusive Large Red-Eyed Damselfly and a couple of Brown Hawkers. There are several Migrant Hawkers in the park at the moment and you will see them patrolling the hedgerows for insect prey. As the name suggests, traditionally these are a late summer migrant to the UK from the continent, but they do breed in the UK and the migrants join the residents at this time of year, sometimes in very large numbers.

As well as seeing a squirrel we did add another mammal to the list as a Fox crossed the road as we were leaving the park.

The next walk will take place on Wednesday 13th September at 10.30am, but I will remind you all nearer the date.

Martin Singleton

Remaining dates for 2023

  • September 13th
  • October 18th
  • November 15th
  • December 13th

Summary of sightings

Birds - 19 Species

Note, I have included a bit more data from my recordings this month.

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Trip Notes
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 23/08/2023 8 Several feeding around the park, at times low over the grass
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 23/08/2023 3 Usual birds in the grass
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 23/08/2023 1 One overhead from the teasel field with a fish in its beak
Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 23/08/2023 4 Several in the small reedbed to the right of the lake
Common Swift Apus apus 23/08/2023 1 A solitary late bird overhead on its way South
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus 23/08/2023 14 Usual estimate of the very mobile wood pigeon flock
Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 23/08/2023 2 Heard only. At least two calling in the hedgerows
Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus 23/08/2023 2 Very quiet today
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 23/08/2023 1 One overhead at the back of the lake
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis 23/08/2023 2 Just two at the back of the large mound
European Green Woodpecker Picus viridis 23/08/2023 1 Heard only: Heard in the field along from the bridge
European Greenfinch Chloris chloris 23/08/2023 4 Seen from the lake
European Robin Erithacus rubecula 23/08/2023 17 Very active. They are sorting their winter territories now
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 23/08/2023 1 Heard only: Heard from the lake but could not be seen
House Sparrow Passer domesticus 23/08/2023 2 At the back of the large mound
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus 23/08/2023 4 Two at the back of the lake and two in the pavilion car park
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 23/08/2023 6 At the lake
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 23/08/2023 1 Heard only: Heard near the lake
Western House Martin Delichon urbicum 23/08/2023 8 Several overhead during the walk

Butterflies - 9 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Trip Notes
Comma Butterfly Polygonia c-album 23/08/2023 1 Just one on an oak leaf
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus 23/08/2023 6 Much reduced in numbers from last month
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus 23/08/2023 4 Mainly around the brambles, nice to see
Large White Pieris brassicae 23/08/2023 2 An estimate amongst the whites seen
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina 23/08/2023 10 Still a few flying around
Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 23/08/2023 2 On brambles in the field after the bridge
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 23/08/2023 1 Only one this month
Small White Artogeia rapae 23/08/2023 24 Plenty of whites which were mainly this species
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria 23/08/2023 4 At the boardwalk and at the back of lake

Dragonflies/Damselflies - 4 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans 23/08/2023 2 Just two at the lake
Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis 23/08/2023 2 Flying around the lake
Large Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas 23/08/2023 1 Laying eggs in weed at the lake
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta 23/08/2023 9 Several patrolling the hedgerows