This page was updated on Sunday, 06-Aug-2023 15:36:35 BST


The latest wildlife walk took place on Wednesday 26th July. Weather was excellent, warm and sunny with a gentle breeze, perfect for insects and so it proved. However, the early start for some, to search for the White Letter Hairstreak, proved to be fruitless. They were hiding or have moved on, perhaps we will find them next year. In the park itself there were hundreds of butterflies, mainly Gatekeepers but also plenty of other species to enjoy. In fact, we managed to see 13 butterfly species on the day, many in very good numbers, and we had record counts for Gatekeeper, Peacock and Red Admiral. We also saw some other interesting insects, including Speckled Bush Cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima), Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) and a big Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria). There was a bit of a surprise at the lake in that we did not see a single dragonfly or damselfly here. There were, however, several Migrant Hawkers around the hedges and they should be around now into the autumn. July is normally a quiet time for birds and while they did take a back seat to the insects this month, we did record 22 species, including a mystery bird calling along the car park road. I initially thought that this may have been a Sedge Warbler, but checking the call online later showed that it was in fact a Whitethroat. We also had two birds of prey, Kestrel and Buzzard to continue a good year for such sightings.

As with all wildlife watching, much depends on the weather and if you get a good day then the wildlife usually responds. An excellent day in the park and hopefully we will get more days like this before the summer ends.

Finally, here is a link to some photos I took on the day: WCP - July 2023

The next walk will take place on Wednesday 16th> August at 10.30am, but I will remind you all nearer the date.

Martin Singleton

Remaining dates for 2023

  • August 16th
  • September 13th
  • October 18th
  • November 15th
  • December 13th

Summary of sightings

Birds - 22 Species

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

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 26/07/2023 7 A few around the park and over the lake
Canada Goose Branta canadensis 26/07/2023 2 Breeding - with chicks 2 Adults 5 Juveniles At the lake
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 26/07/2023 3 Around the park
Common Blackbird Turdus merula 26/07/2023 3 In the hedgerows
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo 26/07/2023 2 Two very high at the end of the walk
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 26/07/2023 1 One distant hovering
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 26/07/2023 2 At the lake
Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 26/07/2023 1 Heard Just one at the lake
Common Swift Apus apus 26/07/2023 3 A few seen overhead while viewing the Buzzards
Common Whitethroat Curruca communis 26/07/2023 1 Heard A mystery bird calling on the road to the car park was identified later as this species
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus 26/07/2023 10 Usual birds around the park
Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 26/07/2023 2 Heard At least two heard in the hedgerows
Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus 26/07/2023 5 Heard A few calling from the hedgerows
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 26/07/2023 2 At the lake
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 26/07/2023 8 Around the park - hard to tell juveniles from adults now
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis 26/07/2023 8 Several around the park - mainly heard flying overhead
European Green Woodpecker Picus viridis 26/07/2023 2 Heard One heard at the start of the walk and one heard at the lake
European Robin Erithacus rubecula 26/07/2023 3 Heard Being quiet at the moment - will become more active at the end of summer
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 26/07/2023 1 One flying over the lake
House Sparrow Passer domesticus 26/07/2023 4 Usual birds at the park gate and a couple more near the dipping pond
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 26/07/2023 1 One floating around the park
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 26/07/2023 6 At the lake

Butterflies - 13 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni 26/07/2023 1 Adult A nice specimen feeding on a thistle.
Comma Butterfly Polygonia c-album 26/07/2023 1 Adult Just one seen on brambles.
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus 26/07/2023 240 Adults Lots everywhere. The total is my estimate and probably an under count!
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus 26/07/2023 4 Adult A few, mainly around the brambles.
Marbled White Melanargia galathea 26/07/2023 3 Adult In the long grass - where it still exists!
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina 26/07/2023 8 Adults Lots everywhere but coming to the end of their flying days for this year.
Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 26/07/2023 11 Adults Mainly on brambles but some on the paths. Good to see so many.
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 26/07/2023 8 Adults Quite a few today. Seems to be a very good year for this species.
Ringlet . Aphantopus hyperantus 26/07/2023 1 Adult Just one very worn specimen seen in the field after the boardwalk
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria 26/07/2023 4 Adults Seen in the usual places in the shaded areas at the back of the lake.
Green-veined White Artogeia napi 26/07/2023 4 Adult A total of 31 white butterflies were counted and we did manage to identify all three species detailed. The count is an estimate as to how many of each species were seen but is obviously a guess and not a definite number
Large White Pieris brassicae 26/07/2023 15 Adults
Small White Artogeia rapae 26/07/2023 12 Adults

Dragonflies/Damselflies - 1 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta 26/07/2023 8 Adults Several patrolling the hedgerows