This page was updated on Friday, 14-Jul-2023 08:14:42 BST


The latest wildlife walk in the park took place on Wednesday 21st June and the warm sunny weather saw a record attendance. The warm weather also brought out plenty of wildlife, with lots of birds and insects seen and two orchid species found. A major highlight for many was another Red Kite, our second record this year, flying overhead near the bridge. We all had excellent views as it came down quite low - being mobbed by Swallows, House Martins and Swifts. Fantastic! As we walked around the paths we saw lots of butterflies, mainly Meadow Browns but also lots of Holly Blues too. A couple of Large Skippers were also found as was a tricky Essex Skipper. We were also surprised to see Marbled Whites this early in the year as they are normally a mid to late summer species. However, it was great to see a good number of these in the park - one of my favourites. A few dragonflies/damselflies were seen, with a medium sized yellow dragonfly perched on a bramble causing a few ID issues. Back home with photos and a book, it turned out to be an immature male Common Darter. Quite tricky when the juveniles are different colours than the adults. In respect of the orchids, a couple of Bee Orchids were found near the picnic tables and a Pyramidal Orchid was found near the lake. However, one of the most exciting finds of the day was a caterpillar! This turned out to be an early form of the Emperor Moth caterpillar - a first record for the park. I have attached a downloaded photo of the adult male - what a great specimen this is. The male is a day flying moth, active in sunshine from April to late May. The caterpillars are active from May to August and then pupate and spend the winter in a cocoon on a plant near the ground. They then emerge as an adult moth next spring. We will have to keep our eyes open in April and May 2024 to see if we can spot any adult moths now we know that they are there.

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

The next walk will take place on Wednesday 19th> July at 10.30am, but I will remind you all nearer the date.

Martin Singleton

Remaining dates for 2023

  • July 19th
  • August 16th
  • September 13th
  • October 18th
  • November 15th
  • December 13th

Summary of sightings

Birds - 30 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Breeding Notes
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 21/06/2023 3 At least one chasing the Red Kite and a couple at the lake
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 21/06/2023 2 Just a couple loafing around the park
Canada Goose Branta canadensis 21/06/2023 4 Adults 4 Juveniles 11 At the lake - the youngsters are growing fast!
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 21/06/2023 2 Two around the park
Common Blackbird Turdus merula 21/06/2023 1 Just one near the teasel field
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo 21/06/2023 1 One overhead as we approached the pavilion
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 21/06/2023 4 A few still singing in the hedges and trees
Common House Martin Delichon urbicum 21/06/2023 3 One along the road to the car park and a couple chasing the Red Kite
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 21/06/2023 1 At the lake.
Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 21/06/2023 3 Heard in the lake reedbeds
Common Swift Apus apus 21/06/2023 3 At least three birds around the park
Common Whitethroat Curruca communis 21/06/2023 3 One along the car park road, one near the teasel field and one behind the large mound
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus 21/06/2023 9 My guess was nine today at various parts of the park
Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 21/06/2023 3 A few still singing.
Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus 21/06/2023 5 A couple seen in the hedges and others heard
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 21/06/2023 1 One on the path as we left the boardwalk
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 21/06/2023 3 Adults 3 Juveniles 2 At the lake
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 21/06/2023 5 Usual birds around the park
Eurasian Wren (British) Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus 21/06/2023 4 A few heard singing today at various stages
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis 21/06/2023 3 Singing in the hedges near the picnic tables
European Green Woodpecker Picus viridis 21/06/2023 1 One heard at the back of the lake
European Robin Erithacus rubecula 21/06/2023 1 Only one heard today, no longer active now breeding is over
Great Tit Parus major 21/06/2023 1 One seen near the bridge
House Sparrow Passer domesticus 21/06/2023 2 At least two singing near the park gates
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 21/06/2023 1 One wandering over the park
Lesser Whitethroat Curruca curruca 21/06/2023 1 Briefly heard and possibly seen at the start of the large mound
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus 21/06/2023 9 A nice flock near the bridge and another at the back of the large mound
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 21/06/2023 4 Adults 4 Juveniles 3 At the lake
Red Kite Milvus milvus 21/06/2023 1 Seen very well by all from the bridge - excellent!
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 21/06/2023 1 One singing in the small copse near the bridge - moved to the hedges near the bridge.

Butterflies - 9 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola 21/06/2023 1 Just one identified in the hedgerow down from the bridge
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus 21/06/2023 20 Lots of these in the park today at least 20 seen
Large Skipper Ochlodes venatus 21/06/2023 2 Two good sightings of this species today
Large White Pieris brassicae 21/06/2023 2 On brambles down from the bridge
Marbled White Melanargia galathea 21/06/2023 6 Nice to see so many of these out early - mainly near the teasel field and towards the large mound
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina 21/06/2023 50 Lots everywhere - at least 50 seen, must be lots more in the grasses
Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 21/06/2023 1 Just one seen on the way to the pavilion
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta 21/06/2023 2 Two seen behind the large mound
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria 21/06/2023 3 Seen behind the lake in their usual haunts

Dragonflies/Damselflies - 4 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans 21/06/2023 5 One on brambles near the bridge and others at the lake
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum 21/06/2023 2 At the lake, mis-identified as Azure on the day but photos show these were Commons!
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum 21/06/2023 2 Adult male on brambles near the bridge and an immature male down from the bridge - again on brambles
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta 21/06/2023 6 A late summer species that is now breeding here and appears earlier every year!

Moths - 3 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 21/06/2023 1 Adult: One seen at the back of the lake
Emperor Moth Saturnia pavonia 21/06/2023 1 Caterpillar: An excellent find by Barbara & Richard at the back of the large mound - we will have to try and find an adult next year
Silver Y Autographa gamma 21/06/2023 1 Adult: Very near the caterpillar above