Monday, 25 June 2012

Rising Sun C P/Holywell

23rd Jun.  A planned trip was put on hold until the weather settles down and instead Sam and I began the day at the Rising Sun C P.  The day was a rather quiet one, but not without some interest.  Initially it was the numbers of orchids in flower that caught the eye.  I’ve never seen as many before in the area we looked at and I still feel that the heavy rains seem to have been a great help to at least some species of orchid.  The majority today were Common Spotted Orchids or hybrids, I think.  These commoner orchids always prove a bit difficult to identify, for me anyway.  I don’t see them often enough and today didn’t really spend anytime studying them closely.  Orchids of Britain and Ireland/A + S Harrap is a very good guide and interesting read however.

Because of the weather conditions we found not a single dragonfly or damselfly and I don’t recall any butterflies in the country park either.  That put paid in the main to the planned macro photography!  We did have a nice sighting of a Fox, with only its ears showing initially from the long grass where it seemed to be stalking a Magpie.  It soon give us a slightly better sighting as it moved towards us, but never quite as close as I would have liked.  It eventually disappeared into the woodland although never at any time looking remotely troubled by our presence.  I found foxes in this same area last year.

Wot 'ave we 'ear?

Fox appears

The hide at Swallow Pond offered cover from the one and only heavy shower we faced today and we were pleased to see some of the breeding success at the pond as well as watching Little Grebes, Common Terns and Lesser Black Backed Gulls.  W had seen the Red Deer stag on arrival and watched him over on the other side of the pond.  His antlers are growing.  Skylarks had been seen.

Dukes Pond provided more sightings of Common Tern and also a family of Little Grebes.  One of the adult birds was catching fish on a regular basis and bringing them to the young birds.  A Kestrel flew in the area.  We left the park and moved onto Holywell.

We paid the pond two visits and found it generally quiet as were the feeding stations.  Birds that were seen here included Mute Swan and cygnets, Little Grebes, a single Teal, two Shelduck, Grey Heron, a single Redshank. Common Terns, Swallows, House Martins, Swifts and gulls.  Sedge Warbler was heard and briefly seen as were Reed Buntings.  Other warblers seen or heard today were Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and Blackcap.  The burn in the dene was not especially deep today, but it was very mud stained.  The walk through the dene brought little in the way of bird life.  The sun never quite stayed out long enough to encourage butterflies or dragonflies, although we had sightings of Red Admiral Butterfly and White species.

Once at the dipping pond we decided to return to Holywell rather than carry on to the coast where we anticipated that there would be little about.  Taking the higher path through the farmland we hoped that some owls may be encouraged out early in the evening after all the rain of late.  That wasn’t to be while we were there and we settled for sightings of Yellowhammers and Meadow Pipits before ending the day at the public hide near the pond.

It had been a quiet relaxing and enjoyable day, allowing time to discuss some future wildlife watching and photography plans.  Thankfully I was not out in the heavy rain which occurred around noon today (24th).   I’m now hearing thunder!


  1. I've seen a few Damselflies on odd visits to the Rising Sun Brian but no Dragons at all. Numbers of Butterflies there have been poor also..........obviously the weather has affected them.

  2. After a very good year in 2011, this year has been very poor for butterflies. Even on the occasional sunny days there have been few about. The only two species I've seen in number on odd days John have been Orange Tip and Wall Brown. More rain this week too by the sound of it! Cheers.