Saturday, 8 June 2013

Park 2 Patch

8th June.  Sam and I took a relaxing pace in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve and it paid off when Sam got his eye on what he initially thought was a small mammal on the ground, but which turned out to be a Garden Warbler which gave us both a fleeting sighting.  It certainly felt and sounded like summer in the reserve today with the song of Blackcap, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff all performing well in the sun.

Oystercatchers flew and called as we approached the first hide having walked around our usual route.  Both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were seen flying above the pond.  Water Rail was heard on three or fours occasions as it called very closely to the hide.  Two Grey Herons were seen and the Common Tern platform was busy.  Shoveller were on the water.  On the walk we found numerous Speckled Wood Butterflies along with White species and Blue Tailed Damselfly.  From the hide we saw at least two Four-spotted Chaser Dragonflies.  These were my first odonata of the year as was the Garden Warbler.  Other woodland birds seen included Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and pairs of Great Spotted Woodpecker which appeared to be feeding young.

Speckled Wood Butterfly, one of many on the wing today.
It was good just to take our time in the sun and enjoy the peace of the reserve and for the first time in ages there was no mud to walk through.  We decided not to carry on as planned to Prestwick Carr, but instead returned to patch and took a walk up to Burradon Pond.  The walk included many more Speckled Wood Butterflies and a couple of Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies.  Swifts, hirundines and Skylarks flew over the farmland as we enjoyed the view from what must be the highest point in the area.  The sun had brought out folk in some number so the pond wasn’t quiet, but never the less I enjoyed sitting there and having a bite to eat.  A Common Tern was eventually joined by another.  The Mute Swan pair has seven cygnets.  A Little Grebe called.  We toyed with the idea of beginning a Burradon Pond list thinking it might be better in the winter.  I have to confess this was my first visit!  The pathways and wagon-ways give an endless choice of routes around this area and I have never bothered going up to the pond.  Easily walked to from my front door, so it certainly qualifies as part of the patch.  We walked back home a little more tanned and well satisfied with our day

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