On Wednesday 3rd July I spent the day with the rangers carrying out a couple of tasks. As usual I arrived early and had a walk around the park. Of note were the hundreds of Froglets that were to be found around the Crescent and along the Spit. The overnight rain had left the grass wet and the tiny Frogs were taking advantage of the conditions. I also had 2 Oystercatchers on the grass by the Canoe Slalom. A Pied Wagtail on the flower meadow. Juv Song Thrush up by the Kissing Gate. 2 Grey Wagtails at the STW bridge and lots of feeding activity in the fallen Willow on the back river. At least 2 red head Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff along with Tits and Finches.
First task of the day was a trip out to the main lake island to check on the breeding success or not of the Common Terns. The plan was to go around the island and if there was no sign of any activity, land to search for nests. As expected there was no activity seen so we landed and fought our way around the island. It's quite amazing how much plant growth has occurred since my last visit for the Canada Goose egg oiling earlier this year. Still we managed to fight our way through and found 3 Tern nests. All of them looked to have been predated as the eggs were smashed rather than neatly opened. We should also have seen evidence of juveniles, if not on the island then at least when they fledged, had they hatched out successfully.
So good and bad news, evidence of breeding but no successful outcome this year. What this does suggest though is that with the correct management the island could become a nesting site for Common Terns. With this in mind the aim is to continue with the bashing back of the vegetation, possibly adding gravel to some areas to provide better nesting conditions for the Terns.
As far as I could see there was no sign of nesting by the Black-headed Gulls despite having seen them moving sticks about on the island. Again we would have seen signs of juvenile Gulls had they already hatched and fledged so they seem not to have been successful this year.
A wander around the park on Saturday morning produced the usual suspects although a bonus Kingfisher in the Crescent was nice as they have been few and far between of late. EG was ringing in the Rough but while we were there he was having a very slow day!
In the afternoon I returned and took a walk around 100 Acre. The good weather had attracted many visitors to the main park but I did not see another soul as I walked around 100 Acre. Of note were:
|Emperor Dragonfly (f)|