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Wildlife in June 2015

Posted: Wednesday 15th July 2015 by WhisbyWarden

Cornfield flowers sown at the entrance to the Nature Park

Wildlife in June 2015

Birds.
The monthly WeBS count on 19th revealed; 55 Canada Goose; 5 Common Tern; 127 Coot; 4 Cormorant; 61 Gadwall; 10 Great Crested Grebe; 1 Grey Heron; 159 Greylag Goose; 40 Lapwing; 3 Little Egret; 2 Little Grebe; 52 Mallard; 13 Moorhen; 9 Mute Swan; 42 Tufted Duck.
8 Bullfinches were counted at Teal Lake on 10th.
The largest group of soaring Buzzards was 4 over the railway bridge on 10th.
Only 9 Common Terns, 7 of them at Teal Lake, settled down to incubate, which was bad enough, but the predations of Peregrines nesting locally caused a total desertion except for the two on rafts at Grebe Lake. This was the worst year ever recorded at Whisby for breeding Common Terns.
Single Cuckoos were heard on 5th and 12th, probably the same bird.
There were three unseasonal Curlew records from Teal Lake with 4 on 23rd, 2 on 24th and 4 again on 26th. Curlews have previously been very scarce at Whisby.
2 Dunlin on 14th continued the run of passage records at Teal Lake.
Small numbers of Garden Warblers continued to sing until mid-month.
The mid-month period led observers to suggest that Goldcrests had bred in the Leylandii conifers south of Grebe Lake.
Three pairs of Great Crested Grebes bred successfully at Thorpe Lake, with a second brood attempt beginning there at the end of the month.
A Green Sandpiper was at Teal Lake 26th-29th.
There were nine reports of Hobby, all singletons except for 3 sightings at different locations on 6th which may have involved different birds.
50-150 House Martins were reported over Teal lake during the month.
Kestrels appeared to be attending the nest box throughout the month. Others were seen at Teal Lake.
The only Kingfisher record was at Teal lake on 9th. This species seems to have become scarce this year for some reason.
30 Lapwings gathering at Teal Lake at the beginning of the month had doubled by its end.
Lesser Whitethroats sang until at least mid-month. There was successful breeding at West Lake.
A singing Linnet was one of 2 seen at Redland’s old yard on 25th which were still present nearby the following day.
Single Little Egrets were seen on Grebe and Teal Lakes early in the month and 4-5 were gathered by the end.
There were 2-5 Little Ringed Plovers at Teal Lakeduring the month, but 8 were counted on 24th.
The largest roving party of Long-tailed Tits was 22 at Teal Lake on 10th.
A male Marsh Harrier flew over Grebe Lake on 15th pursued by gulls.
As usual, Mediterranean Gulls flattered to deceive with the four adults from May failing to breed at Thorpe Lake and starting to drift away towards the end of the month. 1-2 immature birds were seen on the reserve now and again.
The Mute Swan pair on Thorpe Lake retained 6 cygnets to months end.
A pair of Nightingales were seen with two fledged chicks on the west side of Oakwood on 6th. Late singing by at least three other males probably indicated breeding failure.
There appeared to be no breeding success for Oystercatchers on the reserve but a pair raised 3 young at the Millennium Green Lake at North Hykeham.
Peregrines breeding locally and predating Black-headed Gull chicks were presumably to blame for Common Terns abandoning their breeding colony at Teal Lake.
A Pochard male rested at Teal Lake on 14th.
There were three reports of Red Kites between 6th-26th.
Reed Warblers singing next to the Teal Lake viewing screen were often reported.
A Ringed Plover stayed at Teal Lake throughout the month.
A male Shelduck was at Grebe Lake mid-month.
Three Shovelers were reported from Teal Lake on 18th.
There was an unseasonal Snipe at Teal Lake on 18th.
There was a unusual report of 2 Spotted Flycatchers at Dragonfly Lakes on 6th.
Stock Doves have often been reported in 1’s and 2’s from Teak Lake.
100+ Swifts featured at Teal Lake on three occasions during the month.
Teal started to return to Teal Lake from 10th when 5 were present.
Treecreepers are thought to have bred at the Oakwood and near Teal Lake.
The first Tufted Duck brood appeared towards the end of the month at Thorpe Lake.
A Yellowhammer sang on surrounding agricultural land on 26th.

Butterflies.
Brown Argus, Comma, Common Blue, Large Skipper, Meadow brown, Painted lady, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Small Copper and Speckled Wood were recorded but butterflies in general were often present in very low numbers early in the month.

Moths.
Chimney Sweepers were numerous along the Pike Drain and spreading out to areas of Grebe Lake near the railway.

Dragonflies.
Azure Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle, Black-tailed Skimmer, Broad-bodied Chaser, Common Blue Damselfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Hairy Dragonfly, Large Red Damselfly and Ruddy Darter were all recorded.

Diptera (Flies).
A trap at Thorpe Lake enabled the identification of 34 species of flies including hoverflies, ‘house’-flies, dance-flies and long-legged flies, but the most impressive was the large and scarce Conops vesicarius, the presence of which can be used to indicate a good-quality heathland environment.

Mammals.
Species recorded were Fox, Hedgehog, Muntjac, Stoat and Weasel.

Reptiles.
A terrapin, thought to be an American Red-bellied Cooter, was seen again on one of the tern rafts at Grebe Lake on a few occasions from mid-month.

Plants.
There was a magnificent display of hundreds of Bee Orchids at Redland’s old yard, with many others scattered thinly through suitable dry areas of the reserve.
21 Twayblade Orchids flowered in birch woodland on Magpie walk.
Common Polypody, an evergreen fern, was recorded for the first time at Plover Beach.
Pyramidal Orchids were discovered for the first time in any numbers at Redland’s old yard when 13 were discovered on 25th. Previously, 1-2 had turned up in various sites at very irregular intervals.

 

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