1. Syromastus rhombeus
2. Green mosquito
Shaggy Parasol fungus
Philip the pheasant
Nature Observations: Eastcliff(Mules)Park – September 2020
by Catherine Locke
5th September 2020
A sunny morning with long thin clouds fanning outwards from the South West.In the park today I saw 7 Small White butterflies, one Large White butterfly, 2 Meadow Browns, and a Speckled Wood. I also saw a male Common Darter dragonfly sunning itself on a path. On nettles I saw a few a light brown guitar-body shaped bugs called Syromastus Rhombeus. I also saw a pair of Goldfinches as they twittered across the park. Other birds included several family groups of Blue Tits, and Great Tits the same, sometimes co-mingling, several pairs of Wood pigeons, a family of Goldcrests a pair of Blackbirds and two Dunnocks. I saw two families of munching Grey squirrels in Sycamore trees in the cleared area of rhododendron in the Rowdens, and a family of rabbits eating shoots.
12th September 2020
Lovely sunny day with lazily drifting clouds. A typical September day, without being too hot, and white fluffy clouds drifting across the blue. In the park today a lot of wood pigeons roosting in trees, not calling much now, sleepily perched on branches. I heard a lot of titting coming from robins, both male and female, as they defended their individual patches for autumn and winter to come. Great tits were making a variety of calls, not just the "teecher teecher" call. I saw a lot of shiny Green Bottle flies sunning themselves on nettles and other foliage. Up ahead on Lower Path, there were a couple of rabbit kits. they hopped into holes in bramble bushes by the path. Something landed on my leg. I saw it, then it bit me, then automatically I swatted and killed it. It was a green mosquito of some kind. Hope it wasn't rare! The Holly berries are still green with some reddening now. There was a gory sight in leaf litter by Overdell Path, a headless wood pigeon. I know it must have been killed by a fox as they often decapitate their prey. It had been plucked partly but not eaten. A female sparrowhawk would have left nothing but bones and feathers. Small oval shaped hoverflies were hovering in one spot at eye level. I spotted a family of Goldcrests in the Cedar tree near No.4 pond in The Dell. Some flat-capped leopard spotted fungi by the path turned out to be Shaggy Parasol fungus. It was a day for butterflies, especially white ones. I counted 24 Small and 6 Large Whites. I also saw a male Common Blue, 3 Red Admirals and two Speckled Woods.
29th of September 2020
A Sunny and quite mild day. As I walked with Ollie, the dog that I walk regularly, up the park steps, a squirrel suddenly ran across in front of us, and Ollie barked and lunged towards it, but it was quickly up the trunk of a Monterey pine and while clinging to the trunk scolded us in that strange "chit-chat chit schwee" warning sound they make. We left it alone and continued up the steps. In the park today I saw four pairs of Great tits, three pairs of Bluetits, a family group of Coaltits, a pair of Wrens, abundant Robins, two Nut-hatches, (in oak trees), two Song thrushes with Blackbirds in holly trees taking the berries, two families of Blackbirds and two males separately.
The Great English Oak is now shedding its leaves carpeting the Overdell Path. I heard the sudden "chock ock ock" of Philip the pheasant, a very autumnal sound. Crows cawing throughout the park and many Magpie families were chattering in the trees. Hemp Agrimony was going to seed and the berries of Tutsan, a member of the St John's Wort family, were turning red from Green and later will turn black.As we walked a path by the sloping Meadow I noticed large brown bird sitting in the meadow, which is now been cut for hay. It was a beautiful dark buzzard, large, so must have been a female. She saw us but didn't fly immediately. When she did it was on large slowly flapping wings. A memorable moment. On buddleia earlier in full sun rested a newly emerged Red Admiral butterfly with another hovering above it. September days like this are wonderful for walking in and for spotting a variety of birds, butterflies, insects and plants.
photo1. url - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syromastus_rhombeus_Ooijpolder.jpg attribution - Pudding4brains, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
photo 2. url - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_mosquito.jpg attribution - Haneef_honey, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia