It was a sultry and calm afternoon and birds were sheltering from the heat, but even so with much deliberation over identifying flowers it took us two and a half hours to complete our circuit. After the long spell of dry weather everywhere was dry and the wild grasses golden. On the first section beside the railway line a wide expanse of bushes had been scrubbed out making way for a makeshift roadway into the farm field – hopefully this will regenerate.
Many bushes now displayed berries (sloes, blackberries, rose hips, haws, rowan and elder) giving an autumnal look to the landscape.
The development at Creeksea continues and we see small green signs have appeared and also metal open bowl shaped constructions on low poles with chains hanging from the pole into them. We were told that this development is going to be a Frisbee Golf Course, the green signs being the tees and the metal bowls the equivalent of holes. The lake had some life on it although only gulls and crows. The field of peas had been harvested so the birds that fed amongst them have also disappeared leaving only some foraging wood pigeons. A few swallows with their young still remain and fly above us. We found on the farmland at Creeksea what was probably a Small-flowered Hairy Willowherb but as the growing habitat was not as according to the book, identification is not certain.
A lone egret searched for food on the water’s edge and the exposed mud had attracted many black-headed gulls and also herring gulls, now nationally in decline. The brown coloured first year immature herring gulls are as large as their parents but will not achieve full adult colouring for about four years.
Down by the reed beds there were a few more birds present but the butterflies we have seen in large numbers in the previous months, were fewer.
The next ‘Our Patch’ outing is on Friday 30th September 9.00 Marina Car Park
Birds: (numbers in brackets indicate the highest number seen in one sighting) Robin 1, Blackbird 1 (1), Goldfinch 4 (3), Swallows 15 (12) Magpie 2 (1), Wood Pigeon 50 (27), Crow 5 (2), Moorhen 1, Black-headed Gull 147 (120), Herring Gull 8 (7), Green Woodpecker 1, Egret 1, Pied Wagtail 4 (3), Starlings 35 (35), Whitethroat 1, Mallard 2 (2).
Flowers: Hedge Mustard, Groundsel, Creeping Thistle, Spear Thistle, Bramble, Wild Carrot, Common Fleabane, Bristly Ox-tongue, Mallow, Dandelion, Yarrow, Red Clover, White Clover, Strawberry Clover, Prickly Sowthistle, Smooth Sowthistle, Daisy, Stinging Nettle, Field Poppy, Scented Mayweed (Wild Chamomile), Sea Lavender, Ragwort, Greater Plantain, Ribwort Plantain, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Bindweed, Bellbine (Hedge Bindweed), Black Horehound, Great Willowherb, Honeysuckle, Woody Nightshade, Teasel, Fat Hen, Fumitory
Grasses: Meadow Barley
Other: Small White & Common Blue Butterflies Red-tailed Bumble Bee, White-tailed Bumble Bee, Common Carder Bee, 7-spot Ladybird. Grasshopper, Wasp.