Sightings at Pensthorpe – 9th May 2024

Following their visit to Pensthorpe on 9th May 2024, WVBS provides an update.


When Steven Connor and I met at 7.30am at Pensthorpe it was a cool 10C with very little wind and light clouds. As usual we started the survey from the car park and within an hour we had recorded 40 species including Red Kite, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Swallow, finches, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Collared and Stock Doves, Corvids, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Pied Wagtail.


Moving onto the Park itself we picked up Reed Warblers by the Millennium Gardens, and at the farmland hide we added 2 Swifts high up and a Garden Warbler singing from the field hedgerow. In this area we also saw Peacock, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Holly Blue and Small White butterflies.


From the Wetland Hide we added Common Sandpiper, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Common Terns, White Wagtail, Grey Heron, Cetti’s Warbler, Reed Bunting, Cormorant, Sand Martins, male Marsh Harrier, female Sparrowhawk and more Reed Warblers. In the trees opposite the hide a Red Kite was perched near what looked like a nest, and a bit later we saw the pair of kites actually mating! In the distance we heard our first Cuckoo of the day.


Around Old Squaw we saw our first Large Red Damselflies, and a number of Black-headed Gulls had started to nest on the islands with two pairs of Common Terns struggling to find room. A Tawny Owl called from thick scrub by the Millennium Garden.


Moon Water had the usual gull roost with 20+ Herring, a few Lesser Black-backed and 20+ Common Gulls.


At the Woodland Hide 3 male Mandarin Ducks were feeding on the ground, whilst a Nuthatch could be heard in the distance. A short detour to Dark Mere added Goldcrest and female Goldeneye plus 4 more Cetti’s Warblers and 2 Treecreepers.


Our final stop at the Waderscrape was quite productive, with the addition of another Common Sandpiper, Med Gull, Little Ringed Plover, 2 Pochards, 3 Sedge Warblers, Willow Warbler, 3 Hobbies, 2 more Garden Warblers, female Marsh Harrier, Green Woodpecker and Little Egret.


We finished on about 80 species for the day, which indicates a good range of species for an inland reserve with a rich diversity of habitats. It was a good day.


Report by Steve Chapman



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