We are off for a wander to see what's about, there was light cloud cover, moderate wind and it was about 7 degrees Celsius.
From the Lambley Lane car park we took a stroll to the lagoons. We saw a Coot which was probably nesting and a very territorial and Little Grebe, which was feeding. From the lagoons we wandered up the eastern pathway around the solar farm. The trees are now bursting to their full potential. There are numerous Skylarks singing their morning chorus (probably one of the most beautiful sounds of the English countryside, especially on a clear peaceful Sunday morning). We observed a magnificent Song Thrush feeding close to the solar farm fencing, a species which is sadly now in decline.
The cable trenches (coming from the solar farm passing alongside the pathway and veering east to Lambley Lane) are now covered over and trees have been replanted and are growing. We noticed that the scrapes to the left of the path are very dry and will require some remedial work this Autumn.
We saw a Dog Fox slinking away around the northern edge of the solar farm, he looked in excellent condition. There was a Cuckoo calling away to the NW. My first of the season! We turned left and down the central path to the Lagoon, one Lapwing on the hillside, then diagonally along the south west pathway around to the southern perimeter of the park. There was a profusion of Cowslips flowering just over the park boundary and thankfully spreading into our area. There were also masses of Wild Strawberries flowering.
From there we walked on to the mainly dried up flash to the west where we could find no sign of the Southern Marsh Orchids that grow in this area. There were plenty of Rabbits around the banks grazing and also plenty of Violets in bloom. There was bird life a plenty on the grasslands in this area of the park: Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Whitethroats amongst others - all singing and probably nesting.
Another Cuckoo calling to the west!
Back around the pathway to the central lagoon and then a stroll to the two southern lagoons. We saw some super clumps of King Cups flowering in the western of the two Lagoons.
Now, it's ten o'clock and time for a coffee.
It was a wonderful and inspiring walk for a Sunday (or any for that matter any) morning.
There were just a few downsides: dog poo still left around the pathways (in bags in some cases), dogs under no control whatsoever in the lagoons and over the nesting areas.
If we are to leave this very valuable environment to future generations more care and responsibility needs to be taken regarding these issues.
I would like to say a big thanks to FGCP member Mark Tyler for his enthusiasm, for acting as my guide for the morning and for the bird identification.
We saw or heard a total of 40 species of birds during the walk these are listed below.
I would like to encourage you all to keep a full record of all your finds on the park - bird, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, other insects, flowers, fungi, trees, lichens and anything unusual. We will need them for a record of the park – we have produced a short guide to recording wildlife in the park which you can access by clicking on this link http://www.gedlingcountrypark.org.uk/recording-wildlife.html
Have a good week and a great Bank Holiday!
Yours, Brian Osborne, nature watcher and Friends of Gedling Country Park Trustee.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Coot Fulica atra
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Stock Dove Columba oenas
Collard Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
Skylark Alauda arvensis
Swallow Hirundo rustica
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Dunnock Prunella modularis
Robin Erithracus rubecula
Blackbird Turdus merula
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
Great Tit Parus major
Magpie Pica pica
Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Rook Corvus frugilegus
Carrion Crow Corvus corone
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Linnet Carduelis cannabina
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major