Avian highlights at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve over the last fortnight include Bitterns, seen from both the Ridley and Pearce hides, and a lingering Whooper Swan. Elsewhere, a Green Woodpecker was once again observed on the reserve and a pair of Willow Tits continued to loiter around the screen area. A Jack Snipe was also present for two days on the exposed mud adjacent to the Ridley Hide while Kingfishers, once again, could be observed daily from both waterside hides – much to the delight of visitors.
Less noteworthy bird sightings this week include Sparrowhawk and Buzzard, observed on multiple occasions, Snipe, Pink-footed Goose, Water Rail, Little Egret and a hefty count of c25 Stock Doves. At the feeding station, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch have featured heavily amid the usual assortment of tits and finches and, in the woodland, the first Redwing and Fieldfare have been observed passing through. Finally, the Gosforth Park Starling roost has now reached a hefty total of c12,000 birds, putting on a mesmerising display by dusk, and at dawn.
Mammals seen this week at Gosforth include Roe Deer, Red Fox, Bank Vole and Otter; although the undisputed highlight of the span must be the first confirmed record of Red Squirrel on site in over two years. Please do get in touch should you sight one for yourself.
Befitting the season, invertebrate life on the reserve has dwindled recently; though for the especially keen, a few points of interest remain. Among these, European Hornets continue to be seen in close proximity to Lake Lodge, while a few Common Darter and Southern Hawker dragonflies remain around the drainage pools. Butterfly sightings this week include Red Admiral, Comma and Peacock.
Red Squirrel © Chris Wren