Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Sep 6th Catton Park

Cat's-ear (I think)
It was a nice warm day today, so I went for a short walk around Catton Park for some fresh air. The fields of the park were now cut short with margins of grass and wildflowers surrounding the ancient oak trees, left to grow wild to provide a refuge for insects and other wildlife. The sound of chirping crickets and grasshoppers were heard everywhere in these patches of grassland, but were incredibly difficult to locate. This is the sound that I associate with the end of summer. As August is replaced by September, the long days of summer is nearing to an end as signs of autumn are creeping in where ever you look. Blackberries, chestnuts and other kinds of fruit and nut are now ready for birds and other animals to harvest them as they prepare to fatten up for winter.

Field Scabious


Common Knapweed

Stock Dove



Walking along one of the pathways that lead you through the fields, I notice a large flock of woodpigeons feeding further up on the path. Amongst them were a couple of stock doves. They are much smaller than woodpigeons and lack the white markings that their bigger cousins possess. There was also a woodpigeon in the flock that too did not have some of these white markings. This was a juvenile bird. I sat on a bench to watch them. Behind me, several crows and magpies were making a commotion. Some of the magpies were fighting with each other, wrestling themselves down to the ground with bloodcurdling screeches. I don't remember what a group of magpies are called when there's so many of them, but it sounded like a murder!
Woodpigeon

Juvenile Woodpigeon
Magpie

Brown Rat
After watching the pigeons and magpies, I walked down to the pond and sat on another bench to wait to see if anything would turn up for a drink or a bath. The birds were hesitant to come down as if something was making them think twice before doing so. Blue tits and other birds were hiding away deep within the dense cover of the trees and shrubs around the pond, calling noisily. Then I noticed something move under the shadow of the branches by the edge of the pond. It was a rat! Most people do not like rats, but this encounter had its own magical charm as with any other creature that I have encountered in the past. Its scurried movements that can cause some people to scream in horror, just adds to its interesting character to me. I watch as it takes a few sips from the pond before it scurries away under a fence and out of sight into the woods. Though I have seen rats plenty of times, this was my first time seeing one here.
Goldcrest


Speckled Wood
In the woods, speckled wood butterflies fluttered by me and stalks of red poisonous berries of the lords and ladies lily brighten up sections of the path by my feet. I also found this parasol toadstool (I think) and this ichneumon wasp  (Amblyteles armatorius)  which sat on a leaf to clean itself.



Parasol toadstool (I think)

Lords and Ladies Lily berries


Ichneumon Wasp Amblyteles armatorius

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