Due to horrible horrible work commitments combined with light ukulele-ing I’ve been unable to voyage anywhere of interest lately. The best I’ve managed is my local park. I was hoping to find something awesome there in the last few days to make me post but due to a combination of lazy birding and an irrepressible number of dog walkers I’ve seen nothing of interest. But it’s a good local park with some nice unusual species to be found, so I’ll try to summarise what can be found there if anyone is stuck in Hull for any period of time.
Having checked my list for the site, I’m just shy of 50 species. What makes the park interesting compared to many is the river running alongside it, allowing for some common wader species, such as redshank and common sandpiper, which I don’t think are common for many parks. I wouldn’t class either as urban birds, so it’s nice to see them in this setting. Cormorant are regularly seen and kingfisher sightings are becoming more common.
In the past the small lake as been rather nice for common but various duck species. This doesn’t seem to be the case any more, possible due to increased amount of fishing around the lake. I have previously seen mallard, pochard, tufted duck, gadwall and goosander. An interesting omission is geese. I have never seen a single goose there that wasn’t a flyover, made more unusual by the large grass fields nearby which would surely offer some tasty snacks for them. Little grebe can also be found on the lake but are easily disturbed by fishing.
Birds of prey were also more numerous, and while sparrowhawk and buzzard can still be seen, kestrel have seemingly disappeared. Annoyingly, I missed out on a hobby there by a matter of hours. Tawny owl are resident, and barn owl boxes have been erected but I doubt they will used any time soon.
The usual plethora of passerines can be found, with bullfinch and goldfinch being regular. Mistle thrush also prove common. Another missing species sadly is waxwing, which i havent seen despite regularly checking the rows of berry trees dividing the playing fields. Reed warbler, reed bunting, whitethroat and willow warbler all seem to be breed as well.
The most common noticeable mammal is rabbit and grey squirrel, like most parks. Fox are regular and I believe i caught glimpse of a stoat but was unable to confirm. The nearby river can boast grey seal from time to time and it seems inevitable that an otter (or evidence of) will soon be seen with their constant expansion. Bats are present, but i couldnt say which species, presumably pipistrelle. I’m unaware of small mammals present, but would like to find out using mammal traps soon.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Grass snake are a common species and always a pleasant treat. This is the only colony I know of in central hull and they seem to benefit from the large toad population. Smooth newt and common frog are also present.
One of the star species of the park is small red-eye damselfly, with the park being the most northerly site for them in the UK. This probably won’t be the case for much longer as they spread upwards, but it speaks well of the park that it can support the species. Southern hawker, emperor dragonfly, darters and common damsleflies can also be found.
A nice variety of butterflies can be found, although no particular rarities. There is also evidence of clearwing moths in some of the trees surrounding the lake, and hopefully an individual in the new year.
I’ve largely made this post to give people an idea of what can be found, and will update it in the future if new species are found or others can no longer be found. It’s a rather brief list and hopefully I will add full species lists soon.