Swallows, swifts and martins

All summer long, swallows, house martins and swifts have hawked and hunted for winged insects over the park. The swifts have already begun their migration, the swallows will leave next and the house martins will go last of all.

Here is a short video to help you tell the three species apart.

Another world record

Longest butterfly migration

We now know the painted lady (Vanessa cardui) makes the longest migration of any butterfly: 9,000 miles from tropical Africa to the Arctic Circle, almost double the journey made by the previous record holder, the famed monarch butterfly.

It can take six successive generations of painted ladies to complete this epic journey, flying up to 1,500ft high and reaching speeds of 30mph. The butterflies that return to Africa at the end of the year are several generations removed from those that set out.

This astonishing and beautiful butterfly, spotted in the park for the first time last year, will begin arriving in Britain this month. Keep a look out for it.

Pictures (CC0) from pixabay.com

Returning chiffchaffs

Has anybody heard our chiffchaffs yet? This is the time of year when they come back from the Mediterranean and Africa to nest here and their unmistakeable call is a welcome sign that spring is here. Message or email us if you have heard them .

All these pictures were taken in the park by DKG.

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