Most of our willow warblers will have left by now; they will be on their way to sub-Saharan Africa where they will spend their winter. Theirs is the longest journey undertaken by any of the park’s migratory birds. Why do such tiny birds fly so far and take such risks to do it?Continue reading “Willow warbler migration”
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.
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
The record breaking swifts are back from their winter feeding grounds.Continue reading “Record holders”
The house martins are backContinue reading
Last week there was a report of a pair of goldcrests in the conifers by the path at the top of Simpson’s Field. Goldcrests are Britain’s smallest bird; a tiny flash of yellow against the dark green of a pine tree.Continue reading “Goldcrest”
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.
Most of our swallows have left by this time of year; Britain’s swallows overwinter South Africa.Continue reading
All our willow warblers will have left by now; they are on their way to sub-Saharan Africa where they will spend their winter. Theirs is the longest journey undertaken by any of the park’s migratory birds. Why do such tiny birds fly so far and take such risks to do it?Continue reading “Willow warbler migration”
Back from our Christmas break with an interesting tidbit of scientific discovery from 2018.Continue reading “Migration”