Saturday, 3 March 2018

West Park Local Nature Reserve - Species

Just before Christmas, I wrote about the species that I have observed in the Hempstead Meadow Nature Reserve. Now it's West Park's turn.

Amphibians and Reptiles

I've not observed any amphibians or reptiles in West Park but plenty of people have seen frog spawn near the pond.  iRecord shows two records for Common Lizard in 2015.


Goldfinch - 9 April 2017

We (The Uckfield Nature Reserves Supporter's group) have gone on a number of bird walks, led by David. I have recorded the following species but we saw and heard more.

Common name Species
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Swift Apus apus
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Buzzard Buteo buteo
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba subsp. yarrellii
Great Tit Parus major
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Magpie Pica pica
Dunnock Prunella modularis
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Nuthatch Sitta europaea
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Blackbird Turdus merula
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

On one of our walks last year, David pointed out Bluetits going in and out a hole in a tree. I am so used to seeing them in nest boxes, it is strange to see them using a natural nesting place.

Flowering Plants

Bluebells and Oak - 14 May 2017
There are many flowering plants in the reserve including many blossom trees such Blackthorn, Hawthorn and Wild Roses.  I've only recorded a handful and have taken beauties such as the Oak and Bluebells, shown in the photo above, for granted. Looking at iRecord, it is clear that a much more detailed survey was done in 2015 by Ben Rainbow, which yielded over a hundred species including those two.

Mystery tree - a pear? - 9 April 2017
During the 9 April 2017 walk, we found an intriguing blossom tree.  The flowers were familiar but too big for one of the trees we expect to find flowering in April.  Scouring our books didn't really help and it was only when I found a very similar tree in Leatherhead that I began to suspect that it might be an ornamental pear. I didn't find any pears in the Autumn but I may have missed them.


Velvet Shank - 22 October 2017
Many of the fungi that I have recorded in West Park were observed by a group that did a fungi hunt on the 22nd of October 2018

Common name Species
Jelly Ear Auricularia auricula-judae
Clouded Funnel Clitocybe nebularis
Shaggy Inkcap Coprinus comatus
Blushing Bracket Daedaleopsis confragosa
Velvet Shank Flammulina velutipes var. velutipes
Clustered Bonnet Mycena inclinata
Birch Polypore Piptoporus betulinus
Common Earthball Scleroderma citrinum
Turkeytail Trametes versicolor
Candlesnuff Fungus Xylaria hypoxylon


Peacock butterfly - 25 March 2017
West Park is home to all sorts of insects, from tiny beetles to showy butterflies and dragonflies.  I found several different types of insect feeding on the glorious Blackthorn blossom in March last year.

Honeybee nest entrance - 28 Jan 2017
One of my favourite finds was a natural Honeybee nest in one of the old trees.  On one of the Autumn walks, David pointed out a Hornet's nest. Fortunately these large, wasp-like creatures are much more laid-back than their smaller, waspy, cousins.

Common name Species Taxon group
Cream-spot Ladybird Calvia quattuordecimguttata insect - beetle (Coleoptera)
Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis insect - beetle (Coleoptera)
Peacock Aglais io insect - butterfly
Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae insect - butterfly
Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines insect - butterfly
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni insect - butterfly
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas insect - butterfly
Comma Polygonia c-album insect - butterfly
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta insect - butterfly
Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator insect - dragonfly (Odonata)
Honey Bee Apis mellifera insect - hymenopteran
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus (Melanobombus) lapidarius insect - hymenopteran
Early Bumblebee Bombus (Pyrobombus) pratorum insect - hymenopteran
Common Carder Bee Bombus (Thoracobombus) pascuorum insect - hymenopteran
Plain Gold Micropterix calthella insect - moth
Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae insect - moth
Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus insect - orthopteran
Panorpa communis insect - scorpion fly (Mecoptera)
St Marks Fly Bibionidae insect - true fly (Diptera)
Dark-edged Bee-fly Bombylius major insect - true fly (Diptera)


The only mammals that I have seen are rabbits but there is clear evidence of the presence of larger creatures.


Crab spider - 14 May 2017
With all those insects around, we are bound to find a few spiders. I am not very good at identifying them but was able to record this colourful crab spider.

This is a very brief round up of my own observations. There are many more out there including those from formal surveys and all the people who walk through  the reserve.

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