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October 2013

Nature Report for Friends of Holmebrook Valley Park  8 October 2013

The cold snap at the beginning of the year made an impact on nature in Holmebrook Valley Park. It delayed many of the spring flowers by a month, but when they came it was like an explosion with greater numbers for many of the plants. We have recorded over 150 wild flowers in the Park and each year we discover a few more. Among the newly recorded this year are Snowdrop, Crocus, Wild Strawberry, Shining Cranesbill, Bugle, Water forget me not, Hop Trefoil, Smooth Tare, Evening Primrose, Angelica and Devil’s bit Scabious. Notable exceptions were Bee Orchid (not sure the grass cutting played it’s part), Great Burnet ( mowed down before it had chance to flower), and Blue-eyed Grass.

The white butterflies seemed in abundance this year. I photographed 8 in the same frame of one foot square by the edge of the lake taking in minerals. It was a mix of Small White and Green veined White. This year I didn’t record the Red Admiral and Painted Lady who come over from the Continent or North Africa.

The Banded Demoiselle Damselfly was back for a second year, and the new pond attracted the Broad Bodied Chaser Dragonfly.

The Great Crested Grebe were not successful this year in breeding chicks. The constant presence of the Heron on the islands may have played its part. There were plenty of other chicks from the Mallard, Coot and Moorhen from May through to August.

I was able to get good photos of Grass Snakes on the edge of the Park, though I think where they were nesting has been disrupted. Sadly, there was no sign of Water Voles for a second year.

Tony Marron  01246 276693   email a.marron020@btinternet.com

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