Wildlife '03

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Common Lizard - Herringfleet Hills - April 11, 2004 - © Robert Wilton

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NOCTULE BAT Nyctalus noctula
Four were noted at Holly Road, Oulton Broad on April 29th.

Vulpes vulpes
- one on January 30th.
- one at the North Quay Retail Park on the 21st.
Lowestoft North Denes
- two young were soaking up the early morning sun on the 12th.
- one was seen crossing Normanston Drive at 23:00 on the 17th July.
Ship Road, Lowestoft - August 8th.
Corton disused railtrack - September 4th.
Oulton Broad - Holly Road, September 17th (1).
Kirkley Cemetery
- September 19th.

Waveney Forest Moles
Rumours of Moles in the Waveney Forest appear well founded!

Grypus halichoerus ****
Noted offshore at Ness Point as follows:
March: 7th (1), 26th (1).
June - 14th (1).
July - 15th (1), 18th (1).
December - 13th (1).

Noted offshore at Kessingland as follows:
May: 3rd (1), 8th (1).
November: 13th (1), 14h (1).

COMMON SEAL Phoca vitulina
Noted offshore at Kessingland as follows:
April: 5th (1), 10th (1), 13th (1).

Noted offshore at Ness Point as follows:
3rd (1).

One was way inland along the River Waveney at Blundedston Marshes on November 14th.

Globicephala melaena
Two were seen together off Kessingland and later Pakefield, as they made their way leisurely north on the afternoon of May 12th.

HARBOUR PORPOISE Phocoena phocoena
Noted offshore at Kessingland as follows:
January: 4th (2 N), 5th (1 N), 6th (1 N), 7th (1 N), 9th (1 N), 13th (1 N), 15th (1 N), 25th (1 N), 30th (1 feeding/lingering).
February: 15th (1 N), 16th (1 N).
March: 13th (1 N), 16th (1 N), 19th (1 N), 20th (1 N), 26th (1 S), 27th (1 N, 1 S), 28th (1 N), 29th (1 S).
April: 3rd (1 S), 5th (1 N), 9th (2 N), 13th (1 feeding), 15th (1 N), 20th (1 S), 22nd (1 S), 24th (2 S), 26th (1 N),
27th (1 N, 1 S), 30th (1 N).
May: 3rd (3 N, 1 S), 11th (2 N), 16th (2 N), 17th (1 S), 23rd (1 N), 25th (1 N), 26th (2 S), 27th (1 S).
June: 1st (1 N), 4th (1 S), 6th (1 N), 9th (1 S), 15th (1 N), 16th (1 N), 18th (1 N), 25th (2 N), 26th (1 N, 1 S), 27th (2 N, 2 S).
July: 1st (1 S), 8th (1 N), 12th (3 N), 14th (2 S), 16th (1 N, 1 S), 18th (1 N), 19th (3 N), 21st (2 N), 30th (1 N).
August: 6th (1 S), 7th (2 S), 10th (1 N), 11th (1 S), 14th (1 N), 24th (1 N), 30th (1).
October: 7th (1 N), 24th (1 S).
November: 5th (3), 15th (1 N), 18th (1 N, 1 S), 23rd (1 N), 27th (2 N), 28th (1 N), 30th (1 N).
December: 7th (1 S), 9th (2 S).

Noted offshore at Ness Point and along the Lowestoft North Beach as follows:
February: 29th (1).
March: 9th (1), 28th (4 loitering close inshore).
April: 2nd (1 feeding offshore at Pakefield), 10th (2 S), 17 (2), 22nd (3 S).
May: 3rd (3).
June: 7th (1 S).
July: 5th (1), 10th (1), 11th (1), 14th (1), 18th (1), 30th (2).
August: 8th (2), 10th (3), 18th (1), 30th (1).
September: 11th (2), 12th (1).
October: 3rd (1), 17th (1).
November: 30th (2).

Harbour Porpoise
Harbour Porpoise - Ness Point - July 2004 © Robert Wilton

MUNTJAC DEER Muntiacus reevesi ****
Oulton Broad -
one was seen in Christmas Lane, January 12th. On returning home from Carlton at 21:15 on June 5th, a Muntjac which was in the paddock opposite Holly Road which ambled out of sight. The observer went back a couple of minutes for another look, only to find a Fox staring back at him with, what looked like, a mouthful of Moorhen!!!
Kessingland -
one was seen by the footpath just south of the Sewage Works on February 24th.
- one was along Flycatcher Lane behind the Denes Oval on the 24th.
Carlton Colville -
one was in woodland between the marshes and railway line at Carlton Colville on August 8th.
Lound - one was at the water works on the 29th.
Oulton Broad - Holly Road, September 8th (1).
Herringfleet - a female and young fawn were feeding at the roadside at dusk on December 27th.
Lowestoft - one crossed Corton Road from Gunton Warren towards Dip Farm on December 27th.


CHINESE WATER DEER Hydropotes inermis
Castle Marshes, No
rth Cove - January 24th (1).
Carlton Marshes - January 24th (1), March 7th (1), October 24th (1), November 28th (1), 30th (1), December 12th (2).

As one of the Chinese Water Deer fled across an apparently birdless field at Carlton Marshes on December 12th it flushed four Common Snipe.

Chinese Water Deer  ©Tim Brown
Chinese Water Deer - Carlton Marshes - December 7th 2003 - ©Tim Brown

DEER sp.
Blackheath Woods
- One seen on the old golf course on the 8th appeared bigger than a Muntjac.

Erinaceus europaeus
One crossed the road, safely, at Blundeston on the evening of the 25th.

Grey Squirrel  ©Andrew Easton
"Those Sooties must be a long way out, I can't see any!"
Seawatching Grey Squirrel - Ness Point - August 30th 2004 - ©Andrew Easton

GREY SQUIRREL Scuirus carolinensis
A little while after one was seen bounding north up Clapham Road in central Lowestoft on August 30th, what was probably the same individual arrived at Ness Point and took up position on the sea wall in front of us! For a while securing the title of the most easterly squirrel in the United Kingdom.

Clethrionomys glareolus
One was noted at Gunton Woods on April 11th.

Reptiles and amphibians
Several Common Toads Bufo bufo were noted at Lound Waterworks on March 21st, surrounded by many metres of toad spawn "strings".

One Red-eared Terrapin Pseudemys scripta was soaking up the spring sunshine at Leathes Ham on March 29th.

Two Common Lizards Lacerta vivipara were squabbling over "sunning" rights to a tree trunk at Herringfleet Hills on April 11th. The winner returned to the tree and climbed up about a metre to find a sunny patch. It is pictured below.


Wasp Nest  ©Derek Beamish
Wasp Nest - South Lowestoft - June 2004 - ©Derek Beamish

The very warm weather on March 17th, as well as producing the first noticeable wave of spring migrants, also saw several Bumblebees, Ladybirds, Moths and other insects out and about in quite good numbers throughout the area.

Small numbers of Bumblebees and small flies were noted arriving in off the sea throughout much of the day on July 11th.

Corton Woods seemed to be alive with Hornets Vespa crabro on September 10th, they were literally everywhere you looked. Just as well they are not a belligerent species!

Harlequin Ladybird (larvae)  ©Derek Beamish
Harlequin Ladybird (larva)- Belle Vue Park- October 23, 2004 - ©Derek Beamish

The insect event of the year, though not necessarily a welcome one, was the discovery of three larvae of the Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis in Belle Vue Park on October 23rd. An Asian species introduced to America and parts of Western Europe as an attempt at biological control of aphids, it has prospered at the expense of native Ladybirds and other insect species.

It has now flown across the North Sea and begun the invasion of the United Kingdom. The first record was in Essex on September 19th 2004. It has since been found in various locations in the the south-east of England from Ipswich across to Hampshire. It was also recorded in Beccles on October 23rd. The following day this adult was photographed in Belle vue Park trying to warm up on an abandoned leather jacket!!!

Harlequin Ladybird ©Robert Wilton
Harlequin Ladybird ©Robert Wilton
Harlequin Ladybird - Belle Vue Park- October 24, 2004 - ©Robert Wilton

The following websites have more details about this species (links will open in a new window):