Wildlife Highlights from Rising Sun Country Park

As part of Gosforth’s Wild Web, local naturalist, Claire Partleton, shares seasonal highlights from Rising Sun Country Park

Nature has provided the wildlife watchers at the Rising Sun Country Park with some real treats over the first half of 2024.

Throughout January and February, Short-Eared Owls with their piercing yellow eyes were regularly observed flying low over grassy habitats, hunting for voles.  While over on Swallow Pond, there was a wintering female Scaup. A fabulous fungi find at the start of the year was a troop of Collared Earthstars discovered at a new location on-site.

In early Spring, Rambling Rosy, our miniature amateur botanist, began an A-Z adventure to discover what flowers could be found blooming and was delighted to find a patch of Early Dog-violets. We believe this is a new recording for the park.

Loud bursts of song from the Cetti’s Warbler have frequently been heard around the various ponds this year. The Cetti’s is a relatively new resident at the Rising Sun, with the first record only being made in October 2022, we now believe there to be at least three. We are thrilled to have a breeding pair of Great Crested Grebes on Swallow Pond; it has been a good few years since they were successful.

Migratory birds returning to the park for the summer have added to the glorious chorus of bird song ringing out; Chiffchaffs, Whitethroat, Swallows and Swifts, the call of a Cuckoo – possibly two, and it has been particularly pleasing to hear the insect-like reeling of several Grasshopper Warblers.  

As the weather warmed and the sun shone, insects have begun slowly emerging. We recently had an enchanting swarm of male Green Longhorn moths dancing to attract the females, the Rising Sun’s own version of Strictly!

Spring is quickly moving into summer and I am looking forward to seeing what seasonal sights it bring with it.

Claire Partleton
Friends of Rising Sun Country Park

Claire is a volunteer at the Rising Sun Country Park and amateur wildlife watcher who is passionate about promoting the Country Park, its rich biodiversity and diverse heritage.