Smew – small numbers visit the UK from Scandinavia and Russia in winter

Rare species of bird, butterflies and plants you can find in Peterborough’s Nene Park.

Nature lovers can look out for new rare and unusual species which were recorded in Peterborough’s Nene Park throughout 2021.

Sunday, 9th January 2022, 4:58 am

The team at Nene Park Peterborough have been celebrating highlights from 2021 with their #NeneParkSparkles campaign.

Throughout 2021 rangers, volunteers and vistors recorded a range of wildlife species across the Nene Park sites.

A mix of ‘unusual’ and ‘rare’ species have been spotted with new flowers, bird sightings and butterflies that nature lovers can look out for next time they visit the parks.
A total of 25 butterflies, 8 bees, 18dragonflies, 137 wildflowers, 20 grasses, 8 sedges, 40 fungi, 5 bats, 4 repotiles and amphibians and 9 mammals were recorded.

The wildlife experts at Nene Park gave more information on some of the rare species that were recorded for the first time. 
They said: “Frogbit is a new species of flower for the park and a rare plant nationally. Meadow Saxifrage is a nationally declining species but has a stronghold in eastern England.”
Of the 25 butterflies and 18 dragonflies recorded, the most unusual sightings have been the White Letter Hairstreak butterfly and the Willow Emerald Damselfly.

An expert said: “The White Letter Hairstreak butterfly is a specialist butterflu which is mainly found in the tops of trees, particularly Elm trees. This species is in decline in the Park due to the lost of Elm trees due to Dutch Elm Disease.
“The Willow Emerald Damselfly was only recorded in the park for the first time in 2019 and is now seen annually, generally in flight from June to November.”

Bird watchers can enjoy looking out for a number of species, some which migrate through the park such as: Avocet, Blark Tern, Miediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Osprey, Smew, Scaup, Red throated diver, Kittiwake.

A completely new bird for the Park this year was the Great Northern Diver, generally a winter vistor is usually a coastal bird but occassionally comes in land. Last winter there was an influx across the UK with multiple records inland, including at Rutland Water which has 8.

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