Our aim is to support and encourage restoration of the historic features of the gardens
Our member Tom Howard-Jones wrote:Friday 13th April 2018 - 09:30 to 11:30The birds and plants think that spring is coming. But the weather was still grey and chilly. The Weeping Willows are bright in their yellow-green new leaves. The Pussy Willow buds are full and fluffy. The Horse Chestnut sticky buds have burst. For a while we could only see one Great Crested Grebe. Then we found the other one sitting on their nest under the branches hanging off the big island. We are hoping for a new brood soon. There were single Cootsand Moorhenstoo. Maybe their partners are sitting on eggs somewhere. A Canada Gooseis sitting on a nest on the small island. Some Herring Gullsflew over the park but there were no gulls at all on the lake. The family of 11 EgyptianGeese goslingsare still thriving. They are moulting into their proper plumage and they are nearly as big as their parents. Further on in Grattons Parkthere are lovely carpets of Wood Anemonies. There were: a Sparrowhawk; a Greater SpottedWoodpecker and a Tree Creeper there too.A full list of the birds seen in Worth Park is given in the Bird Table.Dawn Chorus Walk - Saturday 7th April 2018 - 06:00 to 07:30Led by Tom Forward.It was still dark as we gathered to start the walk. Thankfully it was dry and not too cold. 18 people of all ages had turned up and we took a moment to listen to a range of songs before we started walking. Tom soon had us tuning in to the most noticeable ones - the Great Tits and the Blackbirdsbeing interrupted by the Crowsand the Jackdaws. By the time we had finished we would have learnt to recognise Nuthatches, Greenfinches, Blue Tits, Robins, Wrens, Chiffchaffsand many more. We heard a Great Spotted Woodpeckerdrumming and then found it high in a bare tree. We were jealous when Tom told us that he had seen a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker this year already. At one point we thought we heard a Buzzard mewing.But Tom felt it might be an impersonation by a Jay.Sure enough he was right and we found the culprit in a nearby tree. The Egyptian goslings are growing well and there are still 11 present. The pair of Great Crested Grebeswere working on a nest in the overhanging branches on the main island. Siskins were in the tops of trees by the meadows. An early Spring migrant, a Chiffchaff, was singing the wooded area below the lake. Two Goldcrests were feeding in a yew tree. In total we saw or heard 29 species of birds. The humble Stock Dovefound by Tom was a new bird for my park list. It is strange that it takes an expert to spot such an everyday bird. A full list is given in the Bird Table.As always we are so grateful to Tom for his expertise, his powers of hearing and mimicry and for making the whole experience so enjoyable.Sunday 18th March 2018 - 09:15 to 10:30It was grey with a raw breeze. Snow lay on the ground but the lake had no ice. Children were sledging and building snowmen. Daffodils stood bravely above the soggy soil.A group of Siskinswere feeding in the yew trees near entrance to the park. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew into the trees near the tennis court. I am sure they are always around but we don't often see them.The pair of Egyptian Geesestill have 11 goslings and they are growing well. They seem to be attentive parents.A male and a female Mallardwere good to see and might hopefully be a pair.Two Great Crested Grebes, two Cootand two Moorhens were also encouraging sights. We hope that they may breed and re-colonise the lake.Many Black-headed Gullsare still around and most of them now have their black head plumage. Soon they will be moving off to their breeding sites.The Pulham island looked even more exotic with a sprinkle of snow.A full list of the birds seen is given in the Bird Table.Friday 23rd February 2018 - 09:45 to 11:30We enjoyed a bright sunny walk around the park. But it was still chilly with patches of ice on the lake.Last Sunday (18-02-18), a male Pheasant was seen in a garden bordering the park and photographed. It subsequently flew off into the park - a new bird for our local list.The pair of Egyptian Geese now have 11 goslings. So, they have lost one over the last week.There are two Cootsand two Great Crested Grebes. It is good to see them back and let's hope that they are pairs that will breed.Several passerines were singing, including: Robins; Blackbirds; Greenfinches; Chaffinches and House Sparrows.There were a few Herring Gullswith the Black-headed Gullsand the usual flock of Canada Geese.We had good views of a Goldcrestflitting about on a sunlit trunk in the wooded area below the lake.Our Blackbird with a white collar was on the lawn in front of Ridley's Court - his regular haunt.A full list of the birds seen is on the Bird Table.Monday, 12 February 2018This morning our pair of Egyptian Geeseappeared on the main island in the lake with a brood of some 10 babies.They look only a few days old.We also saw a Coot.That is very encouraging as it is the first one we have seen since the algae problems last summer.Monday, 22nd January 2018, 10:45 to 12:30A brief spell of sunshine had cheered the birds up and many were singing as we set off. There are early signs of spring. Snowdrops are out and catkins have appeared. A pair of Magpies were repairing their domed nest in the tree by the path down through the meadow. At first we could only see one Egyptian Goose and we wondered if the other one might be sitting on a nest somewhere. They breed early and nest in trees. It would be good to find it. Later we saw the two together so they are both here. There were fewer Canada Geese and Black-headed Gulls on the lake. Two Buzzardswere circling to the north. We saw four species of tit during the visit. There were several Goldcrestsbusy in the yew trees. We had a brief glimpse of a red crest but could not be sure that it was a Firecrest. Some Redwingsare still present - and we have had them in our garden too.A full list of the birds seen is given in the table.Thursday 4th January 2018, 11:30 to 13:30I managed to find a brighter spell in an otherwise grey, chilly and blustery day. There were several Robinssinging in their territories around the park. More Grey Squirrels than usual were chasing about on the ground and in the trees. A Goldcrest was flitting in one of the large yew trees with some Blue Titsand a Song Thrush. There are still Redwings.But you have to wait for a lull in the dog walker traffic to see them. Some of the Canada Geeseare pairing up and one hardy couple were even mating. A Cormorantflew in a stayed for a short while. In Grattons Parkthere were two Mistle Thrushesagain as well as several more Redwingsand Greenfinches. A full list of the birds seen is given in the table.