Our aim is to support and encourage restoration of the historic features of the gardens
Our member Tom Howard-Jones wrote:
Saturday 12th May 2018 - A casual walk around the park this morning
Friday 4th May 2018 - 06:30 to 09:00This is a fascinating and frantic time of year for our birds. We made the effort and started early on a beautiful sunny morning. There were plenty of bird songs and calls in the park. Several of the water birds have brought their families out into the open. A pair of Mallard Duckshave six ducklings (slideshow above). It was difficult to work out how many families of Canada Geesethere are; but at least three with numbers of goslings from one to six in each group (slideshow). The Egyptian Goose goslingsare nearly as big as their parents and almost indistinguishable from them as they are moulting into their first full plumage. One of the young seemed to be missing; but it could have been elsewhere. The Great Crested Grebeis still sitting on their nest. At first we could not see the other partner. In due course we found it (slideshow). Hopefully they will be successful. For the first time for several visits we saw a Kingfisher.It flew out of a bush close to us on the bank of the lake. In all we saw it three times but not for long. There was a commotion in one of the trees nearby. There was a magnificent Sparrowhawksitting out in the open in full sunlight. It stayed for a while for us to photograph and admire (slideshow). The Bluebells,Cowslips and Primroses are out. Many of the trees are in blossom; the Horse Chestnut and a pale blue Rhododendron were particularly pretty. Speckled Wood butterflieswere warming up in the morning sun (slideshow).A full list of the birds seen in Worth Park is given in the Bird Table.
There is a family of Coots with 4 very new chicks swimming in the lake. It seems that they first appeared yesterday. That is good news after the problems of last year.The pair of Mallards still have 6 ducklings.It now looks like one of the juvenile Egyptian Geese has gone missing. There are 10 young with the pair of adults.There are some 10+ Canada Geese goslings in different groupings.A young Robin was being fed by an adult in the bushes.A Kingfisher flew up from the lake with a fish and went out of the park.There are Moorhens around but no signs yet of any young ones.The Great Crested Grebe is still sitting on the nest and the partner is still in the lake.
Sunday 10th June 2018 - 07:15 to 09:15Families, Reunions and a New BirdEarly it was unexpectedly chilly. When we reached the lake there was surprisingly not a single bird to be seen. As we searched and the day warmed up more birds came into view. There were more House Sparrowsand Starlingsthan usual feeding on the lawns. Family groups of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Titswere calling and being fed in the trees. Two families of Mallard Duckswere on the lake. One had well-grown juveniles and the other was made up of very young ducklings. The Canada Goosegoslings are nearly as big as their parents and are starting to get their adult colouring. A Cootwas guarding a small chick. The Egyptian Goslingsare almost fully grown and are beginning to separate from their family group. It is good to see the general breeding success after the problems in the lake last year. We saw one of the Great Crested Grebes. There was no sign of the other and the nest was not occupied. It seems that they have not produced young this year. Jackdawswere noisily harrying any Crowsthat came near to their territory. We saw a Grey Heronon the lake and several Swiftswere flying high above. It is a long time since we have seen either of these. Two Terrapinswere hauled out on one of the islands. There was a dead fox cub by the side of the path. We caught a brief sighting and heard the distinctive call of a Green Woodpeckeras it was frightened off the main lawn by an uncontrolled dog. That is a new bird for our park list - a pity that we did not get a longer view.A full list of the birds seen is given in the Bird Table.
Saturday 7th July 2018 - 07:00 to 08:30The cool shade was welcome even at this early hour. One of the first birds that greeted us was a Chaffinch. A bird that, sadly, we do not see so often now. There was an armada of 30 CanadaGeesedrifting across the lake. The juveniles are almost identical to the adults now. We found only one Egyptian Goose. The rest of the family may have dispersed - or just been hiding. One adult Great Crested Grebeis still present. A Mallardhad a brood of 3 young ducklings. A large Terrapin was out of the water on a stump at the very edge of the lake. It slid into the water as we approached. It was a quiet time for birds. A lovely morning for a walk nonetheless.A full list of the birds seen is given in the Bird Table.
Grey Heron and Great Crested Grebe with young; Kingfisher, both photos by Tom Howard-Jones (21/7/18). The bluetits have just flown the nest (Ingrid Payne,3/6/2018)
Saturday 21st July 2018 - 16:00 to 17:00I am delighted to confirm that my pessimism about the breeding of our Great Crested Grebesthis year was misplaced. For the last two weeks people have been telling me that they have seen babies on the lake. But that they are not easy to find. It seems that once they hatched, the parents have been very careful to keep their brood out of sight. Today was my first chance to check for myself. It was joyful to see three young grebes with their two parents. The chicks are growing and their parents probably feel safer taking them into open water now. One of the adults was trying to feed a chick with a fish that looked far too big.It was not a good time of day or weather, warm and muggy, for seeing birds. But I enjoyed some good experiences none the less.A Grey Heron was fishing and posing on the Pulhamite rock island.While I was looking at the grebes, a Swallowshot past and skimmed the water. Not a common sight here. Then a Kingfisherflew away from me and behind the island. Later I saw it twice more and even got a (poor) photo of it.There was a family of Great Titsflying in procession between the bushes on the bank of the lake. A juvenile Moorhenwas with an adult. A single Egyptian Goosewas hanging out on the fringe of the ever-present flock of Canada Geese. A single Herring Gull was on the water too.There were several large fish, Carp?, feeding close to the bank at the grassless area where people feed the birds. I guess that there is a lot of food on the bottom of the lake there.So I went to find the baby grebes and saw a lot more too.A full list of the birds seen is given in the Bird Table.
Thursday 26th July 2018 - 09:15 to 11:15It was already oppressively hot and humid at 9 o'clock. There were almost no small birds to be seen. The few that I glimpsed were dashing into the shade of the trees.The 3 young Great Crested Grebes are growing and are approaching the size of their parents.A single Grey Heron was walking and fishing around the main island. The water level is low.I enjoyed prolonged views of a KIngfisherfishing from the plants on the bank by the Pulham island. At one stage it caught a small fish and went to the shore of the lake to eat it. Brilliant views in the open. A second Kingfisher flew past then they teamed up and were seen together at different places around the lake.Available small fish are good news for our birds.One Egyptian Goose looked lonely; while there were some 30 Canada Geese.A Song Thrushwas eating berries in the yew trees. A hint of the winter yet to come and still so far away.As I was leaving I bumped into the group of the park Wellbeing Walkers who seemed to be having a good time and enjoying the weather.A full list of the birds seen is given in the Bird Table.
Wednesday 22nd August 2018 - 08:00 to 10:00It was grey, misty and fresh with a cool breeze. Such a welcome change from the heat.This visit created an unexpected record - not one goose of any type was seen.It also provided a new bird for my patch list - a Common Tern.It was flying and diving for fish throughout my time by the lake. The local Magpiestook exception to its presence. On one occasion 8 of them were ganged up to stop the Tern from perching on a stump near the shore. Whenever they thought that it had caught a fish they really mobbed it.Two juvenile Great Crested Grebeswere swimming on their own. No sign of the third one or the two adults. But they have been secretive this year.Flocks of titsand finches, both adult and young, are starting to form.The water level is still very low. A Grey Heron was walking anywhere it liked across the lake. The large fish are feeding in the shallows with their fins and backs out of the water.A full list of the birds seen is given in the Bird Table.