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Worth Park Friends
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Our member Tom Howard-Jones wrote:
Saturday 12th May 2018 - A casual walk around the park this morning
04/05/18 to 14/09/18
Friday 4th May 2018 - 06:30 to 09:00 This   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   Ducks    have   six ducklings   (slideshow   above).   It   was   difficult   to   work   out   how   many   families   of   Canada   Geese    there are;   but   at   least   three   with   numbers   of   goslings   from   one   to   six   in   each   group   (slideshow).   The Egyptian   Goose   goslings    are   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   Grebe    is   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   Sparrowhawk    sitting   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    butterflies     were    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 09:15 Families, Reunions and a New Bird Early   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   Sparrows    and   Starlings    than   usual   feeding   on   the   lawns.      Family   groups   of   Blue,   Great and   Long-tailed   Tits    were   calling   and   being   fed   in   the   trees.   Two   families   of   Mallard   Ducks    were on   the   lake.   One   had   well-grown   juveniles   and   the   other   was   made   up   of   very   young   ducklings. The   Canada   Goose    goslings   are   nearly   as   big   as   their   parents   and   are   starting   to   get   their   adult colouring. A   Coot    was   guarding   a   small   chick.   The   Egyptian   Goslings    are   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.   Jackdaws    were   noisily   harrying   any   Crows    that   came   near   to   their   territory.   We   saw   a   Grey Heron    on   the   lake   and   several   Swifts    were   flying   high   above.   It   is   a   long   time   since   we   have   seen either   of   these.   Two   Terrapins    were   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 Woodpecker    as   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 08:30 The   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   Canada   Geese    drifting   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   Grebe    is   still   present. A   Mallard    had   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 17:00 I   am   delighted   to   confirm   that   my   pessimism   about   the   breeding   of   our   Great   Crested   Grebes    this 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   Swallow    shot   past   and   skimmed   the   water.   Not   a   common sight   here.   Then   a   Kingfisher    flew   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   Tits    flying   in   procession   between   the   bushes   on   the   bank   of   the   lake. A   juvenile   Moorhen    was   with   an   adult. A   single   Egyptian   Goose    was   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 11:15 It   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   KIngfisher    fishing   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   Thrush    was   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 10:00 It    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    Magpies     took    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   Grebes    were   swimming   on   their own.   No   sign   of   the   third   one   or   the   two   adults.   But   they   have been secretive this year. Flocks   of   tits    and   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 .
Common Tern Photo copyright
Friday 14th September 2018 - 12:30 to 14:30