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Sightings Table Bird Photo Gallery Nature Blog 2016
31st January 2016
Worth Park took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch   on Sunday morning 31st January 2016. Some 30 people turned out. It was great to welcome several new families and to see so many youngsters. The weather was grey and drizzly which did not help in trying to see the birds against the sky. But it was mild and there was very little wind which did help. We walked the length of the gardens including a circuit of the lake in the allotted hour from 10:30. Everyone seemed to enjoy looking for the birds, trying to count them and learning to identify the unfamiliar ones. The highlights included: a Goldcrest ; a flock of 13 Long-tailed Tits ; a Great Crested Grebe ; 2 Cormorants  and an Egyptian Goose . Our results have been submitted to the RSPB database and will be part of the national survey for this year. Please look at the RSPB web site for the overall results including the lists of the birds that are most seen. Our results have also been entered into the Birdtrack online database run by the British Trust for Ornithology . So we are contributing to the birdwatching database used by many people and organisations for research and planning purposes.
Both Photos: Tom & Chris Howard-Jones, 17/3/2016 Left:    Peacock Butterfly Right: Egyptian Goose on the Pulham Islet
Our members Tom & Chris Howard-Jones wrote:
Wednesday 24th February 2016 After a frosty start it was a fine sunny morning with a hint of spring. Two Great Crested Grebes  have been together for a week on the lake. Today they were settled together in the nest site used last year. Let's hope that they are a pair and that they will breed. A few of the Black-headed Gulls  have already developed their black head plumage and look more sensibly named now. We had six separate sightings of Common Buzzards . At one time, two were circling together quite low over the lake area. It was good to see Siskins  in the park again. A group of Jackdaws  were arguing over ownership of the nest site in the big hole in the tree in the middle of the football pitches in Grattons Park. Two fell out of the tree and lay motionless on the ground locked together struggling to decide who had priority. When we got very close they broke off and flew away. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday 17 March 2016 It looks like "our" Great Crested Grebes  have paired up again and are breeding. They are sitting on a nest in the same place as last year - under the overhanging branches at the end of the main island in the lake. Let's hope for a successful outcome.
It was a lovely early spring morning and the birds had taken it to heart. They were displaying, singing, nest building, sitting on eggs and even tending their young in the sunshine. The pair of Egyptian Geese  were protecting their brood of eight goslings. The young are about a week old now and they are all still present. The pair of Great Crested Grebes  are sharing the nest duties. A male Blackcap was a new bird for my Worth Park list. Some are now spending the winter in the UK. But I like to think that he was a new arrival.
Saturday 2nd April 2016
Peacock Butterfly Egyption Goose on the Pulham Islet
Saturday 23rd April 2016 We walked around the park at 08:00 to 09:00 this morning. It was a bright but chilly morning. Our pair of Great Crested Grebes  have three young. They must be about two weeks old now. The family of eight young Egyptian Geese are growing well and are all still present. There were three very young Coots  on the lake - and two Pied Wagtails  on the croquet lawn.
Friday 29th April 2016 06:00 to 07:00, WORTH PARK DAWN CHORUS WALK The   walk   was   led   by   Tom   Forward   from   The   Gatwick   Greenspace   Partnership   and   The   Sussex   Wildlife   Trust. We   enjoyed   his   enthusiasm,   lively   style   and   impressive   skills.   The   weather   was   grey   and   chilly;   but   thankfully dry.   We   listened   and   looked   hard   as   we   made   our   way   around   the   gardens   and   the   lake.   We   saw   a   total   of   30   different   species    of   birds.   The   highlights   were:   a   Blackcap ;   a   Chiffchaff ;   a   Grey   Heron ;   a   pair   of   Egyptian Geese    with   8   goslings   and   a   pair   of   Great    Crested   Grebes    with   3   young.   It   is   good to   see   that   these   young   birds   are   thriving   without   losses   so   far.   As   last   year,   the star   bird   was   a   Treecreeper .   We   were   very   impressed   that   Tom   was   able   to   hear its   call   from   the   far   side   of   the   lawn   and   then   find   it   in   a   group   of   trees.   It   allowed   us to   get   very   close   and   gave   us   all   great   views   as   it   looked   for   insects   on   its   way   up the   trunks   and   branches.   26   people   took   part   and   we   were   pleased   to   welcome   so many   youngsters   at   such   an   early   start.   We   warmed   up   with   coffee,   croissants   and lively   conversations   in   the   meeting   room.   Many   thanks   to   Tom   for   his   excellent leading and the Worth Park Team for the organising and hospitality.
Shells of the eggs of blackbirds. Once the young are hatched, the shells are thrown out to keep the nest tidy
The   pair   of   Egyptian   Geese   still   have   8   goslings   and   they   are   growing   quickly.   They   are   shedding   their   baby   fluffy feathers and are showing the start of their first full plumage.
The   pair   of   Great   Crested   Grebes   still   have   their   3   young   and   they   are   thriving   too.   A   Grey   Heron    looked   splendid in its full breeding plumage. Even though their breeding season is over now.
Thursday 5th May 2016 between 14:30 and 15:30
Monday 6th June 2016 08:00 to 09:30. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a bright blue sky for our walk. The   highlight   was   seeing   the   Kingfisher   twice   as   it   flashed   in   the   sunlight   flying   low   over   the   lake   between   the bank   and   the   main   island.   The   pair   of   Great   Crested   Grebes    are   still   looking   after   their   3   young   which   are   now quite   large.   The   juveniles   are   starting   to   get   their   crests   and   lose   their   striped   appearance.   2   Swifts   flew   low over   the   water   and   around   the   lake   catching   insects.   Several   Wrens    were   competing   and   singing   loudly. A   Great Spotted   Woodpecker    was   attending   a   nest   hole. A   baby   Chaffinch ,   which   had   recently   fledged,   still   with   a   halo of   fluffy   feathers   was   waiting   to   be   fed.   A   young   Robin   in   its   speckled   plumage   was   exploring   around   the Camellia   Walk. There   were   many   Canada   Geese    including   a   flotilla   escorting   10   goslings.   One   group   of   Mallard   included   5   ducklings   and   there   were   at   least   3   juvenile   Coot.    The   Egyptian   Geese    were   obscured   in   the undergrowth and we thought we saw 2 adults but only 1 young one.
Monday 10th October 2016 It   was   a   bright,   crisp,   sunny   morning   with   a   clear   blue   sky   when   I   returned   to   Worth   Park.   This was   my   first   survey   for   a   while.   The   colour   of   the   leaves   is   starting   to   change.   The   birds   are being   drawn   to   the   berries   on   the   yew   and   rowan   trees.   Autumn   migration   both   going   and coming   is   under   way. There   are   three   young   Great   Crested   Grebes .   It   seems   that   their   second brood   this   year   is   one   more   than   the   previous   three   broods.   I   only   saw   one   adult   and   I   hope they   will   survive.   The   drake   mallards   are   shining   in   their   new   plumage   having   come   out   of eclipse.   Even   though   they   are   common   they   are   well   worth   a   close   look   especially   when   the sun   is   shining   on   them. There   were   many   young   woodpigeons   in   the   flocks   -   they   are   the   ones that look just like the adults but without the white patches on their necks.
Monday 18th July 2016 At last a warm and sunny morning for the walk. It was good to see how clean the park is the day after the successful   Victorian   Picnic   events.   High   summer   is   a   quiet   time   for   bird   watching.   Yet   there   is   usually something   to   note.   There   were   3   Grey   Herons   which   is   unusual.   Several   young   Coots    and   Moorhens    were being   herded   by   their   parents.   The   pair   of   Great   Crested   Grebes   are   nesting   again   under   the   overhanging trees   on   the   main   island.   They   had   two   well-grown   young   the   last   time   I   saw   them.   I   guess   they   have dispersed   so   that   the   adults   could   start   a   second   brood. The   number   of   Canada   Geese   has   grown.   I   estimate that   there   are   over   50   at   the   lake   now.   Large   fish,   Carp ?,   were   jumping   clear   of   the   water   and   landing   with   a big splash. The bird list (see table ) included: Chiffchaff;   Jay  and Swift.
When   we   arrived   at   the   oak   tree   in   the   car   park   we   bumped   into   a   mixed   winter   flock   of foraging   birds.   The   first   one   we   saw   was   a   Goldcrest    quickly   followed   by   a   Long-tailed   Tit and   a   Nuthatch .    It   was   a   pleasant   sunny   and   crisp   morning   for   our   walk.   Another   walker said   they   had   seen   the   Kingfisher   on   the   sluice   gate.   So,   we   sat   on   a   bench   and   waited   for a   while   -   always   a   good   move.   We   saw   it   flying   across   the   lake   on   three   occasions.   There was   no   sign   of   some   regulars   such   as   the   Grey   Heron   or   the   Great   Crested   Grebes.   Maybe the   grebes   are   more   mobile   now   that   the   young   are   getting   bigger.   For   a   while   it   looked   like there   would   be   no   geese   either;   but   as   we   were   leaving   a   flock   of   Canada   Geese    flew   in. The   numbers   of   gulls,   especially   Black-headed ,   are   building   up   as   winter   approaches.   It was   nice   to   see   the   Siskins    and   Goldfinches    in   the   tops   of   the   Alder   trees.   Three   Jays were   collecting   acorns   in   the   Oak   tree   by   the   Camellia   Walk.   A   small   group   of   Redwings   were feeding on the Yew berries by the lake - a new bird for our Worth Park list.
Friday 11th November 2016
Thursday 1st December 2016
Sunday 25th December 2016
Nearly another new bird on Christmas Day. We   enjoyed   a   refreshing   walk   around   the   park   on   Christmas   Day morning.   It   was   overcast   when   we   set   out.   But   the   sun   was   shining by   the   time   we   finished.   It   was   unusually   mild   all   day.   There   were not    many    birds    about.    Perhaps    they    were    still    unpacking    their stockings   and   enjoying   a   lie   in.   The   swags   and   the   decorations looked   very   festive.   Most   of   the   berries   have   gone   from   the   holly and   the   yew   trees   -   probably   eaten   by   the   winter   thrushes   who have   departed   too.   One   Great   Crested   Grebe    was   there;   hopefully holding   territory   for   breeding   next   year.   Nearby   in   Grattons   Park   we saw   a   Little   Egret    on   the   stream.   That   would   be   a   new   bird   for   our Worth   Park   list   if   it   would   only   make   the   short   hop   over   the   road.   A Buzzard     was    circling    over    the    woods    and    a    group    of    Canada Geese    flew   over   to   land   on   the   lake   where   we   found   them   on   our way back. For a full list of our sightings please see the Bird Table.
Again   a   new   bird   for   our   park   list   today. The   frost   was   still   on   the   ground   and   most   of   the   lake was   frozen   when   we   started   at   about   11   am.   The   gulls,   ducks,   coots    and   moorhens   were gathered   around   the   only   patch   of   open   water   at   the   north   end.   A   few   moorhens    were skating   on   the   ice   looking   for   something   to   eat.   Our   winter   flock   of   Black-headed   Gulls    is building    up    with    over    60    present    today.   There    were    more    Redwings     and    some    Song Thrushes    feeding   on   the   Holly   berries.   Over   in   Grattons   Park   we   found   a   Goldcrest,   Great Spotted    Woodpecker ,   a   small   charm   of   6   Goldfinches    and   more   Redwings .   Walking   back up   through   Worth   Park   there   was   a   Fieldfare    (the   new   bird)   in   the   tree   next   to   the   arched bridge over the ha-ha.
Nature Blog 2017