We were not able to host our usual Big Garden Bird Watch event this year but you can check out what birds we have in the park. Get started with our short guide on the birds that are easiest to see.
There are two sorts of pigeon in the park.
Wood Pigeons are mostly grey with a big white patch on either side of their neck.
Feral Pigeons are smaller than Wood Pigeons, and have lots of different markings. They are mostly grey but you might see brown, white and other colours. This kind of pigeon used to be kept by people for their meat and eggs, and lots of them escaped to live as wild birds.
In the mornings you may see a big flock of seagulls on the sports pitches. There are four different sorts visiting the park. Most of them will be Common Gulls, but you might see some larger ones with darker backs, which are Lesser Black-backed Gulls. There may also be Black Headed Gulls, which in winter only have a small black spot on their heads, and Herring Gulls, but you will need to look carefully with binoculars to spot the differences.
The noisy green parrots are Ring Necked Parakeets. They are originally from the north of India, and were brought to Britain as pets. Lots of them have escaped and are very happy here.
Blackbirds and Thrushes
Look out for them on the open grass areas and in the schools’ garden opposite the playground. Male Blackbirds are black, and females are brown. You may also see a larger bird with a spotted chest, which makes a noise like a rattle as it flies off. This is a Mistle Thrush. There may also be some Redwings and Fieldfares, birds a lot like a thrush, which come here from the frozen Arctic for the winter.
If you see a flock of black-looking birds, they will be Starlings. If the sun is on them, their feathers are speckled with white and shine in green and purple colours as they reflect the light.
Crows and Magpies
Crows are the largest of the black-coloured birds you will see. Magpies are their black-and–white cousins.
There are lots of other birds in the park, and we have seen 45 different kinds (species) since we started keeping records in 2011. We see at least 20 different species every month. Some that you may see are Blue Tits, Great Tits, Goldfinches, Robins, Jays, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and House Sparrows. The House Sparrows live up to their name, and are always seen around the Park Lodges.
We hope you enjoy your birdwatching visit to the park.
You can download and print out a copy here.
PS Thanks to Jonathan for the fantastic Robin picture!