With its mix of lakes, scrub, and woodland, Parish Park hosts a variety of bird species. Water birds include moorhen which raised broods of 2 & 4 and little grebe which fledged broods of 2 & 5. The common coot – the all black bird with a white beak and forehead managed to fledge clutches of 2 & 3. In the reeds edging the lakes reed warblers built six nests and fledged 18 young. Ducks fared less well with only 3 tufted duck ducklings surviving. A flock of red-crested Pochard on October 27th numbered 209, the Lound gravel pits has one of the largest populations in the UK of this striking duck.
The charming long-tailed tit thrives on the gorse bushes and despite 2 of the 4 nests recorded being predated they fledged 16 young. I have 38 tit boxes in Linghurst wood area and blue tits raised around 152 chicks, with great tits managing around 100.
Of 3 tawny owl boxes only one was used and a single chick fledged.
Winter sees small birds arriving from northern and Eastern Europe and the alder trees at Parish Park attract them. A flock of 200 to 300 redpoll were present all of February and 50 siskin fed in December. There was a ‘charm’ of 50 goldfinches throughout January, and another brightly coloured resident species – the bullfinch was seen in small groups of 6/8 feeding on dead blackberry seeds. Britain’s smallest bird – the Goldcrest was found in winter tit flocks with 3/ 8 counted.
Spring saw the arrival of a male Cettis warbler, a species which is just arriving from the continent and spreading northwards. A cuckoo called in April and May but sadly couldn’t find a mate. Lastly, one of my favourite birds the Treecreeper does well in Parish Park with 2 pairs present.
Vic Giles, Lound Bird Club