This page was updated on Thursday, 30-Mar-2023 20:11:14 BST



The latest wildlife walk in the park took place on Wednesday 15th March and it was another day of surprises. The first being a bumper attendance due to some advertising in the "What's on in Wickford" magazine and the second being another new bird for the park list......more on that later. Weather conditions were very good for the walk being bright and sunny with a cool breeze but as I predicted some of the paths were very wet and muddy due to recent rains. On the way to the pavilion car park meeting place, a few birds were seen along the road including a largish flock of Redwing which have not yet headed back to Scandinavia. It cannot be long before they have disappeared until next winter. Birds were very active in the hedgerows with Robin, Blue Tit and Great Tit all singing and getting ready for the breeding season. Also, Goldfinch were very active too and a good number were seen at various points along the walk. I was hoping to see some early spring migrant birds, but we did not see or hear any on this visit - no doubt they will all be here next month. At the lake there were a good number of Moorhen and the usual Canada Geese, Mallard and Coots, plus a flock of Black Headed Gulls in various stages of plumage, from full adults to first winter. Other birds very active in the hedgerows were at least 3 Jays, which for once, hung around so that we all got a good look at them. It was only when we were near the end of the walk when the real action began. Firstly, a Buzzard heard earlier was seen distantly and then proceeded to head towards us and drifted right overhead giving good views for all. Then a few moments later, a Sparrowhawk was seen over the car parks, probably a large female, again giving everyone good views. And finally, at the very end of day from the car park, when nearly everyone had gone, a large bird of bird prey drifted overhead and came down very close giving fantastic views even without binoculars - a Red Kite! What a magnificent bird this is, a six-foot wingspan with that long rufous forked tail. Sad that only four of us saw it but another very good addition to the park list which now stands at 69. What will our 70th bird species be?

The next walk will take place on Wednesday 12th April at 10.30am but I will remind you all nearer the date.

Martin Singleton

Remaining dates for 2023

  • April 12th
  • May 17th
  • June 21st
  • July 19th
  • August 16th
  • September 13th
  • October 18th
  • November 15th
  • December 13th

Summary of sightings

Birds - 27 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 15/03/2023 25 A few flying around the park and several at the lake
Canada Goose Branta canadensis 15/03/2023 5 At the lake
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 15/03/2023 7 A good number of these birds in the park today
Common Blackbird Turdus merula 15/03/2023 4 Mainly in the hedgerows, seemed to all be males
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo 15/03/2023 1 Heard behind the lake and then seen from the pavilion flying the whole length of the park
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 15/03/2023 7 A good number at the lake
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris 15/03/2023 1 Just a single bird behind the large mound
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus 15/03/2023 10 Usual estimate of birds flying around the park
Dunnock Prunella modularis 15/03/2023 3 Two heard singing in the hedgerows and one seen along the path to the large oak
Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus 15/03/2023 15 Very active today, singing and moving through the hedgerows
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 15/03/2023 1 Just one from the boardwalk
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 15/03/2023 3 At the lake
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius 15/03/2023 3 At least three very active moving through the hedges
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 15/03/2023 9 Several birds seen around the park
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 15/03/2023 1 Seen very well from the pavilion car park
Eurasian Wren (British) Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus 15/03/2023 2 One heard singing from the bridge and another at the back of the large mound
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis 15/03/2023 18 A good number seen and heard all over the park
European Greenfinch Chloris chloris 15/03/2023 1 Just one male singing along the car park road
European Herring Gull Larus argentatus 15/03/2023 2 At least two put up by the Buzzard and making a racket
European Robin Erithacus rubecula 15/03/2023 11 Many Robins singing and showing nicely as always
Great Tit Parus major 15/03/2023 5 Several heard singing at various points but don't think we actually saw any
House Sparrow Passer domesticus 15/03/2023 4 Three on the car park road and at least one singing behind the large mound
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus 15/03/2023 3 One singing near the bridge, another near the pill box and one on the garden feeders
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 15/03/2023 5 Two in the brook from the second bridge and three at the lake
Red Kite Milvus milvus 15/03/2023 1 A new bird for the walk list, sadly only seen by four of us from the car park as we were leaving
Redwing Turdus iliacus 15/03/2023 31 At least 30+ birds mainly in the trees along the road to Fanton Hall
White Wagtail (Pied) Motacilla alba yarrellii 15/03/2023 2 Two over the pavilion car park heading to the boardwalk

Mammals - 1 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Eastern Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis 15/03/2023 1 One seen in the old owl box from the end of the boardwalk