This page was updated on Wednesday, 24-May-2023 18:24:27 BST


The latest wildlife walk in the Wick Country Park took place on Wednesday 17th May. It was a day of sunny spells and pleasantly warm and the birds responded accordingly with a bumper total of 34 species identified. The main attraction in the park at this time of year are summer migrants and we managed to see/hear six of these on the walk, with four warbler species - Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Reed warbler - plus Swallow and Swift. Surprisingly, Cetti's warbler is not a migrant but a resident bird but is increasing in the UK and it was very good to hear this singing during springtime. It is a skulking shy bird and heard more than seen, so confirming breeding will be virtually impossible, and all we can hope for is to hear increasing numbers in the park to assume breeding success. Another highlight for many of us, was the large number of chicks on the lake, Canada Geese, Mallard, Coot and Moorhen all have very cute and photogenic chicks at the moment, so its well worth popping over with your camera. However, the stars of the lake for me at the moment are the pair of imperious and elegant Great Crested Grebes. They just seem to glide around the lake, fishing with ease, carrying an air of lofty distain for everything else around them, including us. A good binocular view will show what fabulous birds they are but they do keep their distance and you will only get a long range photograph.

In addition to the birds, it was pleasing to see a few butterflies, which are finally starting to emerge from a pretty cool start to spring. Full details of all sightings are below.

Some of the photos taken by Martin Singleton on this walk can be viewed here

The next walk will take place on Wednesday 21st> May at 10.30am, but I will remind you all nearer the date.

Martin Singleton

Remaining dates for 2023

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

Summary of sightings

Birds - 34 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 17/05/2023 4 A few overhead near the lake, mobbing a Buzzard at one time.
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 17/05/2023 2 Just two overhead
Canada Goose Branta canadensis 17/05/2023 4 + 12 chicks At the lake with two pairs having 12 chicks between them.
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 17/05/2023 2 Just a couple around the park.
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti 17/05/2023 2 At least one possibly two near to the lake, at one time on the Island.
Common Blackbird Turdus merula 17/05/2023 3 Two males and one female seen/heard.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo 17/05/2023 1 One very high from the teasel field.
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 17/05/2023 5 Several heard and seen in the hedges.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 17/05/2023 1 At the lake.
Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 17/05/2023 5 At least five plus around the lake - all heard.
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris 17/05/2023 4 A few flying around behind the large mound and near the pavilion.
Common Swift Apus apus 17/05/2023 2 The same pair of birds (we think..) seen overhead at various stages of the walk.
Common Whitethroat Curruca communis 17/05/2023 3 At least three along the access road to the car park.
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus 17/05/2023 6 A low number for this species.
Dunnock Prunella modularis 17/05/2023 4 A few heard at various locations around the park.
Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 17/05/2023 11 At least 11 birds mainly heard with a couple also seen.
Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus 17/05/2023 4 Just a few seen/heard in the hedges.
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 17/05/2023 6 At least six seen and heard.
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 17/05/2023 1 + 2 chicks One adult at the lake feeding two red headed chicks.
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 17/05/2023 3 A couple after we emerged from the boardwalk and one behind the large mound.
Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes 17/05/2023 5 All heard at various stages of the walk.
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis 17/05/2023 1 Just one in the pavilion car park.
European Greenfinch Chloris chloris 17/05/2023 2 One heard from the lake and one behind the large mound.
European Herring Gull Larus argentatus 17/05/2023 1 One overhead.
European Robin Erithacus rubecula 17/05/2023 13 Mainly heard but a few seen in the hedges.
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 17/05/2023 2 These imperious and elegant birds are still at the lake - would be great if they bred?
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 17/05/2023 1 One flew overhead off to the trees on the large mound.
Great Tit Parus major 17/05/2023 4 Mainly heard but a pair are nesting in the pavilion roof.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus 17/05/2023 13 Mainly along the access road to the car park and behind the large mound.
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus 17/05/2023 8 At least 8 probably more in the hedges including one family behind the large mound.
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 17/05/2023 5 + 10 chicks At least two pairs with chicks, very cute.
Stock Dove Columba oenas 17/05/2023 1 One overhead near the large mound.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 17/05/2023 2 A pair at the lake - will they breed here?
White Wagtail (Pied) Motacilla alba yarrellii 17/05/2023 1 One overhead at the teasel field.

Butterflies - 4 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines 17/05/2023 2 A couple seen in the hedges.
Peacock Butterfly Inachis io 17/05/2023 1 One seen from the bridge
Small White Artogeia rapae 17/05/2023 2 A couple in the pavilion garden
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria 17/05/2023 1 One at the end of the boardwalk

Mammals - 1 Species

Common Name Scientific Name Date Total Count Notes
Eastern Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis 17/05/2023 1 Seen from the boardwalk