Bushy Park (20 March 2024)

Photo by John Strachan

It was a pleasant day in the park when we met at the car park by the Diana Fountain. We first visited the Heron Pond where there were Tufted Duck, Coots and Moorhens. The Shelduck that I had seen on my way to the start of the walk had unfortunately already left. We did however see a small charm of Goldfinch fly over the pond.

Next we moved to the bracken on the South side of the Heron Pond and immediately saw a small flock of around ten Meadow Pipits. Next three birds were seen on the bracken in the distance they turned out to be a pair of Stonechat and a Wheater – the first migrant bird of the day.

We then moved East to the Skylark Protection Area and saw several Skylarks in flight and also on the ground. I estimated there were at least 10 Skylarks that we saw. We also saw another Wheatear perched on top of a tree-protector. Unfortunately it was scared off by a dog not on a lead!

Whilst going through the Skylark Protection Area we saw one Buzzard, then another, and then we heard them calling to each other and more Buzzards appeared. We eventually had 5 Buzzards circling above us which was a magnificent site. Passing outside the Millennium Wood we heard a Chiffchaff and another was seen in the trees on the East side of the Leg of Mutton Pond. We walked through the Warren Plantation where Treecreepers and Woodpeckers were also seen. Coming outside the West side of the plantation we saw another Wheatear. Then crossing by the Hawthorn Cottage we saw a Kestrel and a distant Red Kite.

Photo by John Strachan

On the way back to the car park we saw a male Egyptian Goose chasing another one away from its nest site in a tree where the female could be seen in a hole in the tree.

by John Strachan