Trip report: birdsong at Leybourne Lakes

Four of us had a morning visit to this country park near Maidstone, run by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.

26 May 2022

It comprises a number of lakes with plenty of surrounding scrub, grassy areas and trees. Despite being much used by joggers, cyclists and dog walkers, there is plenty of cover for wildlife.

The park is famous for nightingales, and we found several singing boldly from deep cover. Eventually we caught glimpses of one or two through the leaves or in flight between song perches. But perhaps the highlight was an excellent view of a garden warbler in full song high in a willow tree.

Nightingale

There were plenty of other songbirds too, most of which we managed to see, so that at times we were surrounded by a symphony of sound. Here’s the full list, 42 birds in all:

mute swan
greylag goose
Canada goose
mallard
tufted duck
coot
moorhen
little grebe
great crested grebe
cormorant
black-headed gull
herring gull
lesser black backed gull
woodpigeon

collared dove
stock dove
swift
great spotted woodpecker
green woodpecker (h)
wren (h)
dunnock
robin
nightingale
blackbird
songthrush
sedge warbler (h)
reed warbler
chiffchaff

blackcap
whitethroat
garden warbler
Cetti’s warbler
blue tit
long-tailed tit
starling
magpie
carrion crow
jackdaw
house sparrow
chaffinch
greenfinch
goldfinch