Our aim is to support and encourage restoration of the historic features of the gardens
31st January 2016
Worth Park took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatchon Sunday morning 31st January 2016. Some 30 people turned out. It was great to welcome several new families and to see so many youngsters. The weather was grey and drizzly which did not help in trying to see the birds against the sky. But it was mild and there was very little wind which did help. We walked the length of the gardens including a circuit of the lake in the allotted hour from 10:30. Everyone seemed to enjoy looking for the birds, trying to count them and learning to identify the unfamiliar ones. The highlights included: a Goldcrest; a flock of 13 Long-tailed Tits; a Great Crested Grebe; 2 Cormorants and an Egyptian Goose. Our results have been submitted to the RSPB database and will be part of the national survey for this year. Please look at the RSPB web site for the overall results including the lists of the birds that are most seen. Our results have also been entered into the Birdtrack online database run by the British Trust for Ornithology. So we are contributing to the birdwatching database used by many people and organisations for research and planning purposes.
Both Photos:Tom & Chris Howard-Jones, 17/3/2016Left: Peacock ButterflyRight: Egyptian Goose on the Pulham Islet
Our members Tom & Chris Howard-Jones wrote:
Wednesday 24th February 2016After a frosty start it was a fine sunny morning with a hint of spring.Two Great Crested Grebes have been together for a week on the lake. Today they were settled together in the nest site used last year. Let's hope that they are a pair and that they will breed.A few of the Black-headed Gulls have already developed their black head plumage and look more sensibly named now.We had six separate sightings of Common Buzzards. At one time, two were circling together quite low overthe lake area.It was good to see Siskins in the park again.A group of Jackdaws were arguing over ownership of the nest site in the big hole in the tree in the middle of the football pitches in Grattons Park. Two fell out of the tree and lay motionless on the ground locked together struggling to decide who had priority. When we got very close they broke off and flew away.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday 17 March 2016 It looks like "our" Great Crested Grebes have paired up again and are breeding. They are sitting on a nest in the same place as last year - under the overhanging branches at the end of the main island in the lake. Let's hope for a successful outcome.
It was a lovely early spring morning and the birds had taken it to heart.They were displaying, singing, nest building, sitting on eggs and even tending their young in the sunshine.The pair of Egyptian Geese were protecting their brood of eight goslings. The young are about a week old now and they are all still present. The pair of Great Crested Grebes are sharing the nest duties. A male Blackcap was a new bird for my Worth Park list. Some are now spending the winter in the UK. But I like to think that he was a new arrival.
Saturday 2nd April 2016
Saturday 23rd April 2016We walked around the park at 08:00 to 09:00 this morning. It was a bright but chilly morning. Our pair of Great Crested Grebes have three young. They must be about two weeks old now. The family of eight young Egyptian Geese are growing well and are all still present. There were three very young Coots on the lake - and two Pied Wagtails on the croquet lawn.
Friday 29th April 2016 06:00 to 07:00, WORTH PARK DAWN CHORUS WALKThe walk was led by Tom Forward from The Gatwick Greenspace Partnership and The Sussex Wildlife Trust. We enjoyed his enthusiasm, lively style and impressive skills. The weather was grey and chilly; but thankfully dry. We listened and looked hard as we made our way around the gardens and the lake. We saw a total of 30different speciesof birds. The highlights were: a Blackcap; a Chiffchaff; a Grey Heron; a pair of Egyptian Geesewith 8 goslings and a pair of GreatCrested Grebeswith 3 young. It is good to see that these young birds are thriving without losses so far. As last year, the star bird was a Treecreeper. We were very impressed that Tom was able to hear its call from the far side of the lawn and then find it in a group of trees. It allowed us to get very close and gave us all great views as it looked for insects on its way up the trunks and branches. 26 people took part and we were pleased to welcome so many youngsters at such an early start. We warmed up with coffee, croissants and lively conversations in the meeting room. Many thanks to Tom for his excellent leading and the Worth Park Team for the organising and hospitality.
The pair of Egyptian Geese still have 8 goslings and they are growing quickly. They are shedding their baby fluffy feathers and are showing the start of their first full plumage.
The pair of Great Crested Grebes still have their 3 young and they are thriving too. A Grey Heronlooked splendid in its full breeding plumage. Even though their breeding season is over now.
Thursday 5th May 2016 between 14:30 and 15:30
Monday 6th June 2016 08:00 to 09:30.It was a beautiful sunny morning with a bright blue sky for our walk.The highlight was seeing the Kingfisher twice as it flashed in the sunlight flying low over the lake between the bank and the main island. The pair of Great Crested Grebesare still looking after their 3 young which are now quite large. The juveniles are starting to get their crests and lose their striped appearance. 2 Swifts flew low over the water and around the lake catching insects. Several Wrenswere competing and singing loudly. A Great Spotted Woodpeckerwas attending a nest hole. A baby Chaffinch, which had recently fledged, still with a halo of fluffy feathers was waiting to be fed. A young Robin in its speckled plumage was exploring around the Camellia Walk. There were many Canada Geeseincluding a flotilla escorting 10 goslings. One group of Mallardincluded 5 ducklings and there were at least 3 juvenile Coot.The Egyptian Geesewere obscured in the undergrowth and we thought we saw 2 adults but only 1 young one.
Monday 10th October 2016It was a bright, crisp, sunny morning with a clear blue sky when I returned to Worth Park. This was my first survey for a while. The colour of the leaves is starting to change. The birds are being drawn to the berries on the yew and rowan trees. Autumn migration both going and coming is under way. There are three young Great Crested Grebes. It seems that their second brood this year is one more than the previous three broods. I only saw one adult and I hope they will survive. The drake mallards are shining in their new plumage having come out of eclipse. Even though they are common they are well worth a close look especially when the sun is shining on them. There were many young woodpigeons in the flocks - they are the ones that look just like the adults but without the white patches on their necks.
Monday 18th July 2016At last a warm and sunny morning for the walk. It was good to see how clean the park is the day after the successful Victorian Picnic events. High summer is a quiet time for bird watching. Yet there is usually something to note. There were 3 Grey Herons which is unusual. Several young Cootsand Moorhenswere being herded by their parents. The pair of Great Crested Grebes are nesting again under the overhanging trees on the main island. They had two well-grown young the last time I saw them. I guess they have dispersed so that the adults could start a second brood. The number of Canada Geese has grown. I estimate that there are over 50 at the lake now. Large fish, Carp?, were jumping clear of the water and landing with a big splash. The bird list (see table) included: Chiffchaff;Jay and Swift.
When we arrived at the oak tree in the car park we bumped into a mixed winter flock of foraging birds. The first one we saw was a Goldcrestquickly followed by a Long-tailed Tit and a Nuthatch.It was a pleasant sunny and crisp morning for our walk. Another walker said they had seen the Kingfisher on the sluice gate. So, we sat on a bench and waited for a while - always a good move. We saw it flying across the lake on three occasions. There was no sign of some regulars such as the Grey Heron or the Great Crested Grebes. Maybe the grebes are more mobile now that the young are getting bigger. For a while it looked like there would be no geese either; but as we were leaving a flock of Canada Geeseflew in. The numbers of gulls, especially Black-headed, are building up as winter approaches. It was nice to see the Siskinsand Goldfinchesin the tops of the Alder trees. Three Jays were collecting acorns in the Oak tree by the Camellia Walk. A small group of Redwingswere feeding on the Yew berries by the lake - a new bird for our Worth Park list.
Friday 11th November 2016
Thursday 1st December 2016
Sunday 25th December 2016
Nearly another new bird on Christmas Day.We enjoyed a refreshing walk around the park on Christmas Day morning. It was overcast when we set out. But the sun was shining by the time we finished. It was unusually mild all day. There were not many birds about. Perhaps they were still unpacking their stockings and enjoying a lie in. The swags and the decorations looked very festive. Most of the berries have gone from the holly and the yew trees - probably eaten by the winter thrushes who have departed too. One Great Crested Grebewas there; hopefully holding territory for breeding next year. Nearby in Grattons Park we saw a Little Egreton the stream. That would be a new bird for our Worth Park list if it would only make the short hop over the road. A Buzzardwas circling over the woods and a group of Canada Geeseflew over to land on the lake where we found them on our way back. For a full list of our sightings please see the Bird Table.
Again a new bird for our park list today. The frost was still on the ground and most of the lake was frozen when we started at about 11 am. The gulls, ducks, cootsand moorhens were gathered around the only patch of open water at the north end. A few moorhenswere skating on the ice looking for something to eat. Our winter flock of Black-headed Gullsis building up with over 60 present today. There were more Redwingsand some Song Thrushesfeeding on the Holly berries. Over in Grattons Park we found a Goldcrest, Great SpottedWoodpecker, a small charm of 6 Goldfinchesand more Redwings. Walking back up through Worth Park there was a Fieldfare(the new bird) in the tree next to the arched bridge over the ha-ha.