The Bird Barmy Army walk on Sauturday 19 May showed that it hasn’t taken long for water birds to return to the restored lakes in Victoria Park. Bird expert David Darrell-Lambert of Birdbrain UK led 16 visitors round the park, logging an impressive 37 species of feathered friends.
Particularly welcome was the number and variety of water birds seen, just a few months after the restored lakes were refilled. There were three pairs of Little Grebes and a pair of Great Crested Grebes, along with a pair of Mute Swans, five Greylag Geese, 10 Canada Geese, at least 10 Moorhens, three pairs of Coots and a Cormorant. Ducks were well represented, too. Along with about 20 Mallards were three Pochards (see David’s photo above), seven Tufted Ducks and a Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid. A drake Mandarin and a pair of Egyptian Geese added a touch of the exotic.
Other highlights included a pair of Sparrowhawks, six pairs of Stock Doves, a pair of Great Spotted woodpeckers at a nest hole, two pairs of Mistle Trushes, a singing Blackcap, and Swallows, House Martins and Swifts overhead.
The next Bird Barmy Army walks will be on 7 July and 8 September – meet at 10am at the Ranger Station.
Photo: drake Pochard in Victoria Park by David Darrell-Lambert/Bird Brain UK