30 March 2019

U3A Third Age Birders South Norwood & Kelsey Parks

U3A Third Age Birders
South Norwood & Kelsey Parks 

We made a local trip this month - to South Norwood Country Park followed by Kelsey Park, both in Beckenham. South Norwood Park is at Elmers End and has been created on the original site of the Victorian sewage works, alongside Beckenham Crematorium. A country park has "risen above" this potentially unfortunate location and is now a charming mix of woodland, scrub, meadow and lakes, beloved of families and dog owners. Also, as it appeared today, much visited by dawdling groups of senior citizens - at one point we crossed paths and mingled with two other large groups - (a confusion of pensioners?).

The lakes were the most productive here giving us excellent views of geese - greylag, Canada and Egyptian - these one-time rarities appearing more and more these days. We had close-up views of " liquorice all sort " male tufted ducks and could easily compare these with their females, and close friends the coot and moorhen. A pair of kestrel flew overhead and the trees were alive with the nasal droning of greenfinches - quite scarce in our gardens these days due to a parasite which is slowly wiping them out (always disinfect your bird feeder each time you refill it). Ferocious swans were guarding their territories - seeing everything off that came into view. There was much debate regarding a brilliant display of large yellow-flowered waterside plants which on checking can be confirmed as marsh marigold.

Onto reliable Kelsey Park - home of the famous heronry and yet another collection of wildfowl - this time including the toy-box mandarin duck - (see pic) and what appeared to be an albino version. Apparently white mandarins are quite common in captivity and Kelsey is almost that. The heronry did not disappoint and the dishevelled chicks could win an "ugliest baby" competition claws down. There must have been a dozen or so nesting in tenements up and down the trees on the island lake mixed in with looming black cormorants standing guard. We enjoyed a delightful walk around this pretty park, tripping over geese on the footpaths and delighting in swathes of scilla (blue squill) on the grass as we were leaving.

Here is the day list: (33)

blackbird, chaffinch, chiffchaff, coot, cormorant, crow, dabchick, wood pigeon, mandarin duck, tufted duck, dunnock, kestrel, goldfinch, goldcrest, greylag goose, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, greenfinch, black headed gull, herring gull, heron, jackdaw, magpie, mallard, moorhen, feral pigeon, robin, shoveler, sparrow, swan, great tit, blue tit, wren.


Friday 24th - morning only - Bough Beech reservoir., Booking now.

Happy Birding and enjoy the dawn chorus that is already waking us at 6 a.m!