Bushy Park is a wildlife heaven in the middle of an urban area with its 445 hectares of land.
We already explored the deer in Bushy Park and today I want to highlight some of the birds that one can see and observe in the park.
The list of birds that call Bushy Park their home is extensive.
There are most likely over 100 different types of birds that stop by and/or live in Bushy Park throughout the year.
The main birds that visitors can easily encounter, mostly along the Longford River, are the waterfowls.
There are different waterfowl families that one can discover, such as ducks, geese and swans.
Those birds are medium to large and have long or very long necks. The swan is definitely the largest and longest-necked.
The majority of birds in this family is short, their bills are broad, they are short legged and their front three toes are joined by webs.
Another waterfowl family that can be encountered there are herons, storks and ibises.
The grey heron is apparent and easy to spot with its long legs, long beak and grey and black feathering.
We often see them with their long necks stretched out, standing in the water, but when they sit down their necks bent over their chest and they look like this guy below.
At the moment, visitors have the pleasure of seeing the waterfowls nesting in the water and along the river beds or with their young chicks hatched already.
Lots of waterfowls are right now within their breeding season, which is roughly from mid – March to the end of July.
Bushy Park also has got plenty of ground – nesting birds such as the reed bunting, meadow pipit, stonechat and skylark.
The skylark is a small brown bird with a white-sided tail and white rear edged wings. Its feathering is streaky with a small crest that can be raised when it is alarmed or excited.
Can you spot the skylark in the picture?
All of these four species are protected and under conservation as their numbers are declining across Britain. They are so called Red List species.
They nest in grasslands and are easily disturbed. Therefore, it is paramount that people keep their dogs on a lead and stay on the paths.
The most exotic birds in Bushy Park must be the ring-necked parakeets.
These beautiful green parrots are by no means native to Europe, but have been introduced by accident and are now to be found in a number of areas, especially in south – east England.
It is unclear how parakeets were introduced to Britain, but a few theories include:
- They escaped from the film set of The African Queen, which was shot in 1951
- The Great Storm of 1987 destroyed some aviaries and the parakeets escaped
- Jimi Hendrix set a pair of breeding parakeets free in the 1960s
- Some parakeets managed to escape from the livestock transportation area in Heathrow airport
Parakeets are large and long – tailed bright green parrots. Their beaks are red and they have pink and black rings around their face and neck.
They are often to be found in flocks and they are very noisy.
It can be challenging to see them in the trees right now as they are the same colour as the leaves, but they are easily spotted flying around the grounds in the park.
Many so called garden birds such as finches and tits also live in Bushy Park. They are small birds with beautiful and colourful feathering. Their songs and appearance have inspired many poets and artists and I me as well. 🙂
They mostly use tree trunks in Bushy Park to build their nests and raise their chicks.
In fact, one can see that many trees across the park have holes, sometime several in one tree trunk.
Other birds that call Bushy Park their home include all three native woodpeckers, kestrel, tawny owl, kingfisher and many, many more.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds of Bushy Park and maybe this inspires you to go out around your area and pay more attention to your local wildlife.
We do not always need to go to the zoo or abroad to see animals.
We just need to keep an eye out for what we have already.
Our local wildlife is incredible, but we often do not notice it.