chris park, project officer at nene park18/11/20

Chris Park, Project Development Officer (Environment)

Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the Park this autumn, always a magical time for seeing the wonderful wildlife that makes their home in the Park...

Head towards the viewing platforms overlooking Heron Meadow. The shallow pools and scrapes attract a good variety of wild birds with some handsome looking ducks, including mallard, wigeon, teal and shoveler that can all be seen feeding on the flooded grassland. Keep a lookout for grey herons that are frequently seen on Heron Meadow or fishing around the lakes and river.

Soaring above, buzzards and red kites can be spotted hanging on to the breeze. Another bird to keep an eye, and ear, open for is the raven. These large crows are now regular visitors to the Park, their presence is usually given away by their deep “cronk cronk” calls.

grey heronCross over Milton Ferry Bridge and take a stroll through Bluebell Wood. The autumn is a great time for looking for the wide variety of fungi that magically appear in the damp shady conditions of the woodland floor.

This time of year, as the rhyme goes, “birds of a feather flock together” so look out for roaming flock of small birds, especially blue, great and long-tailed tits that busily wander the woodland foraging for food, inspecting twigs and hanging leaves for insects before moving on. Accompanying them can be other birds, like the treecreeper that explore the fissures of tree bark for hidden insects, creeping up the trunk, mouse-like, then dropping down to the base of a neighbouring tree and repeating the process.

single otter on a river bankWalking back around the lakes, keep watch for movement around the shoreline. Some lucky visitors might see otters, either single animals diving in the water or sometimes a family group of two or three, as a mother shows her kits where to fish.

Finally drop into one of the cafés for a hot chocolate and slice of cake, always the perfect way to finish off a lovely autumn walk.