WILDLIFE WALKS

Wildlife walks are on hold at the moment. Watch this space for updates

We hold regular wildlife walks with local experts throughout the year, meeting at the Visitor Centre. Follow us on Facebook or check this page for walk announcements and updates. All welcome, under 18’s need to be accompanied by an adult.

Nearest Tram stop: Arena or Harrington Road.

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DURING LOCKDOWN

Many of us have spent time walking, jogging or cycling in South Norwood Country Park. Time allowed us to look at the flora and fauna in more detail, we think many of us grew to love our treasured park even more!


BATS

Meet the Community Partnership Officer and the Friends of South Norwood Country Park for an evening stroll through the dark in search of bats hunting over the meadows and lake. Meet at 8.30 PM by the visitor centre in the park. Wrap up warm and bring a torch if you have one to find your way. We use bat detectors to detect the presence of bats by converting their echolocation ultrasound signals, as they are emitted by bats, to frequencies audible to the human ear.

Next walk: TBA

Walk report: 10 May 2019

Our Bat Walks are becoming more and more popular year by year.  We thought 30 people last year was a good number but this year, we had around 43 adults and children joining in.  The number was so large that we had to take turns on the pontoons!

The species of bats did not number as many as last year but there were many of those bats we did see.  The Common pipistrelle, Soprano pipistrelle and Leisler’s bat made an appearance in another delightful walk led by Meike Weiser, Community Conservation Partnership Officer from Croydon Council.

Walk report: 11th May 2018

Spotting bats on our bat walks can sometimes be a bit ‘hit and miss’.  This time was definitely a ‘hit’.

Around thirty adults and children (our largest number to date) gathered at the visitor centre at 8.30 pm to listen to an introductory talk by Meike Weiser, Community Conservation Partnership Officer from Croydon Council.  As the sun went down, we made our way to the lake in the hope of spotting one or two bats.  We were not disappointed!

With the help of bat detectors and one enthusiast’s very sophisticated bat detector linked to an ipad, we identified six species of bat.  This is even more amazing considering there are only around seven species known to be in Croydon.

Flying around the lake and above our heads were the Common pipistrelle, Soprano pipistrelle and one we haven’t seen before, a Nathusius’ pipistrelle.  Added to those, were the Leisler’s bat, Noctule and Serotine.  The only one we didn’t see which we did on the last bat walk was the Daubenton’s bat.  Meike pointed out that it was rare to spot three big bats in one night.

It truly was a thrilling experience which we hope to match at our next Bat Walk.

To learn more visit the Bat Conservation Trust www.bats.org.uk


Next Walk: TBA

Walk report:

On a crisp, cold but sunny January morning we set off from the Visitor Centre with Rob (Park Warden) as our leader and main bird spotter. Twenty-eight people braved the cold including ten children & one baby in a pushchair. Any standing water in the numerous pools and the lake were frozen over and there was frost glittering on the scrub.

The children all had record sheets to log their sightings and many of them had been provided with binoculars. Their first sighting was a Robin shortly followed by a Wood Pigeon, they were able to count lots of those!

Rob was quickly spotting lots of birds – see the bird list below. We made our way to the lake where coots and mallards were waddling along on the ice. The children were excited to see two Mute Swans and I was excited to see a Gadwall which was a first for me. Canada Geese were coming into land, skidding on the ice and two mallard drakes were having a furious fight.

The birds we saw included: Robin, Wood Pigeon, Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Starling, Goldfinch, Sparrowhawk, Ring-necked Parakeet, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Coot, Mallard, Moorhen, Gadwall, Shoveler, Khaki Campbell.


Next walk:  TBA

Walk report: 5th May 2018

For the eight of us who dragged ourselves out of our beds for a 5 am start, there were many rewards on our annual Dawn Chorus Walk led by warden, Rob Spencer.

As dawn broke over the Country Park, we were greeted with the call of the wren – the loudest noise for such a small bird and certain to wake us if we were still feeling a bit sleepy.  This was soon followed by the many different songs of the aptly named song thrush.  As we wandered through the mist hanging over the wetlands, we heard a black cap warbler, a green finch, a great tit and a couple of Egyptian geese flew over our heads.

The view over the mist-covered lake was spectacular and a sign of the warm day to come.  On our way back to the visitor centre, we spotted reed warblers, dunnocks and white throats who are late risers compared to the others.  All in all, we heard and saw around 20 species of birds.  It was definitely worth the early start.


Walk report:

18 Friends of SNCP gathered for the walk. What a great morning we had for it bright and sunny with a gentle breeze. As we strolled through the Park, Malcolm Bridges pointed out the various species and also talked about the plants and vegetation the butterflies feed on.

We saw 10 species during 2 hours and Malcolm showed us where the colonies of Purple and White Letter Hairstreak congregate, high in the oaks and elms on the Elmers End border. The elms are the food plant of the White Letter and the best time to see them active in the tree canopy is during light summer evenings.  Very special, as the White Letter Hairstreak is a Priority Species for conservation.