Birdlife at Buckland Park Lake

Here’s an update on the birdife spotted at Buckland Park Lake over the past year, written for us by one of our avid birdwatchers Derrick Robinson

At the end of Winter 2022, we had recorded up to 91 species of birds. Since then, 2023 has produced another 11 which you can see on the latest list pushing our total up to 102 species.

On the 12th April a migrating Wheatear was seen, a bird probably to be expected, and one less expected was a fly over Merlin, the smallest of our falcons. Then on the 18th in the early morning a Green Sandpiper dropped in. I say dropped in but it had probably been roosting overnight.

Green Sandpiper

The beginning of May saw some more common birds showing up at long last. A House Sparrow, and Skylark (although in major decline) and a Tawny Owl, again a bird you would expect to hear pretty much all over Surrey, were all first records here since we started watching in March 2022.

A more unusual bird for here also turned up at the end of May, this being a Firecrest, although to be honest there are possibly others of this species going through that are missed, they being the smallest of all British birds!

Tawny Owl
House Sparrow

Over the Summer breeding birds of note have been several pairs of Reed Warbler, plenty of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Little Grebe chicks were seen in the north west corner of the lake and at least two or three pairs of Great Crested Grebe bred, producing four broods of young between them totalling thirteen youngsters in all. However, I guess the star breeding birds at this location will still be the Sand Martins with an impressive colony of an estimated maximum of twenty breeding pairs, plus other non-breeders I would have thought.

In August, another interesting ‘drop in’ again a wader, was an Oystercatcher on the 5th.

Reed Warbler
Great Crested Grebe

Autumn produced several good sized flocks of small birds preparing for migration. These consisted mainly of Chiffchaffs together with Blue, Great, Long Tailed and Coal Tits. I saw one flock which also had Wrens and a couple of Nuthatch keeping company!  Kingfishers have also been seen again flying through occasionally, but seemingly not stopping for long.

Water rails have been seen from time to time around the margins during the Autumn and into winter.

Long Tailed Tit
Coal Tit

However, Winter has been very quiet on the bird front with no significant numbers of wildfowl, which has been the case in many other places this winter. This is probably because we have not had any long periods of severe, cold weather here in the south of England.

So we have achieved over 100 records of bird species at or from the confines of Buckland Lake in two years of watching now which was always going to be a target. I’m sure there have been a few more, as birds are so adapt to travelling of course, so some are bound to be missed on occasions. Hopefully more species will turn up in 2024 to add to the 102 already recorded and we very much look forward to the summer visitors arriving very soon now.


Visit Buckland Park

Powered By MemberPress WooCommerce Plus Integration