Birdwatching in Charlecote's parkland
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Why not bring your binoculars and pick up a park trail leaflet on your way in and see what you can spot in the parkland. Listen too - you may hear something before you can see it.
See something different
Charlecote has a team of expert volunteer ornithologists with licences to handle birds. They undertake an annual bird survey for us, and last year recorded many birds that most of us won’t see in our gardens.
Species spotted include spotted flycatchers (on the endangered ‘Red’ list), reed buntings, great spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches, treecreepers, sedge warblers and reed warblers.
Sounds of the countryside
Listen carefully for the strident laughing ’yaffle’ call of green woodpeckers resounding around the park in spring, and their undulating flight is unmistakable.
Early spring is also the best time to see and hear the mistle thrushes. Bigger and greyer than the song thrush, there are normally two or three pairs. If there's something singing from the top of one of the taller trees, it's probably a mistle thrush.
The most common parkland bird nowadays is the jackdaw — a small crow with a sharp ‘jack’ call.
Other birds to look out for here are buzzards, whose ‘mewing’ calls are regularly heard as they soar overhead and kestrels, a pair often hunts over Front Park.
In spring you might also hear the strident, ringing whistles of nuthatches, the drumming of a great spotted woodpecker or a singing starling.
Our ideal habitats
In winter, flocks of redwings and fieldfares are conspicuous as they feed beneath the trees – they love berries and fallen orchard fruits. A flash of blue at any time of year is likely to be one of the jays, much disliked by other birds.
We were thrilled to have a pair of barn owls nest in one of our nest boxes last year. This largely nocturnal bird may occasionally be seen in winter, when it emerges to hunt at dusk, swooping across the parkland.
Tawny owls are also present, but you’re unlikely to come across one as they're strictly nocturnal.
Little owls, though, can sometimes be seen sitting out sunning themselves on a low branch or a log pile.
The recently-planted areas of scrub are proving attractive to small birds like blackcaps. And we're continuing to manage the parkland with wildlife as our priority.