Sheringham Park's natural wildlife highlights during winter

The varying habitats of Sheringham Park which include woodland, parkland, the wild garden, farmland and clifftops provide homes to a wide range of wildlife and plants. From Britain’s smallest bird, the firecrest, to our largest mammal, red deer, you never know what you might encounter when walking around the park.

Nature always in season

The natural world is ever changing with the seasons, every walk here at Sheringham Park will be different and unscripted, but will always contain a natural highlight if you take the time to look for it. Some of the seasonal highlights are detailed below:

Winter

• Skeins of pink footed geese flying over.

• Flocks of finches.

• Winter thrushes feeding on berries in the woodland.

• Flocks of yellowhammer on the arable fields.

• Brambling feeding on beech mast and seed heads.

• The song of both mistle and song thrush; great spotted woodpeckers can also be very vocal at this time of year.

• On a warm day in late January or February you might be lucky enough to see the first butterflies of the year flying and adders basking.

• Listen out for the birds such as nuthatch, as well as skylarks down by the coast. 

 

Look out skeins of pink-footed geese flying over
A skein of Pink - footed geese
Look out skeins of pink-footed geese flying over

Spring

• The dawn chorus peaking in May.

• Numerous patches of bluebells throughout the park.

• Chiffchaff, blackcap, swallow, sand martin, whitethroat and hopefully cuckoo returning to us from their winter bases.  

• Common frogs and toads migrating back to their ponds to breed.

• Orange-tip, holly blue and brimstone butterflies on the wing.

• A carpet buttercups and cowslips in the parkland.

• Basking adders.

Summer

• White admiral butterflies along the woodland rides and purple hairstreaks from the top of the gazebo.

• Thrift flowering on the clifftop with colour varying from almost white to deep pink.

• Nesting swallows in the courtyard.

• Flowering foxgloves adding colour to the woodland.

• Wildflower meadow in the Bower with yellow rattle and oxeye daisies

• Broad-bodied chaser dragonflies and common/azure damselflies can be seen on the Bower pond.

• Nightjars calling on Weybourne Heath.

 Autumn

• A good variety of fungi can be seen, look out for waxcaps in the parkland, at least a dozen species have been recorded.

• Autumn colour, an interesting combination of native and exotic tree species help to provide a stunning display as the leaves begin to fall.

• Listen out for the calls of nuthatch and green woodpecker.

• Southern hawker, common and ruddy darter dragonflies on the wing.

• Red admiral, peacock and comma butterflies can often be seen sunning themselves on the vegetation.

• Flocks of tits often form in good numbers; they are always worth looking out for as goldcrest, siskin and treecreeper amongst others move with them.

• Varying colours of rowan berries provide a good food source for the birdlife of the park.

A monthly sightings board is maintained at the visitor centre, please let us know if you can add to our list.