Bushy Park – July 2021
This is normally the quietest month of the year with all species busy either feeding young or
teaching them how to survive in what for them can be a hostile environment. Danger is
never too far away, coming from either the resident Sparrowhawk, Hobby, or anyone of the
corvid family. They will take advantage of any youngster that strays too far from his family
If you are looking for elegance, then keep an eye on the Diana Fountain. This is where 2 or
more Common Terns can be found dipping down and picking insects or fish fry from the
surface of the water. Towards the end of the month, it is worth checking the roaming mixed
tit flocks for leaf warblers. The local Chiffchaffs will join them but so will Willow Warblers and
even the rarer Wood Warbler.
The Skylark in Bushy Park
In Bushy Park we are lucky that from late February through to the end of September we can
see and hear this once very common farmland bird. Its song is heard either from the ground
on one of the Park’s numerous Ant hills but typically in the air on bright sunny days when
pinpointing where the song is coming from can be very hard. This species loves to breed in
areas of acid grassland, a habitat that the Park has some reasonably rich areas of.
There are 2 main areas where Skylarks breed or attempt to; one to the south of Upper
Lodge Road is good quality acid grassland and could be very productive. The other runs
adjacent to the Royal Paddocks and has gradually been covered by Bracken. In the summer
of 2013 large sections of this were sprayed with the hope of restoring the area back to acid
grassland. This has been successful so far.
The Skylarks have been vulnerable to disturbance from dogs. This area has signage erected
for period late March through to August. This asks people to put their dogs on a lead and to
keep to the tracks. Small birds’ eggs can chill very quickly so flushing an incubating bird can
have disastrous consequences. The population has remained stable.
The Woodland Gardens
This month the team and volunteers will be continuing with the finishing touches of the areas
that have been cleared of Ponticum in preparation for the next phase in the renovations.
The unseasonal weather has given us the opportunity to continue with the lawn renovations
following the wear and tear during the lockdown.
The new lawns will remain fenced off until September to ensure a good start in life, regular
mowing is taking place to help thicken up the sward and to weaken competing weeds.
The tree contractors will be removing Oak Processionary Moth caterpillar nests from trees in
the woodland gardens, the numbers are relatively small, and none have been found in areas
that have been sprayed.
Further information can be found on The Royal Parks web site or via email