Throughout the year The Royal Parks specialist arboricultural team undertake a condition survey of the trees in the Park to assess the safety and health of the tree stock. Tree work may be specified to individual trees which might be anything from the reduction pruning of individual branches to the felling of diseased, dangerous or dead trees. Arisings and deadwood from this work is kept in the Park as far as possible. Deadwood, where it presents minimal risk, is retained in tree canopies, as ‘monoliths’ or on the ground as it is an important habitat for many insects, and in turn supports the bird population.
Due to the relatively mild winter we have had fewer winter visiting birds to the UK, as they have (so far) not felt the need to move from the continent or the farmlands of East Anglia. This has meant that the Redwing’s and Fieldfare’s are largely absent from the Park. We normally have to wait until Siskin and Lesser Redpolls arrive here, but Siskin’s have been present in small numbers since November. If numbers of the latter increase it would be worth checking through them for the slightly larger paler member of that family, the Common/Mealy Redpoll. If we happen to have some days with clear blue skies, then birds like the Skylark will take to the sky to sing their beautiful song; actually, locating the songster can be very difficult but is worth the challenge. The only black and white woodpecker now seen in Bushy Park is the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, who can be heard drumming. There is another songster that can be heard and isn’t dependant on fine sunny days, that is the Storm Cock or to give it its common name the Mistle Thrush. Males can be heard singing on the most atrocious of days.
For more bird news check out www.regentsparkbirds.blogspot.com By Tony Duckett
February in the Woodland Gardens sees the start of the Camellia flowering season, slowly at first but as the day’s move on more flowers can be seen. The Camellia Walk in the Waterhouse Garden holds a fine collection of historic Camellias.
The volunteers have been busy clearing away the Rhododendrons and making habitat improvements.
Plants worth looking out for include Hammamelis mollis, Viburnum “Bodnantense Dawn” and the delicately scented Mahonia planted around the gardens.
Further information can be found on The Royal Parks website or email firstname.lastname@example.org