Winter Visitors

The Combe Valley plays host to a number of over-wintering birds each year and some of these are beginning to appear now. These are birds that usually live further north but as the weather gets colder they migrate south and look for suitable habitats to spend the winter months. We are fortunate in that the valley has several habitats that are suitable for different species; reedbeds, woodland, lakes and flood meadows.

The photograph shows Grey Lag Geese landing on the flood attenuation lake in the Crowhurst arm of the park. More than 70 flew in a couple of weeks ago and seem to have settled in the valley for the winter. When we’ve had more rain they will move onto the flood meadows which are a bit dry for them at the moment. Several species of duck will visit the pools during the winter; we have already seen Wigeon and Shovelers.

Several flocks of Fieldfare have been seen in the valley this week, both in the trees bordering the flood meadows and along the old railway track. The less common Redwing can often be found with Fieldfare so may be seen soon. Both are relatives of our resident thrushes.