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Richmond Park

From Opus

England, London

Contents

[edit] Overview

Covering nearly 1000ha this is one the largest of London's green areas and inevitably it is very popular for recreational pursuits of all kinds.

Rough grassland forms the major habitat with large patches of bracken and open woodland, consisting mainly of oak. Around 100 species are recorded annually with more than 40 breeding.

[edit] Birds

[edit] Notable Species

The wooded areas are home to a good selection of birds including Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Little Owl and Tawny Owl and all three British woodpeckers. Most of the typical woodland birds can be seen such as Common Wren, Dunnock and Eurasian Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush, and the commoner warblers, tits and finches.

Ring-necked Parakeet a frequent visitor to (and increasingly a resident of) the park while Pheasant are the result of a longer established introduction. Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit and the occasional Stonechat breed on the grasslands and Common Kestrel hunts overhead.

The reedbed at Pen Ponds has breeding Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler and the ponds also have Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe, Mandarin Duck and Mallard. Tufted Duck and Common Pochard are generally present all year and Grey Heron and Great Cormorant can visit at any time. The Egyptian Goose is increasingly common and breeds in the park.

A wider range of species occurs during passage periods with influxes of Common Swift and hirundines sometimes being chased by Northern Hobby. Species such as Northern Wheatear, Whinchat and Tree Pipit are among the many passerine migrants regularly recorded. Duck numbers peak in winter when the resident species may be joined by Eurasian Wigeon and Gadwall as well as the occasional scarcer duck such as Goosander.

In winter Fieldfare and Redwing are common visitors as are Lesser Redpoll and Siskin and Water Rail is regular in the reedbed at this season. Dartford Warbler and Bearded Tit have both been recorded here in winter.

[edit] Rarities

The most productive time for the rarity hunter is during the spring and autumn passage periods. Little Bittern has been recorded here as well as Great Grey Shrike, Red-backed Shrike,Woodchat Shrike and even Isabelline Shrike, Barred Warbler and Ortolan Bunting.

[edit] Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mandarin Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck,Egyptian Goose, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Northern Hobby, Common Pheasant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Stock Dove, Feral Pigeon, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet, Common Cuckoo, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Common Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Eurasian Jackdaw, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Common Bullfinch, Reed Bunting

[edit] Other Wildlife

Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is the most commonly seen mammal but deer are present in good numbers and include both Red Deer Cervus elaphus and Fallow Deer Cervus dama. Other mammals include Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus (?dubious record), Mole Talpa europaea, Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, various bats, shrews, voles and Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus.

[edit] Site Information

The park is open from 07.00 (07.30 in winter) until dusk.

[edit] History and Use

Various sports and activities, including horse riding and fishing.

One of the oldest of the Royal Parks.

[edit] Areas of Interest

In the centre of Richmond Park are Pen Ponds with a small reedbed and some damp woodland.

[edit] Access and Facilities

Richmond Park can be reached from central London on the A4 to Hammersmith and then the A316 to Richmond and from there the park is signposted.

Richmond also has an underground station on the District Line.

[edit] External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve

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