All the latest news & events from the garden and the National Trust in Bath

Posts tagged “Mallards

The (Small) Big Bird Day

We had our Big Bird Day here in the Park today. While we did not have huge numbers of people or birds great fun was had by all. The splendid people from the RSPB were in attendance. They gave great advice to a lot of budding young ornithologists who went away even more enthusiastic than when they came. These same young ornithologists managed to see the likes of Goldcrests and Dunnocks. Here is the full list of birds seen:

Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Great tit, Grey heron, Herring gull, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh tit, Moorhen,  Mute swan, Nuthatch, Raven, Robin, Song thrush, Woodpigeon.

A total of 27 different species of bird. Let us know if you spot any others!

You can see Black-headed gull, Marsh tit and Coot in the pictures below


It seems quite a while since I last filled in this Blog. Anyway Autumn is well and truly with us. The Park is looking magnificent with the wonderful palette of colours that abound at this time of year. It is a shame the sun isn’t shining all the time to truly bring out the colours.

At last the grass growth is slowing down, we seem to have been cutting grass forever this year. In fact every thing seems to have grown really well, even the Laurel which we pruned only a few weeks ago has continued to shoot up, so we are having to re-prune some bits.

Autumn is a great time to see all the wildlife around the Park with the leaves falling it is that much easier to see things. On a short walk around the Lakes today I saw; A Kingfisher, Grey Heron, 2 Little grebes, Mallards, Coots, Moorhens, Black-headed gulls, Herring gulls and around the feeders ; Nuthatch, Marsh tit, Coal tit, Blue tit, Great tit, and the usual bold Robin. Meanwhile Buzzards and Ravens soared up above.

All the while we battle with the falling leaves, blowing, raking  and shifting them, only for more to take their place,

Autumn in Prior Park. One of the Little grebe on the Bottom Lake

Squirrels, Green woodpeckers and lofty Herons

A quick update on what has been going on for the past couple of weeks. The work in the garden has been progressing nicely. The main emphasis being on Laurel pruning, which is drawing to an end but we still have more to do even after all this time. Plus the mini cascade down by the Gothic Temple site is coming on in leaps and bounds.

Autumn is well and truly upon us with the leaves turning, the days drawing in but the grass shows no sign of slowing down. We seemed to be constantly grass cutting this summer but surely even it needs a bit of a rest.

Meanwhile our wildlife just goes about the daily business of being. The Coots and Mallards wander about and make a lot of noise, while our Mute swans have gone off for their winter break and hopefully will return in the New Year. A Grey wagtail and Green woodpecker were feeding by the lake side, both a lovely colourful sight. The Squirrels have also been very active these past couple of days scurrying about, looking for and burying conkers and acorns.

All the while the Grey herons look on imperiously from their lofty perches keeping a superior eye on things.

One of the cheeky little Squirrels we have around the Park (picture taken last year)

Coot Chicks

Every summer the coots seem to be constantly breeding, or at least constantly sitting on their nests looking slightly perplexed. Well a new brood has just emerged and the parents were proudly showing them off this afternoon. Scurrying around the middle lake feeding the little things.

A quick update on the rest of new bird life. We still have 3 Cygnets, who seem to be fit and well. The Mallards both new and old are numerous around all the lakes. We have young Buzzards constantly calling from the trees and while flying around.  The cool Cormorant was again feeding on the lake this morning, as were a couple of  Herons, but sadly they did not nest here this year.

The rest of the Park is looking especially verdant at the moment, with all this rain. In fact it is a bit of a battle slightly holding back the forces of nature,while maintaining a natural look. I think we succeed, come and have a look.

The new Coot chicks

Mallards First Thing in the Morning

When it comes to food they just don't care.

What a difference a day makes. It was a great delight this morning walking down to the lakes to feed the Swans and ducks. It was dry for a start and the sun was shining. The Mallards, who are moulting at the moment, were all waiting for me. I wouldn’t say they were waiting patiently as they were half way up to the yard before I got to them. You can see by the picture that at feeding time they lose all fear of human contact.

Weekend Fun

A bit of a rainy day here today, so I’m sheltering in the office with a nice cup of tea, dreading the walk home. The weather doesn’t seem to be worrying the  swans/ducks/coots on the lake and their various offspring.  For us humans, we’re hoping things will pick up a bit for Saturday. Everyone’s looking forward to listening to some relaxing jazz at our midsummer picnic and a bit of sunshine will be much appreciated!

The cherry trees are laden with ripening fruit this summer


Hello and welcome to the Prior Park occasional blog.  In it we hope to keep everyone up to date about what is happening here in the Garden, such as coming events, work around the grounds and what wildlife and plants can be seen.

Today started off very peacefully as I wandered around the lakes at the bottom of the Park. The Mute swans with their 9 cygnets were on the top lake patiently waiting for food (we feed them every day), a green woodpecker was feeding on the grassy banks, one of the Grey herons making it’s almost prehistoric call and a little Wren was darting back and forth from its nest in the dam, feeding its young.

Meanwhile the Mallards, Coots, Moorhens and various Gulls were going about their lives on and around lakes.

The peace was shattered by a young fairly newly fledged buzzard being mobbed by some Magpies, somewhat maligned but never the less beautiful birds.

The day then truly started as our Friday volunteers arrived, including Joel  and Nathan, 2 students from France and we all set about strimming and mowing the grass, shattering the peace in the process.


News on the cygnets, they had just heard that I was writing this blog and decided to come up into the work yard to have a look, Mum and Dad were a little concerned but in the end came up with them.

The Cygnets decided to explore the world beyond the lakes