On Tuesday 17th September 2019 we were visited by 18 runners from the Derby Goodgym who helped us weed, prune and tidy up a section of rockery in the Park. The GoodGym runners visit a different place each week to help out with any worthy projects. Thank you so much for your help. If you are a runner and this is something you are interested in please see the Markeaton Park report and all the others at https://www.goodgym.org/areas/derby/reports
Many thanks to the volunteers from Sainsbury's Local at Morley Street, Derby who kindly gave their time to deal with our compost bins. We very much appreciate their help. Thanks also for their donation of vouchers which will help with the funding of our festival in August. Hope to see you there !
We are pleased to have received another Green Flag Award this year in recognition of our management and hard work in maintaining and developing the Walled Garden. It gives us a great deal of pleasure to welcome both volunteers and visitors into the garden to enjoy this historic site. Please come and see us !
Between now and October 2019 you can help us raise funds to improve the walled garden at Markeaton Park simply by shopping at our local COOP stores.
Click on the link below for more details:
Bird watching is always quiet in July to September, and with temperatures in the 70’s, birds were very scarce to-day.
Inevitably, a couple of Common Buzzards were seen soaring over the park, and towards the end, House Martins were chasing food over the lake, interspersed with dipping their beaks in the water for a drink as they flew threw.
Swifts were flying high, and it will not be long before they head south.
Just 15 species for the 90 minute walk with most sightings on the lakes. Plenty of juveniles, Coots in particular, and a pair of adult Mute Swans were repelling the public near the Mundy centre bridge, to protect their cygnets.
Next walk is Sunday 19th August, and Dawn will be leading the September (16th) walk whilst David is in Cyprus.
On a glorious day with no cloud, but loads of people, 5 birders took the beginners walk at Markeaton park.
The fine weather brought out the public, and unfortunately for us, the number of dogs not on leads, meant that we were seeing very few birds in the wooded areas. So a count of just 20 species was low by our standards.
2 male Mandarin Ducks on the duck pond, plus a couple of Nuthatches were well seen, but the highlite and Bird of the Day was a female Goosander that flew into the duck pond area, and after a couple of fishing dives, flew back to the main lake.
Credit to Philip for that one and which we have named Philip. (Bit tough being a female bird!!)
Some of the nest boxes made at the recent nest box making session were spotted on the walk, including No 1 which was the one of the 3 nest boxes sponsored by Pamela. If you are looking, they have all been painted green, with a number on the base, and there are 28 in the park plus 2 in the Walled Gardens.
Having cancelled the walks for January and March 2018, it was good for the walk to get back to normal in April.
11 people enjoyed a pleasant walk with 22 species sighted. Highlights included..
A pair of Mallards with 8 ducklings the first noted breeding report for 2018.
As happens at Markeaton, Nuthatches were very much in evidence and quickly scavenged the bird food we placed at strategic places.
Summer migrants are starting to arrive, including a single male Blackcap, and a Chiffchaff.
At the end of a 90 minute walk, we returned to find a pair of Mandarin Ducks on the duck pond by the craft village.
The 30 new nest boxes made at the recent FOMP nest box making session, have been erected around the park, with a Robin nest box and a Blue Tit nest box in the walled garden. We watch with interest!!
David Bennett The Allestree Birdman blog.
February Bird Walk Report
The January 2018 Bird walk having been cancelled due to a surprise snow storm, 11 people turned up for the first “happening”, in February. This was the highest number of people on the walk and show that the Derby Live advertising is helping us.
Sadly the birds did not read the publicity and were quite thin on the ground. Pamela, coming as usual, heavily laden with bird foot brought out a good variety at the feeding table, and for a shear show of numbers, Nuthatches ruled the day.
Bird of the Day (BOD to fellow birders), was a perching Kestrel, visible for just long enough for us all to see before it went hunting.
David Bennett The Allestree Birdman blog.
David Bennett, a Volunteer Ranger at the Severn Trent reservoir at Carsington Water, introduced a regular monthly Bird Watching for Beginners walk in 2006.
A similar walk was introduced by David at Markeaton Park, Derby in January 2017. In the first year, there were 11 walks, 43 bookings, enjoyed by 25 different people.
Each 90 minute walk was led either by Dawn or David, with Dawn covering the 2 months when David was not available. The walk tended to follow much the same route, although in May to September, a route taking in woods was preferred for seeing Summer migrants.
49 different species were logged as follows:-
Seen on and in the water 14
Woodland and land birds 29
Flying over birds 4
Summer Visitors 2
The choice of “Bird of the Walk” produced different results, with popular votes going to Kingfisher, Goosander, Green Woodpecker, Tree Creeper, Little Grebe, Goldcrest and Little Egret.
The walks will continue in 2018, still at 10.30am on the third Sunday of every month, and starting from the Walled Garden, with the first walk on Sunday 21st January 2018.
The young gardeners getting their certificates for completing 6 months of work and study in the Walled Garden. Well done boys, it was a pleasure to work with you.
Toyota arranged for apprentices to come and complete some projects for the Walled Garden this June. The projects included making us new trestle tables to display plants for sale, building us cold frames to harden off our young plants and they also provided a sliding dividing screen in the Bothy to enable us to make better use of the room.
We couldn't resist sharing some pictures of the cheerful tulips in the Walled Garden. Thanks again to the staff at Little Eaton garden centre for your bulb donation last autumn.
Easter Sunday saw 8 people join the Bird watching for Beginners walk at Markeaton Park. The threatening wet weather did not materialise, and the birders had a cracking walk, identifying a record 26 different species.
A handsome male Mandarin Duck got things off to a good start, shortly followed by both Mistle AND Song Thrush. Putting some seed on the bird table very quickly lured down a couple of Nuthatches, and they were joined by Great, Blue and Coal Tits.
People new to birding benefited from being able to see, and compare at the same looking(!), both Woodpigeons and Stock Doves. Similarly Greylag Geese and Canada Geese could be compared.
In a short walk through the woods behind the Mundy centre, seeing and hearing a Chiffchaff singing, (a Summer migrant) was good but the hi-light was spotting a Tree Creeper doing what they do, creeping up a tree, together with a second Tree Creeper following behind!!
Not surprisingly the bird of the morning was the Tree Creeper, although Nuthatch came a close second.
The next walk will be Sunday 18th June, but note there will be no walk in May.