Abbey Fields is proving to be a success story for birds. We are lucky to be able to see or hear a variety of birds ranging from Swans down to tiny Gold Crests. The Abbey Fields habitat provides a number of different environments including the lake, marshy areas, stream banks, hedgerows and undisturbed brambles and nettles (more below) and a range of trees, some of which are now ivy covered trunks. All of these offer ideal places for birds to nest, hide, forage, sleep or just grab a quick meal and rest before moving on to summer or winter breeding grounds. The birds who nest and breed in Abbey Fields enjoy a variety of habitats essential for their ability to nest and breed successfully. Some prefer to live in the trunks of the many trees, either making their own holes and nests or else re-using nests made by other birds and adapting them to suit. Other birds like to build nests in trees among the branches and twigs. Some birds like to make use of the superb cover that is offered by the ivy covered tree trunks or walls and yet others live in the brambles and nettles and dense vegetation that is often found along the edge of the streams and even the foot paths. These latter areas provide essential cover for ground nesting birds such as chiff-chaffs. Similarly the ducks and moor hens manage to find safe hiding places in the marshy undergrowth. All of these apparently untidy areas are necessary to help maintain a healthy habitat for these beautiful creatures.
Over the past years Friends of Abbey Fields have arranged for a local Ornithologist to lead an annual Bird Walk around Abbey Fields. His extensive knowledge and interesting commentary makes for a very interesting morning walk. Reports of these walks can be found below.