Osterley Park

From Londonbirders

A fantastic National Trust house with extensive parkland in Osterley in the London Borough of Hounslow. 5 minutes walk from Osterley Station or 15 mins from Isleworth. The H28 bus goes almost to the gate, and the H91, H37, 267, 237 and 117 will all take you near.

The parkland is very varied with mature mixed and oak woodland, landscaped parkland, managed grassland, farmland and several ornamental lakes which support a decent variety of ducks and other waterfowl. The park is supposed to see 80-90 species during the course of the year, and even a casual walk through the park will notch up 20-30. It is particularly well-known locally for its ring-necked parakeets and mandarin ducks; less common species include lesser-spotted woodpecker, little owl and kingfisher.

Where to watch

The Garden Lake is shallow and ornamental, and holds a mildly interesting range of waterbirds:

  • Mallard, coot, moorhen, Canada goose, mute swan and black-headed gull are practically guaranteed (although how wild all these are is questionable)
  • mandarin duck and Egyptian goose occur all year round
  • shoveler are easy to spot in winter
  • grey heron can often be seen fishing at the far end of the lake

The Middle Lake is larger and wilder, with an inaccessible central island. (There is also an Upper Lake which is private). In addition to most of the birds listed above, great crested grebe, grey heron and cormorant are regular here, with kingfisher resident and pochard and gadwall in winter.

The road behind the Middle Lake leads through horse paddocks which are excellent for wagtails. A path which heads back through fields to the car park is reliable for little owl, and jays are very likely. The horse paddocks on the opposite (western) side of the park have a good reputation for chats and wheatears.

Elsewhere in the park green woodpecker and various thrushes are easy to see. Kestrel are resident and may be seen hunting all over the park, and sparrowhawks are regular overhead.

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