Croydon Ducks - South Norwood Country Park - 2013

Latest update: 7th January 2014

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South Norwood County Park is a 125 acre park, adjacent to Elmers End railway station, three tram stations and Beckenham
Cemetery. It is mostly wild wet meadows and woods, with a large pond or lake. The land was originally a sewage farm, then
unused for many years and only developed as a park 25 years ago.


There is a car park in the park, entrance in Albert Road (SE25 4QL for satnavs, both shown on the map above) next to the Croydon
Sports Arena, parallel to Portland Road in South Norwood, and entrances from the three tram stations, Elmers End, Arena and Harrington
Road.  The park is closed at night. Note that South Norwood Lake and Grounds is a different park, a couple of miles away.

There is visitor centre with toilets next to the car park, but it's only open for two hours weekend afternoons. Also an excellent children's
playground and  pitch and putt. There are lots of paths through the park, with cycling encouraged, but no sign posts and some of the
smaller paths are hard to find.  The park is well managed for wildlife, with natural fences made from tree trunks and branches around the
pond and along the streams to stop dogs worrying the wildlife. The pond has a large island for nesting and resting, and four small jetties
for visitors to feed the wild fowl. There is a no fishing in the lake.

Older Photos of South Norwood Country Park

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The visitor centre and toilets, next to the car park and children's playground. 

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A Croydon Tram passing through the park on it's way to Beckenham.

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The car park, quiet on a weekday.

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1st May 2013, wide view of the lake, not as clear as last year when the vegetation was cut back.

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A Coot family, parents with two red header chicks.

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The lake is relatively quiet compare to the last few years.  A swan heads our way from the island.

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It take a few minutes, but birds from all around the lake slowly realise there is food available, Canada Geese, Swan, Mallards, Coots,
and Tufted Ducks at the back.

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A pair of Domestic Ducks arrive, to the displeasure of the swan.

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On the opposite side of the pond, a lot of vegetation has been cut back, and fences erected in the water to stop the birds eating it.
But another swan is stuck behind the fence.  The rats are still scurrying around here. 

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Closer short of the swan, not actually trapped, she can swim up and down the fence, but seem unable or unwilling to fly over it.

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Having left most of the birds on the other side of the island, very few to feed here.  But there is an unusual sight on the log in the
centre of the photo, half way to the island.

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It's a Turtle or Terrapin, sunbathing on the log in the middle of the pond. First time I've seen one in a Croydon park, although there are
stories of them living in the ponds and grabbing ducklings and goslings from under the water. 

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Some major clearance work has been happening on this side of the lake, this path to the feeding jetty used to have trees either side.

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Both swans now on the same side of the island, but they don't seen interested in each other and don't get any close together, the
far one is still behind the new fence.

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The birds now have a new land area, with all the trees and bushes gone from beside the feeding jetty.

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Mostly geese now, just a few Mallards.

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16th August 2013, a dull rainy day, so photos not wonderful.  No other visitors to the lake, so all the birds are hungry, all heading my way.

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A Tufted Duck family, several ducklings.

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More Tufted ducklings, the sea birds should not be here until the winter.

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Almost fully gown Mallard ducklings.

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A swan and her cygnet, first time I've seen one in the various Croydon parks.

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The cygnet keeps swimming away from mother.

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But mother still keeps a close watch.

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On the other side of the island, another swan, and something white behind it, but not another cygnet.

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It was just one of the domestic ducks, there used to be several on the lake.  Lots of young Coots and Moorhens around here.

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And another Tufted Duck family heading over from the island.

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Tufted ducklings staying close to mother.

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Had enough to eat, now back to the safety of the island.

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6th December 2013, mid week so the park is very quiet again, seems almost empty as I arrived but ducks and geese appear from
all over the place as soon as they realise food is available.  

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Two swans, wonder if one the cygnet I saw in the summer. 

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Only one domestic duck today, lots of noisy gulls, mallards and coots.

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Note sure of the breed here, perhaps a juvenile gull?

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The new bird again, larger than gulls, slightly smaller than mallards.

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The swans head off toward to island.

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Now on the other side of the lake, and the swans have come around the island and are heading for more food. 

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Often see rats at this feeding jetty, first photograph of one, eating the bread thrown for the Moorhen. 

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All the bread is finished, calm returns to the lake. 


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