We are fortunate to live in a setting which has many great wildlife features: mature trees, a stream, the marsh and seasonal ponds of Coxes Meadow, large areas of grassland, some dense scrub and bramble, and of course lots of well-established gardens with rich and diverse habitat. The stream corridor links the estate to other green areas and ultimately to the countryside around Charlton Kings and Leckhampton Hill. Buzzards wheeling overhead are a common sight, a Roe deer was seen recently on Reeves Field, and there’s a report of Otter spraint (droppings) on the Spirax Sarco site on the River Chelt, which of course runs into Coxes Meadow, so it is even possible that Otters could follow the stream corridor into our own local green spaces.

All the sightings below are from King William Drive since 2007. It’s interesting to see how local some species are: Sparrows and Starlings are common in one part of the road, but until 2011 very rarely came into the garden where these sightings were recorded. Some species, like Green Woodpeckers, are seen on the green, but only occasionally in the garden. The weather of course also plays a part: Winter 2010/11 brought in many Fieldfares and Redwings, feasting on Cotoneaster and Pyrancatha berries, Siskins on seed feeders, as well as Waxwings, a real treat to see here.

The Redstart seen in July 2011 was a real surprise – did anyone else have a visit from it? Probably a juvenile male. It stayed around a few hours and was very visible. The chestnut tail feathers are unmistakable, as well as the restless tail flicking, and occasionally it does flycatcher-like flights out and back to a perch.

Please feel free to contribute your own sightings - email wildlife@charltonparkcheltenham.org and we will record them by road for a detailed picture of the distribution of wildlife on our estate. If there’s anything you’re not 100% certain of, a useful website is iSpot – post a photo and have it identified by helpful experts.

King William Drive:

Garden birds

  • Blue tit (nesting)
  • Great tit
  • Coal tit
  • Robin (nesting)
  • Blackbird
  • Dunnock
  • Green Woodpecker
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Jay
  • Nuthatch – 4 seen together 06/11
  • Carrion crow
  • Magpie
  • Greenfinch
  • Chaffinch
  • Pheasant male & female
  • Bullfinch male & female
  • Goldfinch
  • Long-tailed tits (up to c 10 on feeder at once! 11/10)
  • Pied wagtail
  • Song Thrush – pair
  • Blackcap – male & female
  • Mallard, male & female
  • House Sparrow
  • Jackdaw
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Wren
  • Chiffchaff, & frequently heard nearby
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker on peanut feeder
  • Black headed gull – came when put out bread on lawn
  • Redwing – lots during snowy weather 12/10, stripping all berries
  • Fieldfare – in snow 12/10 – came to apples on ground
  • Siskin – on sunflower seed feeder
  • Starling
  • Willow Warbler
  • Redstart (end July 2011)
Seen overhead or nearby:
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Buzzard
  • Heron (& in nearby trees)
  • Rook
  • Raven
  • White Wagtail
  • Tawny Owl (heard only)
Other wildlife
  • Fox
  • Badger (seen droppings & other signs)
  • Grey Squirrel
  • Hedgehog (seen droppings only)
  • Grass snake (skeleton of newborn)
  • Common Frog
  • Toad
  • Common newt
  • Lots of different bees, dragonflies, damselflies but no more specific species names!

Charlton Park Drive

Other wildlife
  • Roe Deer (Reeves Field)

General vicinity:

  • Bats: Pipistrelle and Daubentons by the balancing pond and a Brown Long-Eared over Coxes Meadow.

Useful links:

RSPB - good for audio clips of different birds

iSpot - community of experts who can help identify wildlife of all kinds

Glos Birder- lists sightings of birds seen in Gloucestershire day-by-day, sent in by local birdwatchers. Often includes excellent photographs

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, with lots of info on local issues and events.