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Ayrshire, Scotland (NS 343383 & 433387)


 

LOCATION & ACCESS
These two adjacent sites are just five to ten minutes walk from Kilmarnock town centre. On foot, the Kay Park, OS grid reference (NS 434383), can be reached from the town centre by taking the road running down behind Henderson Church opposite the pub now know as The Saltire on London Road or from De Walden Terrace at Kilmarnock College. Parking is available by the pond off the B7082. Townholm (NS 433387) can be accessed on foot from; the Kay Park at Strawberry Bank, South Dean Road in New Farm Loch, at the ford on Dean Lane, and off Beansburn. By car, take the turning off the B7082 and park by the former five-a-side football complex.

HABITAT
Kay Park and Townholm, along with Dean Country Park, form a band of green space running between the town centre and the countryside to the north of the town. The 30 acre park, with its monument to Robert Burns (now in ruins following a complete lack of maintenance and care by East Ayrshire Council), is largely manicured, recreational parkland with a small man-made lake. Most interest occurs along the Kilmarnock Water. This area contrasts with Townholm which, with a more left to nature approach, is comprised of rough grassland, wasteland, scrub and a small area of mixed woodland. There is little evidence that a housing scheme once stood here. The habitat difference is reflected in the species lists for the two sites.   

BIRDWATCHING, TIMING & POINTS OF INTEREST
The Kay Park supports breeding Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Spotted Flycatcher among the typical parkland species. The best viewpoint of the river from the park is by the weir at the viaduct, however, much of the town side of the river provides the best visibility. Bullfinch can often be found in the bushes by the tennis courts (NS 432382) and Siskin in the alders by the viaduct. In recent years, the pond (NS 435383) has become more interesting (perhaps due to the lack of boating activity) with breeding Coot, Moorhen and Mute Swan. Grey Heron and Cormorant are often present, particularly in winter. Recent autumn and winter seasons have seen, surprisingly, up to a dozen Goosanders at times and are probably part of the daily movements of birds between the River Irvine and roost sites. Additionally, nesting Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls can be observed on the roofs of Kilmarnock College buildings.

Kilmarnock Water, Kay Park: good spot for Dipper, Grey Wagtail & Spotted Flycatcher  Burn's Monument, Kay Park, 2002

Townholm is of greater interest and wildlife value with breeding Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher and five species of finch. Kingfisher puts in an appearance during the autumn and winter and sitting patiently by the pipe (NS 433389) or the footbridge (NS 432389) can sometimes be rewarding. Bullfinch can be observed regularly in riverside scrub at NS 436389. Small flocks of Siskin occasionally occur in winter in the small stand of alders here. Most of the occasional or locally scarce species mentioned in the list below have occurred in Townholm.

Townholm: attractive footpath from Dean Ford before it was replaced with unsightly tarmac  Townholm: from the south side


SPECIES CALENDAR

All year
Many of the breeding residents, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Black-headed Gull.

Spring
Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Chiffchaff.  

Breeding
Mute Swan, Mallard, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Coot, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull,
Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Tawny Owl, Swift, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Dipper, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch.    

Autumn & Winter
Goosander, Tufted Duck, Common Gull, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Fieldfare, Rook, Siskin.

Rare, occasional or locally scarce species
Little Grebe, Canada Goose, Long-tailed Duck, Shoveler, Goldeneye, Garganey, Buzzard, Peregrine, Kestrel, Woodcock, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Snipe, Iceland Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Stock Dove, Cuckoo, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Grasshopper Warbler, Waxwing, Jay, Nuthatch, Brambling, Lesser Redpoll, Reed Bunting.

OTHER INFORMATION
Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Grey Heron can be observed on the Kilmarnock Water from several points within the town centre e.g. Palace Theatre/Grand Hall (NS 429379), Sandbed Street (NS 427378), St. Marnock Street (NS 427377) and in the Howard Park (NS 426374). Kingfisher is occasional.

Coot (Fulica atra)  Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

 

Recent Sightings


 

Date   

Species

Count

Location

Details

Observer

2017

 

 

 

 

 

25/02/17

Goldeneye

1

Kay Park pond

Male

AF

25/02/17

Goosander

15

Kay Park pond

 

AF

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016

 

 

 

 

 

09/12/16

Goosander

19

Kay Park pond

 

AF

31/10/16

Goosander

4

Kay Park pond

3 males + redhead

AS

31/10/16

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

Female

AS

31/10/16

Moorhen

8

Kay Park pond

 

AS

09/10/16

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

Redhead

AS

12/08/16

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

05/08/16

Little Grebe

1

Kay Park pond

 

AF

18/06/16

Mute Swan

6

Kay Park pond

Pr + b/4 - all still present 31-Jul

AS

30/01/16

Goosander

13

Kay Park pond

All males

AS

26/01/16

Goosander

17

Kay Park pond

16 mm + redhead

AS

22/01/16

Goosander

13

Kay Park pond

10 mm + 3 redheads

AS

11/01/16

Goosander

9

Kay Park pond

7 mm + 2 redheads

AS

03/01/16

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

 

 

 

 

28/12/15

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

10/12/15

Goosander

12

Kay Park pond

 

AF

24/11/15

Goosander

12

Kay Park pond

 

AS

09/11/15

Goosander

8

Kay Park pond

 

AS

09/11/15

Tufted Duck

6

Kay Park pond

3 mm + 3 ff/imm

AS

01/11/15

Goosander

2

Kay Park pond

2 mm

AS

22/10/15

Goosander

2

Kay Park pond

 

AS

22/10/15

Tufted Duck

3

Kay Park pond

 

AS

17/10/15

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

1 m

AS

23/09/15

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

23/09/15

Nuthatch

1

Kay Park

In garden

AF

20/09/15

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

1 m

AS

26/07/15

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

15/07/15

Tufted Duck

2

Kay Park pond

2 mm

AS

05/07/15

Tufted Duck

5

Kay Park pond

4 mm + 2 ff

AS

23/06/15

Tufted Duck

8

Kay Park pond

Pr + b/6

AF

02/05/15

Little Grebe

1

Kay Park pond

 

AF

21/04/15

Coot

8

Kay Park pond

4 prs nesting

AS

12/04/15

Tufted Duck

8

Kay Park pond

5 mm + 3 ff

AS

29/03/15

Goosander

4

Kay Park pond

2 mm + 2 ff

AS

29/03/15

Tufted Duck

8

Kay Park pond

6 mm + 2 ff

AS

28/02/15

Iceland Gull

1

Kay Park pond

 

AF

09/11/15

Tufted Duck

4

Kay Park pond

 

AS

30/01/15

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

22/01/15

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

RW

10/01/15

Goosander

7

Kay Park pond

5 mm + 2 redheads

AS

06/01/15

Goosander

9

Kay Park pond

 

SI

01/01/15

Goosander

2

Kay Park pond

2 mm

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

 

 

17/12/14

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

15/12/14

Goosander

15

Kay Park pond

 

AF

08/12/14

Goosander

11

Kay Park pond

 

AF

07/12/14

Goosander

8

Kay Park pond

 

AF

27/11/14

Goosander

5

Kay Park pond

 

SI

22/11/14

Goosander

7

Kay Park pond

 

AF

07/05/14

Common Sandpiper

2

Kay Park pond

 

AS

30/03/14

Tufted Duck

10

Kay Park pond

 

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

 

 

 

 

 

11/12/13

Brambling

1

Townholm

In scrub near Harriet Bridge

FSS

11/12/13

Siskin

10

Townholm

In Alders near Dean Ford

FSS

11/12/13

Mallard

78

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

11/12/13

Coot

16

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

11/12/13

Moorhen

5

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

11/12/13

Siskin

6

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

05/11/13

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

 

AS

30/06/13

Mute Swan

3

Kay Park pond

Pr + b/1

DG

27/05/13

Coot

12

Kay Park pond

4 prs inc 2 x b/2

AS

26/05/13

Garganey

1

Kay Park pond

Male still present

AS

25/05/13

Garganey

1

Kay Park pond

Male

GMcC

24/05/13

Garganey

1

Kay Park pond

Male

AF

17/01/13

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

 

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

 

 

 

 

05/11/12

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

 

AS

04/11/12

Goosander

3

Kay Park pond

 

AS

01/10/12

Tufted Duck

2

Kay Park pond

 

AS

06/06/12

Canada Goose

12

Kay Park pond

 

MH

25/05/12

Oystercatcher

1

Kay Park pond

 

AS

25/05/12

Coot

8

Kay Park pond

Pr + b/6

AS

06/05/12

Long-tailed Duck

1

Kay Park pond

1st-summer male still present

AM

01/05/12

Long-tailed Duck

1

Kay Park pond

1st-summer male

AS

25/04/12

Tufted Duck

7

Kay Park pond

 

AS

24/03/12

Mallard

26

Kay Park pond

 

MH

24/03/12

Tufted Duck

10

Kay Park pond

 

MH

14/02/12

Iceland Gull

1

Kay Park pond

 

AF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

 

 

 

 

 

19/06/11

Mute Swan

4

Kay Park pond

Pr + b/2

AS

27/04/11

Tufted Duck

9

Kay Park pond

 

AS

13/04/11

Barn Swallow

30

Kay Park pond

 

AS

12/01/11

Mute Swan

19

Kay Park pond

 

AS

xx/01/11

Blackcap

1

Kay Park

Female over-wintering

AF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2010

 

 

 

 

 

xx/12/10

Waxwing

20

Kay Park

Present for three days in Dec

AF

06/12/10

Brambling

20

Kay Park

 

AF

22/11/10

Goosander

4

Kay Park pond

 

AS

01/12/10

Lesser Redpoll

7

Kay Park

 

AF

13/06/10

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

 

AS

18/05/10

Mallard

14

Kay Park pond

2 ff + b/10, b/2

AS

11/04/10

Tufted Duck

13

Kay Park pond

 

AS

09/04/10

Tufted Duck

9

Kay Park pond

 

AS

10/01/10

Tufted Duck

6

Kay Park pond

 

AS

01/01/10

Tufted Duck

2

Kay Park pond

 

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009

 

 

 

 

 

17/02/09

Mallard

35

Kay Park pond

 

AS

13/02/09

Mallard

77

Kay Park pond

 

AS

13/02/09

Shoveler

1

Kay Park pond

Male still present

AS

13/02/09

Mute Swan

22

Kay Park pond

 

AS

12/02/09

Mediterranean Gull

1

Kay Park pond

Adult

AF

06/02/09

Shoveler

1

Kay Park pond

Male

FSS

06/02/09

Mallard

131

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

24/01/09

Waxwing

7

Kay Park

 

AF

04/01/09

Mallard

94

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

04/01/09

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

Adult male

FSS

04/01/09

Brewer's Duck

1

Kay Park pond

Male Gadwall x Mallard hybrid

FSS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008

 

 

 

 

 

23/12/08

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

Adult male

FSS

17/02/08

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

Adult male

AS

11/02/08

Shoveler

1

Kay Park pond

Male

AF

13/01/08

Goosander

2

Kay Park pond

 

AS

08/01/08

Goldeneye

1

Kay Park pond

Female - still present from 2007

AF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007

 

 

 

 

 

03/12/07

Goldeneye

1

Kay Park pond

Female

AS

01/12/07

Goldeneye

1

Kay Park pond

Female

AS

02/12/07

Goosander

3

Kay Park pond

 

AS

01/12/07

Goosander

2

Kay Park pond

 

AS

19/11/07

Goosander

12

Kay Park pond

 

AS

18/12/07

Goosander

5

Kay Park pond

 

AS

10/03/07

Oystercatcher

3

Kay Park pond

 

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2006

 

 

 

 

 

06/12/06

Goosander

2

Kay Park pond

 

AS

04/12/06

Goosander

8

Kay Park pond

 

AS

03/12/06

Goosander

9

Kay Park pond

 

AS

26/11/06

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

 

AS

25/11/06

Goosander

5

Kay Park pond

 

AS

23/11/06

Goosander

7

Kay Park pond

 

AS

21/11/06

Goosander

6

Kay Park pond

 

AS

17/11/06

Goosander

13

Kay Park pond

3 males + 10 redheads

FSS

17/11/06

Mallard

60

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

17/11/06

Lesser Black-backed Gull

3

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

22/10/06

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

Adult male

AS

05/06/06

Hoopoe

6

Kilmarnock Cemetery

Across Grassyards Rd from park

MH

27/05/06

Mute Swan

6

Kay Park pond

Pr + b/4

AS

27/05/06

Moorhen

4

Kay Park pond

Pr + b/2

AS

27/05/06

Mallard

2

Kay Park pond

f + b/1

AS

24/05/06

Grey Wagtail

1

Kay Park pond

Juv at weir on Kilmarnock Water

AS

21/04/06

Common Sandpiper

1

Kay Park pond

First record

AS

21/04/06

Tufted Duck

3

Kay Park pond

2 mm + 1 f

AS

21/04/06

Coot

1

Kay Park pond

First brood of the year

AS

19/03/06

Oystercatcher

2

Kay Park pond

Circling and calling

FSS

10/03/06

Mallard

20

Kay Park pond

 

AS

28/02/06

Mallard

23

Kay Park pond

 

AS

22/02/06

Mallard

42

Kay Park pond

 

AS

15/02/06

Mallard

62

Kay Park pond

 

AS

30/01/06

Mallard

65

Kay Park pond

 

AS

24/01/06

Mallard

58

Kay Park pond

 

AS

24/01/06

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

1st-w male

AS

24/01/06

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

Male

AS

22/01/06

Mallard

48

Kay Park pond

 

AS

15/01/06

Mallard

51

Kay Park pond

 

AS

01/01/06

Mallard

82

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

01/01/06

Mute Swan

15

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

01/01/06

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

1st-w male

FSS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2005

 

 

 

 

 

25/12/05

Buzzard

1

Townholm

Wintering individual

FSS

27/11/05

Mallard

56

Kay Park pond

 

FSS

May-Jun

Mutes

2 prs

Kay Park pond

2 prs attempting to nest

AS

25/01/05

Dipper

1

Townholm

At Dean Ford

AS

24/01/05

Kingfisher

1

Kay Park

Flew upstream at viaduct

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

 

 

 

 

 

07/05/04

Mallard

9

Kay Park pond

f + b/8

AS

07/03/04

Tufted Duck

1

Kay Park pond

 

AS

06/01/04

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

Male

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

 

 

13/02/03

Goosander

3

Kay Park pond

1 m + 2 redheads

AS

04/02/03

Goosander

1

Kay Park pond

Redhead

AS

05/01/03

Grey Wagtail

1

Kay Park pond

At frozen pond edge

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS = Alistair Simpson   AF = Alasdair Fyffe   FSS = Fraser Simpson

 

 

 

 

Goosander (Mergus merganser)

17 November 2006

 

Goosander (Mergus merganser), Kay Park  Moorhens on the bowling green

Goosander (Mergus merganser)

The past few winters have seen a few Goosanders turn up in the unlikely location of Kay Park pond - an unasuming municipal feature, seemingly devoid of wildlife value, near the town centre of Kilmarnock. These large sawbills probably originate from the River Irvine. This morning produced a surprising 13 birds! Three adult drakes and 10 redheads. I haven't checked out the possibility that the ducks use Kay Park pond as a roost site but this may be true since two important roost sites (Craufurdland and Northcraig Reservoir) have been lost to 'modernisation'/development. Weather was overcast and rainy so just a record shot posted here.

 

 

 


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