Saturday, 30 January 2016

Young's Park Wildfowl Conservation Area

An original marshland habitat which was reclaimed as parkland in the 1930's, this part of Young's Park was eventually allowed to return to marshland in 2004 after struggling for years against the flow of freshwater running down from Clennon Valley and saltwater from the bay.

 The boating lake provides a resting place for many sea birds, ducks and swans

In the Biodiversity Action Plan 2013 - 2023 the conservation area is described as an amazing marsh habitat with rare plants such as the southern marsh orchid and free flowing freshwater pools supporting dragonflies and damselflies.

I didn't realise how tame the birds were, but given the amount of visitors to the park both in and out of the holiday season, I'm not surprised they are so used to people.

I love the feet of the Coot and never knew they looked like this 


The Coots, Moorhens, Tufted ducks and Mallard ducks were very relaxed and posed for the camera

Youngs Park People (YPP) have taken over the management of the area and have won many awards including a number of Bay Blooms Awards. You can find out more by visiting their website (and see lovely photos of very young cygnets too).

These cygnets sometimes come across the water to Broadsands

Some of the puddles by the crazy golf area had frozen over giving me lovely shots of this Black Headed Gull.

I really enjoyed my hour here watching the birds and think this will be a very good place to improve my photography skills. I used the bridge camera for this set of photos as I wasn't sure how close the birds would be, but next time I'm going back with the Nikon as well!

Behind where I was standing are the freshwater pools and waterways of the marsh itself (above). So there will be many more opportunities to visit this lovely little wildlife haven for more photos of woodland birds as well as wetland and sea birds.

I tried a few creative effects on these images, using the softening option

Swans are just delightful and I can't help but finish this post with a set from a very obliging and elegant Mute Swan

I'm ready to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch  this weekend. The Blackcap has been in the garden all week and the weather is quite cold, so I'm sure I'll get a decent count this year.

It's been a joy to watch Winterwatch this week coming from Scotland and with such interesting animals like the mountain hare, golden eagle and the wildcat.

I hope you are all safe and well despite the weather
Until next time


  1. Oh My Goodness, what a fabulous post today.
    So many wonderful photos of the conservation marshland filled with
    so many great birds.
    I was going to ask what kind of camera you use but it was answered.
    The swans are amazing.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  2. These are lovely Suzie and I love the reflections too. It is interesting the details that you see on photos when put on the computer that you haven't noticed with the naked eye.

  3. Incredible photos of the birds!!! Really beautiful. Hope that you enjoyed the birdwatching today. xx

  4. I love the gull walking on water!

  5. What a good idea to return some of the park to a wildlife marshland area.

    All the birds are beautiful. I have always loved tufted ducks. I especially like the final mute swan, admiring his own reflection in the water.

  6. I am sure your birdwatch today will be very varied. Ours will be counting doves and sparrows I feel. Have a wonderful Sunday and keep warm while counting. x

  7. Looks a great place to visit
    Julie xxx

  8. You have taken some womderful photos and it looks a very restful place to spend an hour or two in. Good luck with the bird watch. We did one this morning but as it is very wet we didn't see as many birds as we normally do:)

  9. Lovely images, especially the Black-headed Gulls whom I always think are a little under-appreciated :-) Coot feet are rather amazing things aren't they!

    Look forward to hearing your bird count results :-)

    Kindest regards to all :-)

  10. Thanks for alerting me to the wildlife area, I go to Roundham Head quite often but never realised there was another wildlife area so close by.

  11. Great post and photos Suzie. Looks a great place to see birds and get pictures - look forward to reading more of future visits. Especially love the Black-headed Gull photos :) Hope the Garden Birdwatch went well - managed 9 species here (a lower count than usual) but it was nice to see a wren.

  12. Wonderful photos of the birds in Young's Park, Seagull Susie
    Margaret P

  13. Brilliant photos of all those lovely birds, the swans were fascinating with their different shade of feathers and I am assuming these were the younger ones with their adult plumage filling in. I remember seeing a coot's feet for the first time and finding them extraordinary. Each bird has something fun to learn about doesn't it? Good luck with the bird count :)

  14. A wonderful source of pictorial information in regard to the South Devon coastal birds.

  15. Amazing photos of the birds! We used to go here a lot when the children were little, before the pathway was built through the marsh. They'd get extremely muddy as you can imagine! ;) It's so lovely to see it managed properly, you're making me want to go there again for a visit. Have a great week! xx

  16. What an enjoyable post. The perfect antedote to a windy day is to settle down for a virtual tour - especially when the photography is so good. How did the bird count go? I always do it, but I wasn't around during the day this weekend. I will do my own one next weekend - I won't submit it, but it will be interesting for me to be able to compare the numbers with last year.

  17. Your pictures are wonderful and so is the location! I enjoyed looking at the link and seeing how much work has been done in the park and what an asset it is to the community. I'm sure that you will be bringing regular pictures from here in future and hopefully some cygnets later in the year! I'm sorry I didn't see you in West Bay! Sarah x


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