London Bird Club Wiki

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Maryon Wilson Park (TQ419783) is located in Charlton, SE London (London Borough of Greenwich and Kent sector) and sits between the Thames to the North and Woolwich Common to it's immediate SE. The nearest public transport is Charlton or Woolwich Dockyard Stations with trains regularly running to Charing Cross in Central London.

The site comprises Maryon Park (Gilbert's Pit) and Maryon Wilson Park (separated from each other by Woodland Terrace Road) and is a 22ha area of wooded parkland.

The South side (Maryon Wilson Park) comprises a good mix of broadleaved woodland (oak, beech, ash, some poplar), small streams, gorse scrub, acidic and neutral grassland, some alder and spruce, patches of birch and the odd larch. The understory varies from grassy areas to dense bramble, willow and elder scrub. There is also a small childrens zoo which in its time has held New Zealand Scaup and Golden Pheasant as well as a flock of Muscovy Duck amongst the dishevelled domesticated Mallards.

On the North side of Woodlands Terrace Road is Maryon Park (the site of the famous 'murder' scene from the swinging 60's cult film 'Blow-Up'), basically comprising formal grassy areas and some flowerbeds with some obvious tennis courts and a steep incline on its Western side which leads up to Gilbert's Pit (an old sand and gravel excavation pit listed as an SSSI on account of it's interesting geology and a good point for visible migration).

The whole site is relatively bird rich and residents and (occasional) breeding species include Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Tawny Owl, Green, Great and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Song Thrush, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Long-tailed and Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay and Bullfinch.

Migrants and notables have included Common Buzzard, Osprey, Hobby, Common Snipe, Woodcock, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Swift, the three regular hirundines, Yellow Wagtail, Waxwing (two in March 1996), Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Wood Warbler, Firecrest (fairly regular sightings including an impressive five in January 1999), Pied Flycatcher, Brambling, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Hawfinch.

Des McKenzie