Recently I came across a delightful little book entitled 'round the year in Richmond Park', written by H.R. Hall  way back in 1923.

The author gives us a monthly account of the wild flowers, trees, birds and animals he encounters in the park and although many of the species he saw are still with us today, it is fascinating and somewhat disturbing to note just how many birds the park has lost in the past ninety odd years.

For example, common then include nightjar; turtle dove; red backed shrike; hooded crow; wryneck; tree sparrow. rook; tree pipit and whinchat to name but a few.

He makes no mention of the little owl, now a very common resident of the park because the bird was only introduced into Kent in the late nineteenth century so had little time to colonise. Apparently a few Canada geese were introduced but quickly 'removed'!

Black headed gulls were beginning to be seen in winter having flown inland during the severe winter of 1895 and liking what they saw, gradually increased in numbers year by year. Of the animals, deer were there of course, red squirrels ( pictured ) were still present but rarely seen and hares were rapidly declining.

Stoats and weasels were common but very few foxes took up residence in the park. However, water voles lived along Beverley brook.

I wonder what Mr. Hall would have thought of rose-ringed parakeets?