Places to see birds

Riddlesdown

Riddlesdown
Carol Birkett

The area usually referred to as 'Riddlesdown' is actually at least four different sites that merge into each other. Riddlesdown Common itself is owned and managed by the Corporation of London. Another area, of green belt land, is owned by Croydon Council while Tandridge own the land towards Warlingham where it becomes 'The Dobbin' and some is owned by the Whitgift Foundation.

Location - TQ3360
Between Godstone Road and Limpsfield Road. The access from Godstone Road is up steep paths, but there are other entrances at Eskdale Gardens, Honister Heights and Tithepitshaw Lane, as well as at various places along Limpsfield Road and Wentworth Way. The main entrance is at the end of Riddlesdown Road (TQ325605), where there is a car park.

Public transport -
Train: Nearest station is Riddlesdown
Bus: 412 along Mitchley Avenue, 407 along Godstone Road and 403 along Limpsfield Road

Habitat
Downland, parts of which are fenced in and grazed. Woods and old chalk quarries (no public access to the latter).

Species
Most significantly, several pairs of skylark and occasionally meadow pipit breed here. Sadly yellowhammer now seems to have been lost as a breeding species. Tawny owls can be found in the wood near the car park and there have been sightings of little owl near Warlingham Court Farm. In winter there may be flocks of a whole range of species including fieldfare, redwing and various finches. Stonechats may also be found during the winter and wheatears and whinchats turn up on migration. This is probably the most reliable site in Croydon to find jackdaws at any time of year, with about 20 pairs breeding in the quarry. And keep your eyes to the skies to check for raptors.