Places to see birds

Waddon Ponds

Waddon Ponds
John Birkett

Today's site of Waddon Ponds was originally part of the very old, large estate of Waddoncourt farm. Among the many visitors there was Lord Nelson who fished in the extensive lakes. By 1910 Waddon Ponds was part of two estates and the site was purchased by Croydon Corporation in 1928 after the owners of the estates had died. [The rest of these estates were sold off to developers]. Until Wandle Park was re-landscaped in 2012, Waddon Ponds was the only place in Croydon where the River Wandle could be seen, although it originally flowed from the Swan and Sugarloaf in Brighton Road, through the old Archbishop's palace and Wandle Park.

Location
TQ3165
There are entrances off The Ridgeway, Waddon Court Road, Wandleside and Mill Lane.

Public Transport
Train: Nearest station is Waddon
Bus: 289 along Purley Way and 407 and 410 along Croydon Road
Tramlink: Short walk from Wandle Park or Waddon Marsh stops

Habitat
Pond surrounded by grass and a few trees/shrubs.

Species
This is the main site in Croydon for Little Grebe and Mute Swan, both of which have bred here in recent years. The usual waterfowl are present, with a few Pochards in winter and Gadwall turn up occasionally. This was the best location in Croydon for Coots with around 100 birds present at times, although in recent years this figure is down by about a half.
There are occasional sightings of Water Rail, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail and Egyptian Goose is now seen annually. These species may also be joined by some more exotic wildfowl that are clearly escapes.
For some reason this site appears to be the best in Croydon to find ringed birds. Various ringed Canada Geese are present throughout the year and recently Black-headed Gulls from various countries have been seen outside of the breeding season.