THIS IS REALLY a woodland site, but it is hard to resist the fantastic view of Ellesmere Lake north-east of here. On a small hillside, this woodland includes oak, Beech, Ash, Birch and Sycamore and some are entwined with Ivy, providing a nicely protected nesting site for certain birds. While here, it is worth looking at the nearby lake and the Boathouse restaurant, café and information centre, where there is a camera and screen overlooking the local nesting Grey Herons. The Shropshire Union canal flows nearby and part of the walk follows the towpath to increase the possibility of additional sightings. So, what are you likely to see? Once you’ve seen the lake it will be difficult to resist checking the birds that spend much time in collusion with humans. Once in the woodland you are likely to see woodpeckers, warblers and a variety of tits, and then go down to the canal where you could add to your list. Follow the canal towing path along to Blakemere and see water birds. TOP TIP Visit early at this time of year – the dawn chorus can be impressive
1From the car park walk up through the woodland checking for Lesser and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Coal, Great and Blue Tits, Blackcap, Nuthatch and Treecreeper.
2Head down the open area towards the marina where you could see Raven overhead, various gulls and the possibility of Sparrowhawk on the woodland edge. It’s likely here to see Goldfinch and, just possible, Linnet.
3Follow the canal towpath to the left (east) to Blakemere where you should see Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Mallard, Mute Swan and Kingfisher. Check the reedbeds for Reed Buntings and warblers. The hedges, bushes and trees along the way will produce Blackbirds and thrushes, but also Wren, Dunnock and, possibly, Yellowhammer.
If you wish, take the option to walk on to Colemere, where you will see a range of water birds. Grey Herons are also here with grebes, Moorhen and Tufted Duck.