KEY POINTS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - BERNARD JONES

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.

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