WAY­MARK­ERS

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

THIS SITE IS a good ex­am­ple of bring­ing wildlife and hu­man ac­tiv­ity in par­al­lel af­ter a pe­riod of des­o­la­tion in times gone by when min­ing, quar­ry­ing and in­dus­try were preva­lent. English Na­ture sup­ported the lo­cal coun­cil when it des­ig­nated the area as a Lo­cal Na­ture Reserve. It’s per­fect for en­cour­ag­ing chil­dren to take an in­ter­est in na­ture and most paths are wheel­chair-friendly. The lakes add in­ter­est with Coot and Mallard res­i­dent. Mute Swans nest at Withy Pool and Great Crested Grebe use the lakes. The wood­land is favoured by Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker, and Jay can be seen car­ry­ing off the acorns from the oak trees. There are, of course, lots of com­mon birds, such as Black­bird, Robin, Blue Tit and Dun­nock. Swal­lows are around in sum­mer, but the only bird of prey likely to be seen is Spar­rowhawk. The va­ri­ety of plant life is quite en­cour­ag­ing with scrub, Gorse, Bram­ble and the wood­land con­tain­ing var­i­ous trees at­tract­ing win­ter visi­tors, such as Red­wing and Field­fare, and the Gorse at­tract­ing Long-tailed Tits to nest. Visit early in the day for best re­sults

1From the car park fol­low the Silkin Way south­wards along­side Withy Pool check­ing for Mallard, Coot and Mute Swan. At any of the lakes where reeds are grow­ing in sum­mer check for Reed War­bler.

Then through some mixed wood­land and open ar­eas check­ing for Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker, Black­bird, Robin and Dun­nock.

23All the while look for hedgerow birds like Lin­net, Chaffinch, Green­finch and Yel­lowham­mer and, at the ap­pro­pri­ate time, for Red­wing and Mis­tle Thrush.

Pass be­tween the two lakes and check for Mallard and Mute Swan but also for Grebes and a pos­si­ble Grey Heron.

4

Mis­tle Thrush Great Crested Grebes

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