Pop­u­lar with small mam­mals, and a cer­tain wader… EMSFORD SPRINGS, A

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - ABI­GAIL HAMIL­TON-THOMP­SON

Lwell-kept se­cret in Hert­ford­shire, is a for­mer wa­ter­cress farm and mar­ket gar­den which was in op­er­a­tion be­tween 1860 and 1966. Goods were har­vested here that were sold at the in­fa­mous Covent Gar­den in Lon­don. The re­serve re­cently fea­tured on BBC Springwatch, air­ing a sur­vey on Wa­ter Shrews and other small mam­mals. But the site is also pop­u­lar with Green Sand­pipers, who feed on shrimps that are plen­ti­ful in the fresh­wa­ter la­goons, the sur­face of which does not freeze over in the win­ter months. This im­por­tant bird habi­tat; man­aged by the Herts & Mid­dle­sex Wildlife Trust, is locked but the key is avail­able from the war­den, who lives ad­ja­cent to the site’s en­trance. Once in­side, vis­i­tors can en­joy a pleas­ant walk around the re­serve through wil­low wood­land, meadow, marsh and be­side the River Lee. Birds that may be seen here in­clude Man­darin, Lit­tle Egret, Snipe, King­fisher, and par­tic­u­larly Kestrels, who have nested here, pro­duc­ing more than 30 young over the years.

Green Sand­piper


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