1 From Stocker’s Lock, the canal towpath affords a good chance of seeing Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher. Check the grazing meadow by the farm for egrets, Kestrel, Grey Heron, winter thrushes, Meadow Pipit, Sky Lark, Linnet and Lapwing. Scan along the wooded hillside for Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Ring-necked Parakeet, Green Woodpecker, corvids and Mistle Thrush.
2 The tree cover often attracts small flocks of redpoll, Siskin and Goldfinch, plus Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Longtailed Tit and Bullfinch. Water Rail can occur among numerous Moorhen and occasional Bittern and Cetti’s Warbler. Chiffchaff and Blackcap often winter here.
3 The old watercress beds beside the river still attract the odd Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting and Grey Wagtail. Check the rough field for Stonechat, finches, buntings and occasionally winter thrushes. Hedgerows attract roving passerine flocks, so it’s worth paying them some attention.
4 A wide range of wildfowl should be assured on the main lake including Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Shoveler, Teal and Gadwall, plus diving ducks, Goldeneye, Smew, Goosander, Little and Great Crested Grebes, Cormorant and gulls. It’s also worth your while checking the margins for Grey Heron and Little Egret and the willows for tit flocks which may contain Goldcrest, Chiffchaff or Cetti’s Warbler.