Bird Watching (UK) - - World War I Centenary -

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.

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