A won­der­ful canal­side walk with pho­to­graphic op­por­tu­ni­ties

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PETE HACK­ETT

The pleas­ant ru­ral set­ting of Fradley Junc­tion is a base for the Canal and Rivers Trust and the area of­fers a de­light­ful mix of canal moor­ings, mixed wood­land and arable fields, to­gether with a small canal feeder reser­voir which has been trans­formed into a na­ture re­serve. The canal is at the busy junc­tion of the Trent and Mersey and Coven­try canals. Al­though the canal­side walk can be busy in sum­mer, it is prob­a­bly best ex­plored dur­ing the win­ter and early spring when on a calm crisp day the na­ture re­serve feed­ing sta­tion will of­fer plenty of pho­to­graphic op­por­tu­ni­ties and pretty close views of the var­ied avian vis­i­tors. This is an ideal place to bring the kids and dog for a walk, but keep them un­der close su­per­vi­sion in this set­ting as there are some deep locks. The sur­round­ing arable farm­land hosts good num­bers of Sky Lark, Yel­lowham­mer, Lin­net and con­gre­ga­tions of thrushes. Buz­zards soar over­head and there is a chance of Lit­tle and Barn Owls. Some fields are prone to flood­ing and at­tract a few Lap­wing and some­times Golden Plover, while Curlew are some­times also present. The small wood­land pool is a real gem, where vol­un­teers have done a great job in­stalling feed­ing sta­tions, in­ter­pre­tive dis­plays, nest­ing boxes for both birds and bats and placed rafts for the vis­it­ing Com­mon Terns which have bred here. Com­mon ducks oc­cur with oc­ca­sional vis­its from Goosander and even Man­darin on oc­ca­sion.

Not a place par­tic­u­larly noted for its rar­i­ties, but a Firecrest was a good find here.

Grey Wag­tail

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