Lockdown Birdwatching Walk Review

Last Monday Leigh had the opportunity to go on a lockdown birdwatching walk with Ashley Grove of Experience Nature.

We published an article explaining who Ashley is and what his lockdown birdwatching walks are. If you haven't read that yet click here, to check it out. 

The walk started at 6am in the morning, which I will admit was a struggle! But that's when the birds are most active. 

We met at the car park on Valley Road opposite the lakes. Because of the weather we've been having (where has the sun gone?) I wore waterproof walking boots to be on the safe side. 

Which was a good choice because although the ground wasn't wet, the morning dew did make my shoes damp.

It can be quite intimidating walking through the lakes on your own that early in the morning, but Ashley was really friendly and put me at ease straight away.  

We started the walk on Malthouse Lane and saw at least 10 birds before we entered the lakes. Ashley has kindly complied a list of the birds we saw in the order we saw/heard them.

As we walked along the lakes we stopped whenever we saw or heard a bird, Ashley kindly lent me some binoculars so that I could see the birds he was pointing out.

I learnt a lot about the different kind of birds that live around the lakes, how big their territories are and where they migrate too. 

Ashley clearly knows a lot about nature and the entire walk was really enjoyable. 

I am a complete birdwatching novice. The only bird I could correctly identify before this walk was a pigeon, but I've found since Monday I've been looking at the birds in my garden and could probably have a decent guess at the type of bird. 

This is a photograph Ashley took of a Common Tern which we saw flying around, it's a good example of one of the migrant species that travel a long way to nest at the lakes.

The walk took around two hours and is about 7km in distance, so make sure you don't need to rush off anywhere once you get started. He does do shorter routes if requested.

We walked around the lakes, then up and over the railway line into the fields by Clowes Wood, then back onto the lakes finishing where we started opposite the car park. 

It really is incredibly how much you miss when you don't know what you're looking for, and it makes for a more enjoyable walk. 

Even if you're a novice like me I would really recommend going on a Lockdown Birdwatching walk with Ashley as its a great way to explore more of the nature in our area and also really informative. 

Ashleys contact details are below if you’d like to find out more about what he has on offer locally and its worth following him on facebook, as he regularly post pictures of his garden sightings and beyond.


List of birds we saw:
  1. Swift
  2. Sand Martin
  3. Mallard
  4. Tufted Duck
  5. Coot 
  6. Moorhen
  7. Great-crested Grebe
  8. Grey Wagtail
  9. Common Tern
  10. Black-headed Gull
  11. Herring Gull
  12. Common Sandpiper
  13. Wren (first one singing as we started down the path from causeway)
  14. Blackcap
  15. Chiffchaff
  16. Dunnock
  17. Robin
  18. Magpie
  19. Jackdaw
  20. Carrion Crow
  21. Wood Pigeon
  22. House Sparrow
  23. Starling
  24. Goldfinch (a couple of flyovers)
  25. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  26. Blue Tit
  27. Great Tit
  28. Goldcrest (Britains smallest bird, very close in the hedge by us)
  29. Blackbird
  30. Canada Goose
  31. Bar-headed Goose (Technically not a British species, nice to see though)
  32. Grey Heron
  33. Song Thrush (singing just before we crossed the railway)
  34. Siskin
  35. Treecreeper
  36. Green Woodpecker (Called distantly)
  37. Great-spotted Woodpecker
  38. Nuthatch
  39. Marsh Tit
  40. Long-tailed Tit
  41. Mute Swan
  42. Greylag Goose
  43. Pied Wagtail
All photographs used belong to Ashley Grove