A visit to RSPB Middleton Lakes
Last weekend Andy & Lyndsey Howard (from the Cairngorms!), Pete Walkden and I visited Middleton Lakes. Andy & Lyndsey were down in the Midlands for a few days so we met up here rather than in the Cairngorms photographing Mountain hare and Crested tits!
RSPB Middleton Lakes is a relatively young RSPB site, having been purchased by the RSPB in 2007 and it opened its doors to visitors in 2011. It is a 400 acre site on a former gravel quarry. Much work has taken place on the site and the area is already regionally important for overwintering wildfowl such as pochards, tufted ducks and smews. Middleton Lakes will become the most important site for breeding waders in the Midlands. The lakes, reedbeds, meadows and woodlands make it one of the best birdwatching sites in the area. A wonderful new Lookout Hide has also been opened, giving amazing views over the Northern Scrapes.
It was a rather chilly day and it was very muddy onsite, but we had a lovely morning walking around.
We did not see too many wader species, but the Stonechats were performing well…. if not a little out of reach of my 400mm lens! Andy and Pete with their 600mm lens got some great portrait shots, but I was happy with my more distant shots of them in their habitat! A few reed bunting also made an appearance.
This is a site that, despite being only half an hour from me, I have really not taken advantage of! I must get down there more this coming year. If you have kids, then I recommend this site as it is very much geared up with families in mind, with some lovely wild play areas for your youngsters to burn off some energy in the outdoors!