TAILS OF A NATURE RESERVE: Westport Lake, Staffordshire 01.03.14

Ten minutes away from where I live, Westport Lake has always been a great place to visit.

I often refer to it as ‘Bird World’ due to the sheer amount of wetland birds that live on the lake including mute swans, grebe, coots, moorhen, geese, canada geese and seagulls.

Last year this pair of mute swans raised a family on the lake. I will be keeping my eye out for new arrivals this year.

Last year this pair of mute swans raised a family on the lake. I will be keeping my eye out for new arrivals this year.

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Flock of Seagulls

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Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe: Head tufts appear during the breeding season.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

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Black Headed Gull

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Westport Lake was also showing signs of the arrival of Spring:

Spring Blossom

Spring Blossom

Pussy Willow

Pussy Willow

The lake is great for families, cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, fishermen and of course, wildlife watchers.

Up until a year ago, I would simply walk around the lake spotting various wetland birds. But recently I have found, what I call as a birdwatcher, a little piece of paradise at the lake.

Heading off the main track close to a small bridge a few natural looking bird feeders can be spotted. As my friend and I walked into this area last Saturday, it was quiet. I am sure the birds were watching us as we approached. As soon as they realised we weren’t a threat, they started chirping and visiting the feeders.

Bird Count at Westport:

Marsh Tit: 1

Coal Tit: 2

Bullfinch: 4 (2 pairs)

Blue Tits: 4

Long Tailed Tits: 4

Great Tit: 3

Dunnock: 2

Blackbird: 1

Song Thrush: 1

Robin: 3

And a bird I have only seen once in the past…a Reed Bunting: 3

Blue Tit looking wistful.

Blue Tit looking wistful.

Little ball of fluff

Little ball of fluff

Male Bullfinch.

Male Bullfinch.

Female Bullfinch: Don't tweet with your mouth full!

Female Bullfinch: Don’t tweet with your mouth full!

Long Tailed Tits

Long Tailed Tits: Definately one of my favourites

Great Tit

Great Tit

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Robin

Coal Tit

Coal Tit

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Dunnock

Dunnock

Even a cheeky little squirrel came for the feast.

Even a cheeky little squirrel came for the feast.

Westport Lake is part of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. It has to be one of my favourite places to visit in Staffordshire.

I am currently taking a photography workshop at the visitor centre with local photographer Steve Ferneyhough to improve my wildlife photography. I am pleased to say, 50% of the proceeds for the workshop are donated to the Wildlife Trust, so not only am I improving my photography, I am also doing my bit for conservation too 🙂

Westport Lake also has a lovely cafe, and on a sunny day like Saturday, there is nothing better than sitting with a cappucino looking out over the lake. Perfect!

The visitor centre overlooks the lake.

The visitor centre overlooks the lake.

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