Places to see birds

Stocker's Lake Nature Reserve

Stocker's Lake Nature Reserve
Male and Female Goldeneye by Ben Hall

The Stocker's Lake Nature Reserve is managed by the Herts. and Middlesex Wildlife Trust by agreement with the owners. The lake is one of the oldest gravel pits in the Colne Valley. Gravel extraction took place in the 1930's and left a large number of now wooded islands and shallow ridges giving the reserve a wide variety of habitats.

Being situated on a major migration route the reserve attracts a wide and varied number of bird species with over fifty recorded breeding and many others as passage migrants. In winter the reserve has good numbers of duck; shoveller, gadwall, teal, wigeon, pochard, tufted duck and goldeneye can all usually be found and smew and goosander seem to have appeared more often in recent years. The reserve also has a large heronry which is very active in early spring.

But the reserve is not just about water birds and the areas of alder and willow scrub, particularly on the southern margin, are a must to browse with siskin, redpoll, goldcrest, treecreeper, great spotted woodpecker and wintering chiffchaff and blackcap all likely to be seen.

The surrounding farmland and trees are also worth a look with flocks of finches and tits in prominence and winter thrushes a distinct possibility. Stocker's lake is a credit to The Trust and a must to those who like just watching the birds.

Copyright Fred Twilley 2002

Species seen over the years at Stocker's Lake.

Teal, wigeon, shoveller, gadwall, tufted duck, pochard, goldeneye, smew, goosander, grey heron, cormorant, coot, great crested grebe, little grebe, mute swan, moorhen, water rail, black-headed gull, common gull, lesser black-backed gull, herring gull, snipe, lapwing, Canada goose, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch, bullfinch, siskin, redpoll, chiffchaff, blackcap, blackbird, redwing, fieldfare, song thrush, mistle thrush, blue and great tits, long-tailed tit, dunnock, treecreeper, goldcrest, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, grey wagtail, pied wagtail, woodpigeon, jay, magpie, carrion crow, kingfisher, wren, robin, starling, house sparrow, reed bunting, sparrowhawk, kestrel. .