Birds at Stocker's Lake near Rickmansworth

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Click for larger picture THE HIDES
1 Duck Screen
2 Shoveler Hide
3 Kingfisher Hide
4 Tern Hide
5 Stockers Scrape
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Stockers Lake is a nature reserve formed from old flooded gravel pits. Entrance is free.
Use the Aquadrome car park-follow signs to "Aquadrome" on southern approach to Rickmansworth.
Take the next RH lane after "Tescos" superstore.

The lakes forming the Aquadrome water sports and sailing centre are;-
Bury Lake (Sailing) and Batchworth Lake (Water Sking), which does attract large numbers of birds but most are there to take advantage of food provided by the public.
Swans, Canada Geese, Mallard, Tufted Ducks, Coots form the bulk of the birdlife.

Follow the path West past Bury lake to reach the Causeway
-a path separating Bury lake from the next larger lake- Stockers

Stockers Lake from South

There is a path right round Stockers lake, which passes birdwatching hides- mainly situated on the Southern shore.
On the northern side is the Heronry and the River Colne.(Look/Listen for Water Rails here)

Beyond Stockers Lake you pass the smaller Inns Lake and crossing the road you reach,-
Springwell Lake which has a "permissive path" around it.

Springwell Lake is used mainly by Fishermen.
There is another Car Park here, handy for those approaching from the West.

These lakes attract the slightly shyer birds and in winter the numbers increase dramatically.

Ducks include;- Tufted, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Shoveller, Smew, Goldeneye, Goosander. With Red Crested Pochard and Ruddy duck also seen occasionally.

Rarities turn up all the time. Recent sightings include Red Necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, Red Crested Pochard, Cetti's Warbler -there was even a Sacred Ibis once-escaped of course!

The Grand Union Canal (GUC) runs along the southern boundary of the reserve,
- look for Kingfisher & Willow Warbler here.
Across the canal at Stockers Lock you pass Stockers Farm. On the left by the canal is a field usually containing horses, which for large parts of the year is partly flooded.

This provides habitat suitable for waders such as Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Lapwing.

Try the footpath South of the Farm, over a ridge, along a valley, a wood, leading up to "Plough Lane"
(from Harefield to Spingwell Lock.)

From this can be seen Hobbies (Summer Evenings), Kestrels, Stonechat, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Skylark, Whitethroat plus other warblers, Pheasants, Woodpeckers and Little Owls.
In winter-flocks of Fieldfares & Redwing.

North of Springwell Lake towards the M25 feeder road are large fields at Mill End (on A412 near Roundabout).
In these fields are Skylark, Linnet, Rook, Stock Dove, & Yellowhammer
-with winter flocks of Lapwing, Golden Plover and Gulls.(Often more than 200 strong.)

Pictures from Camcorder

Swallow, Stockers Farm (9/04/02) Green Sandpiper, Scotsbridge, (6/01/03)
Little Ringed Plovers (Mating),
Stockers Flooded Field, (1/04/02)
Little Ringed Plover,
Stockers Flooded Field, (1/04/02)
Smew (6), Springwell Lake (10/01/02) Smew (M) Inns Lake (7/01/02)
Little Owl (Juv), Stockers Farm (29/07/02) Little Owl (Juv),Stockers Farm (2/08/02)
Red-Crested Pochard, Stockers(10/11/01) Reed Bunting, Stockers (12/6/00)
Snipe, Stockers Field (31/7/01) Greenshank.(5/7/01)Stockers Field.
Nuthatch, Stockers Lake (1/08/01) Marsh Tit, Whipendell Woods (7/04/02)
Yellow Wagtail(Stockers Farm 5/00) Little Ringed Plover.(19/03/00)Stockers Field.
Cetti's Warbler.(17/03/00)Springwell. Goosander (Male).(17/02/00)Stockers.
Slavonian Grebe.(5/1/00) Springwell Lake (SW corner) Stonechat.(7/1/00)
S. of Stockers farm, by FP.
Red Crested Pochard.(5/1/00) Inns Lake.(N end) Green Sandpiper.(2/1/00) Chess N of Scotsbridge Rickmansworth.
Siskin (Male).(1/12/99)Stockers. Black Swan.(1/12/99)Stockers.
Redwing.(15/11/99)Stockers. Redpoll(M).(15/11/99)Stockers.
Water Rail.(15/11/99)Stockers. Wryneck (6/9/99)
Spotted FC.(6/9/99) Egyptian Goose Stockers Field

More to come- keep watching!