Grafham Water

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Grafham Water

Grafham Water

Grafham Water was officially opened in July 1966 and has the capacity of 50 million m3 of water. Most of the reservoir and its shores are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Wildlife Trust manages the reserve ( Set in 1,500 acres of beautiful countryside) in partnership with Anglian Water both for wildlife and to educate and involve the local community. The diverse habitats include woodland, grassland and wetlands supporting populations of insects, birds, mammals and amphibians. The 10 miles (16km) of cycle path and many walkways provide access to the nature reserve, and five bird hides provide excellent views of the nature reserve.
Grafham Water is one of the best birding sites in England, with rare and scarce birds such as osprey and the occasional Slavonian grebe regular. The nine miles of shoreline attracts many passage waders such as common sandpiper,ruff, little stint, spotted redshank and dunlin,especially when the water levels are lowered.Breding waders include common redshank, ringed and little-ringed plover. However, large numbers of wintering and summer breeding wetland birds are what make Grafham special, earning its SSSI status with nationally important numbers of coot, tufted duck and great crested grebe. Other winter visitors include pochard, goosander, goldeneye and wigeon.

Terns are an attraction with common, black (pictured) and arctic terns arriving in numbers during passage periods. The reservoir can be great for gull watching with upwards of 30,000 birds roosting in mid-winter along with sightings of Mediterranean, Iceland and Glaucous gulls. There are five bird hides around the nature reserve but many species can be viewed from the three car parks around the site. Part of the reservoir is kept free from sailing and fishing as a bird sanctuary. Here there are two bird hides offering excellent views of large numbers of wetland birds.

The woodlands offer relaxing walks through the dappled shade. The ancient woods also provide spring displays of bluebells and primroses. The meadows teem with life, from dragonflies and butterflies to voles and grass snakes. During summer, the meadows are clothed in an exquisite display of wildflowers including both common spotted and bee orchids. Nightingales nest in the scrub.
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The Birds of Cambridgeshire

The Birds of Cambridgeshire

280 page hardback published by Cambridge University Press. Covers;- The Cambridgeshire countryside, The changing status of Cambridgeshire Avifauna 1934-1986. A section on where to watch birds in the county.A full systematic list.Local ornithological and wildlife organisations.

Click here for further information and other bird books for Cambridgeshire...

Bird photographs from Grafham Water
Bird Video from Grafham Water
Grafham Water Twitter
Grafham Water blogs and links
Grafham Water local services
Birding Walks around Grafham Water

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