Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve

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Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve photograph
Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve

Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve

Middleton Lakes RSPB reserve is a 160 hectares (400 acres) nature reserve, formally opened on 19 May 2011, created and run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds at Middleton, Warwickshire, England just south of Tamworth. The Northern part of the reserve lies in Staffordshire, yet the reserve is only a few minutes from the outskirts of Birmingham.

Much of the site was, until its acquisition by the RSPB in 2007, a gravel quarry, operated by Hanson Aggregates. The site was formerly referred to, in birding literature, as Fishers Mill- (Warwickshire), Drayton Bassett- (Staffordshire) and Dosthill- (to the East) -Lakes, -Pools, -Pits or -Gravel Pits.
The reserve lies to the rear of Middleton Hall, whose catering and toilet facilities are available to reserve visitors. The River Tame flows Northwards through the reserve, some miles downstream from RSPB Sandwell Valley and not far from the West Midland Bird Club's Ladywalk Reserve and Kingsbury Water Park.

The area is regionally important for overwintering wildfowl such as common pochard, tufted duck and smew. Other notable bird species include lesser spotted woodpecker, Eurasian bittern, barn owl, short-eared owl, little egret, marsh harrier and Cetti's warbler. Grey herons breed in a heronry near the play meadow, with up to 100 individuals present.

Even before the establishment of the reserve, the gravel pits were known for their attraction to breeding, passage migrant and vagrant birds. In the latter category, a least sandpiper picture : Ken Nanney and a pectoral sandpiper visited for overlapping periods in May 2002. More recently, the reserve has been visited by rarities including glossy ibis, cattle egret, and great white egret.


The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Warwickshire |  Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve

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