Where would you go in England this weekend to see amazing wildlife?

  • Kiera said:

    I am having a dreadful week after a friend died very suddenly and unexpectedly and would like to go somewhere outstanding to see loads of birdlife this weekend to think and get away from it all.  Ideally raptors, but I'm happy as long as there's loads going on.  :)  looking for somewhere within 2-3 hours drive from Sheffield - I can stay overnight!  All ideas gratefully received. 

    Kiera, first my condolences for your loss.

    There are a couple of reserves your way, Carsington near Ashbourne is one that comes to mind, and Lathkill Dale (and a nice steady walk, no hills) often has quite a rich abundance of birds.

    Though I've spent a lot of time in the Peaks, I'm from near to Birmingham, and with good motorway access (M1 M42, A446, A4091)there is Middleton Lakes near Tamworth, which I frequent and Brandon Marsh (M1, M69, A46, A45,) Coventry.

    Both reserves are within three hours drive from Sheffield (I used to get from Birmingham to Doctors Gate on the edge of Bleaklow via Sheffield in a little under three hours), sadly I'm not knowledgeable on hotels or B&B's (I know more around Bakewell), however, Middleton Lakes is very near to the Belfry Hotel and Brandon Marsh is very close to the Citrus Hotel, Coventry.

    I hope that helps.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone for the suggestions. I feel like I have many weekends of great birding lined up now! I will definitely check out Middlesborough, and I have family in Coventry so those sites are definitely on the list.

    I ended up going to Frampton Marsh and Freiston Shore, for a number of practical reasons. I saw a short-eared owl, and long billed dowitcher, and a hen harrier (very distantly) as well as little egrets, brent geese, and more golden plover than you can shake a stick at! There was a large coach party from RSPB Rainham Marshes there, who were really friendly and very kindly helped to point out birds I would otherwise have missed, so a big thank you and a shout out to them for making it special. (Rainham is definitely now on my must-visit list!)
  • Keira, You have just visited a couple of our favourite RSPB reserves (Frampton and Freiston) and hope you are able to visit Rainham Marsh soon because it is also one of our favourite reserves, along with Arne, Leighton Moss, Minsmere and a few others! I hope your visit provided some distraction from and a balm for your grief. Not much is better than staring at a beautiful bird to make you smile.

    Kind regards, 

    Ann