Thursday, 3 February 2011

Site #2 Lea Bridge Rd Golf Centre

Does exactly what it says on the tin; primarily this is a Golf Course, well Pitch’n’Putt, but does have some wildlife merit so bear with me. It also has a cafe which does a quite decent breakfast.

Probably best viewed in the early morning, though during the week it can be relatively quiet too. The fairways and greens never hold anything hugely exciting though it is a very reliable site for Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, the former are often seen feeding and rarely even displaying on the fairways (it’s a bit like a Great Crested Grebe display without the water).

I have seen Woodcock and Ring Ouzel here but they certainly cannot be guaranteed. Ring-necked Parakeets have now arrived, probably using the Tree-lined River Lea as an expansion corridor. This is the aspect of the area that holds most potential, Nuthatch has been seen on the Hackney side of the River and Tawny Owl used to breed just South of here, again in the Trees by the River so keep your eyes and ears peeled for anything in transit along this sylvan strip.

The River Lea here marks the Southern boundary of the patch and can be good for Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher. A few Duck usually winter, especially Teal and Gadwall also Little Grebe and Cormorants are usually present.

The red bridge to the South-west (called the Friends Bridge, no doubt a reference to the camaraderie of the youth of E10 and E5) gives access to the largest conglomeration of Football pitches in Europe, maybe the universe and also the Middlesex Filter Beds, which is a nice little reserve but not on the patch. North of the bridge a pathway leads onto Walthamstow marsh, going under Lea Bridge Rd. Over the bridge and through the Middlesex Filter Beds N.R. you come to the Lea again and, where it crosses the Lea Bridge Rd, a Youngs pub; The Princess of Wales, that does nice chips.

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