Places to see birds

Woorgreens Lake and Crabtree Hill

Woorgreens Lake and Crabtree Hill
Gavin Black

Woorgreens Lake was formed from an open cast mine which has filled with water. It can be accessed by parking at the Speech House Woodlands car park off the B4226 Cinderford to Coleford road at SO 624124 and walking East past Kensley Lodge. The lake is on the left side of the forestry access road. Alternatively there is a smaller, closer parking area slighly East of Kensley Lodge at SO 629128 which is a short piece of road. Walk straight ahead through the gate to the lake.
Anglers keep introducing Carp to this lake which eat the numerous species of Dragonflies which potentially occur here and have done in the past. This is a big inconvenience because the lake has to be drained to remove them and fishing is not even permitted here so it is a waste of everybody's time. When there are no Carp, Hobbies can be seen hawking for Dragonflies and anything might turn up. There has been a single Black-necked Grebe and a pair on separate occasions. Five Common Cranes were seen overhead by Barrie Mills, the Gloucestershire Group's newsletter editor. Up to 40 or so Goosanders may overwinter and at this time, flocks of Lesser Redpolls and Siskins feed on the Birch and Alder surrounding the lake. Little Egret and Cormorant are occasional and Greylag and Canada Geese, Little Grebes and Coots breed. Mandarins breed in the nestboxes provided for them both on the island and close to the banks.
Crabtree Hill was maintained as a small heathland but has recently been extended down to the lake. It is found to the north of the lake. Nightjars can usually be found here and may become more extensive as the site becomes better established. The small finches mentioned above are also found here as are Crossbills. A Dartford Warbler appeared here on the small heath and was discovered by local group members Ann and John Thitchener.
Turtle Doves traditionally bred at this site until very recently. Hopefully, now that the site is more extensive, they may return.