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Westport Lake - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Dave Emley
Westport Lake from the north shore looking south towards the car-park

England, Staffordshire

Overview

Measuring approximately 300 metres in diameter, Westport Lake is situated between Tunstall and Burslem in the north of the Potteries. For such an unpromising location it has a significant list of birds, including many regional rarities.

Birds

Specialities

Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, European Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll, European Goldfinch

Rarities

Ring-necked Duck (2005), Common Eider (1989), Purple Heron (1994), Eurasian Spoonbill (2006), Honey-buzzard (2002), Kentish Plover (1981), Arctic Skua (1990), Bonaparte's Gull (1991), Ring-billed Gull (1981, 1997), Kumlien's Gull (1979), Sabine's Gull (2008), Caspian Tern (1998, 1999), Richard's Pipit (1994), Yellow-browed Warbler (2001, 2003), Hume's Leaf Warbler (1994), Siberian Chiffchaff (2002), Twite (1988), Arctic Redpoll (1996), Hawfinch (1993, 2006), Lapland Bunting (2002, 2005).

Check-list

Please add the extras species previous contributors not seen and adjust the total:

Birds you can see here include:

Mute Swan, Bewick’s Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose (feral), Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose (feral), Brent Goose, Egyptian Goose, Common Shelduck, Mandarin Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Ring-necked Duck, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Ruddy Duck, Common Pheasant, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Leach's Storm Petrel, Cormorant, European Shag, Little Egret, Eurasian Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Honey-buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Eurasian Hobby, Peregrine, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Woodcock, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Turnstone, Grey Phalarope, Arctic Skua, Kittiwake, Bonaparte's Gull, Black-headed Gull, Little Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Sabine's Gull, Little Tern, Caspian Tern, Black Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Auk, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl, Common Swift, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Sky Lark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Richard's Pipit, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, PiedWagtail, Bohemian Waxwing, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hume's Leaf Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Willow Tit, Marsh Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Treecreeper, Great Grey Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Linnet, Twite, Lesser Redpoll, Common Redpoll, Arctic Redpoll, Crossbill, Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting,

Total = 206

Non-BOU Birds: White Wagtail, Siberian Chiffchaff, Kumlien's Gull

Pending Description: White Stork

Please note: The only approved and complete list of birds for this site is held within the Staffordshire birds database - contact the Staffordshire County Bird Recorder for details.

Escapes

Black Swan, Greylag Goose (feral), Bar-headed Goose, Cackling Canada Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Cockatiel.

Other Flora and Fauna

Westport Lake is noted among anglers for the size of the Pike. One observer noted one catch a House Martin as it skimmed the lake's surface!

Site Information

Westport Lake was formed in the 1890s as a result of subsidence on and around the site of the former Port Vale Football Club practice ground. The lake covers some 10 hectares and is only 1m deep at the most. Underwater surveys show it to be uniformly shallow with a narrow shelf 0.6m deep around the margin. Being very shallow the lake can be quite turbulent and this restricts plant growth around the margins. The southern shore has a covering of sand which, in the days before the increase in visitors, attracted down passing waders. A smaller lake, situated to the south of the main lake, was built for model boat enthusiasts.

The lakes attract waterfowl, particularly Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Mute Swan and Great Crested Grebe. Can be good for gulls too with 15 species recorded so far. There is a resident flock of feral waterfowl.

To the west is the nature study area. This area is rapidly growing up but essentially consists of four inter-connected pools fringed with Alders, Phragmites and Glyceria. It is a particularly good area for Eurasian Siskin, Redpolls and European Goldfinch. Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler have bred.

Times of Interest

In the autumn there is a moulting herd of Mute Swan but winter is the best time for waterfowl and also for flocks of Eurasian Siskin, Redpolls and European Goldfinch which can be found in the nature reserve area. This area is also proving attractive to rare warblers which have included Yellow-browed Warbler, Hume's Leaf Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff.

Access and Facilities

Google map for Westport Lake

Plenty of parking and a new visitor centre with toilets and cafe has been constructed. Paths are accessible to wheelchair users.

Survey work known

to do

Regularly bird-watched by:

NJS, PJ, GS, CW, RS, JJ, PL, AH

References

Birds of Westport Lake (1982) Emley, D.W. and Low, W.J. ISBN 0905080149

External Links

Please add if any reputable and non-commercial sites are known.

Other sites nearby are:

to do

Reviews

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