Wetland birds around Nine Wells

The fields of my study area attract a surprising number of wetland birds for an area of arable land. This is mainly due to the water courses – Hobson’s Brook and some ditches – and ponds. In winter, the area attracts kingfisher, little egret, grey heron and snipe; in summer reed warblers nest and sedge warblers sing on their way through. Moorhen and mallard also breed, while a number of gulls, geese and swans visit to feed and common terns fly over in summer, their beaks full of fish. Other birds like cormorant and occasionally cranes fly over.

In the winter of 2022-23 a couple of very cold periods saw the lake in the nearby Hobson’s Park freeze over and this attracted teal – drawn to the water that was still flowing from the springs of Nine Wells – and a small family of barnacle geese that fed on the stubble field near the railway line.