The Urban Birder Hits Leicester

A while ago I made contact with The Urban Birder AKA David Lindo via Matt Merritt at Bird Watching Magazine. We arranged to meet up at the Birdfair and discuss a trip to Leicester. A few phone calls later and we had arranged a weekend in March. As with all good plans though we had to postpone as David’s photographer Russell couldn’t do the days we’d set aside.

A few more phone calls – David and I must have the two worst phones for connectivity in the UK – and we arranged another date… Easter Sunday. David and Russell arrived at mine just after 07.00 and we were soon testing out the strength of David’s Urban Birding by visiting Cossington Meadows. Well we were penned in by houses and the manin A6 road and Midland Main Line. David di manage to find a female Wheatear in the same field as the male a week earlier.

At Rothley Lodge we pulled in Little Ringed Plover and Golden Plover… the factory providing a real urban background. A coffee stop at McDonalds provided a moment of real fun when David asked for a Peppermint Tea… I guess the clueless lads expression let us all know this wasn’t London.

We then toured a few proper urban sites including Watermead, Evington Park, Welford Road Cemetary (does anyone watch this real oasis anymore?) and Aylestone Meadows. The King’s Lock Tea Room provided an excellent vantage point to watch for Ring Ouzel… none, while having a lovely bowl of Carrot and Corriander Soup. Oh and a peppermint tea!

My final stop at Grove park revealed more LRP and a few Snipe but no other goodies. A text message and a few phone calls had confirmed the presence of a Red-necked Grebe at Thornton Reservoir. All agreed to a spot of twitching and we were soon enjoying a sleeping grebe… stunning! A couple of House Martin and a White Wagtail provided a bit of a distraction.

A really enjoyable day out and I think the potential for Leicester to be a top Urban Birding destination was agreed upon.

Many Thanks to David and Russell for a great days birding.

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4 responses to “The Urban Birder Hits Leicester

  1. When I was at the rugby at Welford Road on Saturday (I was persuaded to switch to the dark side for the day to meet an old mate and drink a lot of Guinness), a Woodcock flew over the ground, just above the level of the stands. Wondering where it had come from, I reckon Welford Road Cemetery was the most likely spot. It came from that direction and headed away over the Infirmary. I’d have put it down to the beer but a bloke nearby pointed it out too.

  2. Moonraker

    Well done on getting David up here.

    I work at the University and most weeks find me spending some lunch hour time in Welford Road Cemetery. It certainly is an oasis on a lush spring day like this, though sadly I don’t have anything interesting to report from the last year beyond the expected. Not exactly been working it but Garden Warbler was about the most exotic (!) I could manage. There have been reports of Peregrines on the Attenborough Tower over the winter but I guess it was too hopeful to think that something might come of that in Spring……………..

  3. thedrunkbirder

    Hi Moonraker… Welford Road Cemetary used to have Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Are you an LROS member? We’d love to get records in from there.

    Looks good for a Firecrest at some point so let me know when you find one!

  4. thedrunkbirder

    A cracking urban record Matt.

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