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.