Inch Island Wildfowl Reserve

Inch Island Wildfowl Reserve

Inch Island Wildlife Reserve

Inch is home to a freshwater man-made lake. It was formed when dykes and embankments were made in order to drain the flat marshland between Inch Island and Bridgend.

Blanket Nook is another area of freshwater formed much in the same way as Inch Lake. It lays to the Southwest of Inch near to the quaint village of Newtoncunningham. In tandem these two lakes and there surrounding land host a large collection of water birds year round.

The lagoon, marsh and wetlands all provide a perfect spot for a variety of geese, swans, gulls, ducks and other water wading birds that choose Inch as their habitat. It is the permanent home of the Mute swan and also hosts the Whopper and Bewick swans.

The Mute swan is commonly found in city parks throughout Europe and Asia whilst the Whooper visits from Iceland in the winter. The Bewick travels from Siberia and they are known to stay right through the summer.

It’s the most important wetland in the North West and comes complete with an international ecological status. It has an otherworldly feel to it and you are acutely aware that you are experiencing an area of great ecological significance.

There are several types of wild geese to be found here in winter. The White Front, Greylag, Barnacle, Brent, Pink Footed and Canada Geese can all be found here in the depths of winter.

Other notable birds to be found here through the year include Great Crested Grebes, Tufted Duck and Coot. You will also see the likes of Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Redshank wading on the mudflats in a low tide.

Herons are known to nest in groups amongst the trees here. There is a small islet on Inch Lake where a colony of Common Tern, Arctic Tern and Sandwich Tern can be found nesting before they depart for the sunnier climate of Africa in autumn.

Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Reed bunting and the Kingfisher are just some of the smaller birds known to have visited the lake with the latter usually found at the lock gates of Blanket Nook.

Although primarily a resting place for fowl life you can find them sharing their surroundings with other animals with the most notable being the otter which are prevalent in the area.

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