During a recent visit back to the UK my dad took me to the place where he does voluntary work for the RSPB. He had often spoken about his time here and the jobs that he got into, building islands in lakes, planting reeds amongst other jobs.
Middleton Lakes is a 160 hectare former gravel quarry adjacent to Middleton Hall and between the River Tame and the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. 3 types of water sources is great for different species.
It is regionally important for overwintering wildfowl such as pochards, tufted ducks and smews. 2015 will see Middleton Lakes become the most important site for breeding waders in the West and East Midlands regions. Its lakes, reedbeds, meadows and woodlands will make it one of the best birdwatching sites in the area.
Other wildlife of conservation importance includes otters, water voles, wetland plants, and insects such as dragonflies. Recent sightings at the lakes include Red Kites, Marsh Harrier, Garganey and Black Terns.
Due to open to the public mid May 2011 the reserve will offer year-round wildlife interest including flocks of waterfowl in winter and colonies of breeding common terns, black-headed gulls and ducks in summer. Until the reserve officially opens you can arrange for a guided walk to see the ongoing work. I thoroughly enjoyed the hours that I spent there and would recommend anyone in the area to go and have a look.
Blog for Middleton Lakes with links to the forum and galleries.