Advertisements
Wildlife

Urban birdwatching at Sale Water Park and Sale Ees in Manchester

Sale Water Park is a great place for urban birdwatching in Manchester and as it’s in my local area I’ve been photographing birds there during lockdown.

The park used to be a gravel pit which was flooded after the gravel was taken to build the M60 in the 1970s, now its a haven for wildlife and some welcome green lungs in the city. It is now made up of meadows, streams, woodlands, reedbeds and of course, the lake.

Here are some of the beautiful birds that I’ve seen here, as well as the different habitats they live in.

Ees

The woods and meadows on the approach to the park from behind Jackson’s Boat pub and along the Barrow Brook are a great place to see herons.

Grey heron on Sale Ees, Manchester
Grey heron on Sale Ees, Manchester

Woodlands

The woodlands along the ees and around the water park are home to a plethora of birds.

Ring-necked parakeets nesting in a telegraph pole
Ring-necked parakeets nesting in a telegraph pole

The parakeets nest in the woodlands and you’ll certainly hear them before you see them. They’re so green that they actually blend in really well with the trees.

Jay in Sale Water Park, Manchester
Jay in Sale Water Park, Manchester

Other large birds like the Eurasian jay, blackbirds, crows and woodpigeons make their homes here too.

Smaller garden birds like the robin, bullfinch, blue tit, coal tit, great tit and goldfinches also feed and nest in the trees.

Lake

The lake is a great place to watch waterbirds especially when springtime comes along and no boats on the lake,

Mallard and ducklings, Sale Water Park, Manchester
Mallard and ducklings, Sale Water Park, Manchester

There are usually a few mallards with their ducklings here as well as on the River Mersey.

Coot with chicks, Sale Water Park, Manchester
Coot with chicks, Sale Water Park, Manchester

Coots have started raising broods in the reed beds before venturing out in the lake with them.

Baby coot, Sale Water Park, Manchester
Baby coot, Sale Water Park, Manchester

There are also moorhens in the lake, but I haven’t seen any with chicks yet.

Great crested grebe, Sale Water Park, Manchester
Great crested grebe, Sale Water Park, Manchester

There are a few pairs of the magnificent great crested grebe living on the lake. The smaller little grebe is shyer but can sometimes be seen on Broad Ees Dole (where the concrete bird hide faces).

Canada goose with goslings, Sale Water Park
Canada goose with goslings, Sale Water Park

Canada geese breed on the lake and hang out with their goslings near the car park. You can see birds like woodpigeon and crows on the car park and jetty too,

Woodpigeon, Sale Water Park, Manchester
Woodpigeon, Sale Water Park, Manchester

Electricity pylon

Like true urban birds, there are cormorants that feed in the lake and roost on the pylons.

Cormorants on a pylon, Sale Water Park, Manchester
Cormorants on a pylon, Sale Water Park, Manchester

Reed beds

There aren’t many reed beds near the lake, but the ones that are there are well-used by birds.

Reed warbler in Sale Water Park. Manchester
Reed warbler in Sale Water Park. Manchester

Look out for reed warblers that you’ll hear before you see them. There are also reed buntings, wrens and other small birds who like to hide or feed in the reeds.

Wren in Sale Water Park. Manchester
Wren in Sale Water Park. Manchester

Sale Water Park and Ees are home to many birds and this is not an exhaustive list! There are sightings recorded on the Manchester Birding Forum on a regular basis to keep up-to-date depending on the season. There is plenty of other wildlife like foxes, weasels, dragonflies and various species of butterflies too.

Full list of birds I’ve seen:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blackcap
  3. Blue tit
  4. Bullfinch
  5. Canada goose
  6. Carrion crow
  7. Coot
  8. Cormorants
  9. Great crested grebe
  10. Great spotted woodpecker
  11. Great tit
  12. Grey heron
  13. House sparrow
  14. Jay
  15. Little grebe
  16. Long-tailed tit
  17. Magpie
  18. Mallard duck
  19. Moorhen
  20. Mute swan
  21. Reed bunting
  22. Reed warbler
  23. Ring-necked parakeets
  24. Snipe
  25. Tufted duck
  26. Wren

If you’re wildlife watching in your local area with little ones then download my Birdy Bingo card game to see how many points you can score!

Read more: Urban birdwatching at Southern Cemetery in Manchester

What birds have you spotted in Sale Water Park and Ees? Share your sightings in the comments below!



Pin this for later:

Urban birdwatching at Sale Water Park and Sale Ees in Manchester
Urban birdwatching at Sale Water Park and Sale Ees in Manchester
Follow Land of Size:
Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

RSS
Follow by Email
Instagram
%d bloggers like this: