Castleshaw Thing


Photo: Whooper Swans on Castleshaw Reservoir (copyright: @MancunianBirder)

Birdwatchers have recently scored a wildfowl double on Castleshaw Reservoirs near Oldham with sightings of Red-crested Pochard & Whooper Swan

On 31st October local birder Steve Suttill found a group of 3 Red-crested Pochard, including a spectacular adult drake, all the birds were un-ringed & fully-winged
This Eurasian species has a small population in southern England, with the Cotswold Water Park & the Idle Valley being the main sites, but is very rare in Greater Manchester
On 1st November James Walsh (aka the Mancunian Birder) found 4 adult Whooper Swans – these beautiful birds are likely to have just flown in from Iceland
The best site in the North of England to see big numbers of this species is Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Lancashire where hundreds gather in the winter
Castleshaw Reservoirs are gaining a decent reputation amongst birdwatchers and earlier in the year a Great Northern Loon, a species of bird rarely seen inland, spent 4 months on the reservoirs attracting many birdwatchers to the site during its’ long stay
During the winter this site can attract rare gulls that visit the British Isles from the High Arctic such as the Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull
James Walsh who is one of the founders of the new North England EcoTourism said “The Oldham area has many green assets that could be utilised for EcoTourism, such as Dovestones RSPB Reserve and Castleshaw Reservoirs, that could form an integral part of a wider Greater Manchester EcoTourism and Green Economy Plan”

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