Witney Lake and Meadow - A beautiful corner of Witney where you can get away from it all in picturesque surroundings

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Witney Lake and Meadow

Witney Lake (known locally by some as Duck Lake or Ducklington Lake) is a flooded gravel pit which has been purchased by Witney Town Council as part of the Witney Lake and Meadows project. The 30-hectare area includes wet meadow and grazing land adjoining the two legs of the River Windrush to the south and north of the A40 road. The southern end of the lake is managed as a nature reserve and the grazing land to the east and north is classified as an Environmentally Sensitive Area. Ducklington village lies to the west and between the lake and there are small paddocks and allotments. The paddocks are grazed and are bordered by some mature Oaks and pollarded Willows although there are signs of encroaching development at both the north and south of the village. The lake is very deep throughout and so lacks any shallows or muddy edges.

Witney Lake and Meadow

The site is situated within a mile of the bustling Witney town centre, and is well used by the general public but it never feels overcrowded. The northern end of the lake and the river are also fished although the close season is still adhered to. The lake itself is surrounded by a very good path (this has been improved over the years as it could get rather muddy underfoot during prolonged wet periods in winter).

Witney Lake has been named one of the most important sites for plants and wildlife in the Windrush Valley area. A recent study by the Lower Windrush Valley Project and Pond Conservarion found 110 bird species and a large variety of invertebrates and wetland plants.

The Birds Of Witney Lake

The area is home to a number of birds so look out for the following:

Black-Headed Gull

Black-headed Gull  
Black-Headed Gull

In winter these gulls lose the dark head marking, which shrinks to a small spot behind the eye.


Canada Goose

Canada Goose
 
Canada Goose

A large bird with a long black neck, the Canada Goose has a distinctive trumpet-like calling


Common Tern

Common Tern  
Common Tern

Common Terns are more slender and agile than gulls

They patrol up and down the lake in summer.

As soon as one spots a fish it plummets into the water


Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper  
Common Sandpiper

As it walks or runs the tail bobs. The long bill is used for probing in the mud for food


Coot

Coot  
Coot

Avid nestbuilders, Coots heap waterweed into large piles


Cormorant

Cormorant  
Cormorant

The webbed feet help the Cormorant to swim and catch fish under water


Great-Crested Grebe

Great-Crested Grebe  
Great-Crested Grebe

The Great-crested Grebe is an elegant waterbird. Its body sits low in the water


Heron

Heron  
Heron

The Heron is a patient angler, standing stock-still in the shallows watching for fish


Kingfisher

Kingfisher  
Kingfisher

A flash of blue is often all you will glimpse of a kingfisher

You might be lucky enough to see one perching over the water watching for fish


Mallard

Mallard (Male)  
Mallard

Mallards are our most familiar duck. Males are handsomely coloured, while females are brown and drab


Moorhen

Moorhen  
Moorhen

Moorhens have large feet that help them walk on floating waterweed


Mute Swan

Mute Swan  
Mute Swan

A most graceful bird.

The males are called "cobs" and have larger black knobs on their beak that the females which are called pens. The cygnets are grey.


Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck  
Ruddy Duck

A rare visitor to the lake. The male has a blue bill, white face and dark cap.

The female is much darker.


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