Mid Lea Valley

From Londonbirders

Mid Lea Valley

The definition given here is for the purpose of “my patch” for the 2006 competition rather than for the mid section of the Lea Valley which is far larger (I guess is about 6 miles long).

Area Covered

The patch is about 2 miles North/South and ½ mile East/West and bounded to the:

• South by the A121 (Eleanor Cross Rd/Station Rd) Waltham Cross to Waltham Abbey road.

• North by Hooks Marsh car park and Cadmore Lane.

• East by the Flood Relief Channel (Horsemill Stream).

• West by the Main Line Railway - Liverpool Street to Stanstead Airport


There are numerous access points by foot and free car parking facilities at Walthan Lock, Trinty Lane, Windmill Lane, Cadmore Lane, Fishers Green, Hooks Marsh. Additionally, access by boat is possible since the River Lea Navigation runs through the site. There are three local Train Stations: Waltham Cross, Theobalds Grove but closest and best is Cheshunt.


There are 5 major bodies of water; Bowyers Water, Friday Lake, Hooks Marsh, Police Pit and Cheshunt Lake which are flooded gravel pits and Hall Marsh Scrape. The gravel pits are used for recreation – either fishing or sailing (canoeing etc). Bowyers Water and Friday Lake are good bets for Smew and Goldeneye most winters. The rest of the area is scrub with un-grazed un improved grass (Small river lea, Thistly Marsh) or improved grass either mown or grazed (Turnershill Marsh and Waltham Marsh). The area is also a network of small water courses, drainage ditches etc. I am unsure what the patch total might be ( I have never kept records) I guess 80 is possible and 100 at a push.

Species List

2006 PatchList Competition (species shown in order seen)

1. Wood Pigeon

2. Blackbird

3. Magpie

4. Starling

5. Collared Dove

6. Black Headed Gull

7. Carrion Crow

8. House sparrow

9. Robin

10. Blue tit

11. Chaffinch

12. Dunnock

13. LBB Gull

14. Moorhen

15. Mallard

16. Tufted Duck

17. Coot

18. Mute Swan

19. Wigeon

20. Gadwall

21. Canada Goose

22. Great Tit

23. Goldfinch

24. Great Crested Grebe

25. Greenfinch

26. Green Woodpecker

27. Shoveler

28. Fieldfare

29. Lapwing

30. Wren

31. Cormorant

32. Sparrowhawk

33. Teal

34. Smew

35. Long-Tailed tit

36. Pochard

37. Golden eye

38. Grey Heron

39. Golden plover

40. Snipe

41. Siskin

42. Kingfisher

43. Little Grebe

44. Greylag Goose

45. Mediterranean Gull

46. Common Gull

47. Herring Gull

48. Song Thrush

49. Jay

50. Lesser redpoll

51. Pheasant

52. Reed Bunting

53. Mistle Thrush

54. Great Spotted Woodpecker

55. Redwing

56. Pintail

57. Buzzard

58. Grey Wagtail

59. Chiffchaff

60. Willow Warbler

61. Sand Martin

62. Swallow

63. Blackcap

64. Redshank

65. Jackdaw

66. Little ringed Plover

67. Shelduck

68. Kestrel

69. Skylark

70. Garden Warbler

71. Whitethroat

72. Little Egret

73. House Martin

74. Sedge Warbler

75. Cuckoo

76. Ruddy Duck

77. Lesser Whitethroat

78. Nightingale

79. Common Tern

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