Beside the River Loddon, this flooded gravel pit, dotted with islands, is the perfect place to watch water birds and dragonflies
The Loddon Nature Reserve's lake and shallow fringes create ideal conditions for wintering birds, such as gadwall, tufted duck, pochard and snipe.
Shallows and islands
The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust looks after this community nature reserve with the help of local volunteers, who enjoy this delightful retreat in the heart of Twyford. The shallows of the lake are perfect feeding areas for wetland birds, while its islands provide quiet spots where common terns and oystercatchers can breed safely away from predators such as foxes. During the winter months, the handsome male smew attracts many birdwatchers.
The scrubby perimeter of the lake is home to blackcaps, whitethroats and other songbirds. Look out also for nesting wetland birds such as moorhens and coots. These birds nest among the reeds and aquatic plants below overhanging branches of willow. Herons may be seen like statues waiting to spear a fish. In early spring, you might be lucky enough to spot the elaboerate courtship 'mirror dance' of the great crested grebe in which the male and female swim beak to beak and rise out of the water whilst shaking their heads.