Viewing wildlife

Wader Lake

Wader Lake forms part of WWT Washington’s wildlife reserve and is flanked by four bird hides, each with its own unique view of the lake and the many different species that live there depending on the time of year.

The region’s largest nesting colony of grey heron can be observed nest-building from February onwards and wild lapwing breed on Wader Meadow in the spring.

In the summer, wading chicks - including avocet - play in the mudflats along with young common tern, and winter brings more than 1,000 curlew flying in to roost at dusk.

Other species of note include redshank, oystercatcher, teal and common snipe.

Be sure to ask at admissions for the latest sightings when you visit.

Hawthorn Wood feeding station

The feeding station at Hawthorn Wood is a magical place, with unrivalled close-up views of colourful woodland birds.

Species including bullfinch, long-tailed tit, great-spotted woodpecker and treecreeper are all regulars, along with a host of others.

The best time of year to see them is during the winter months, when the cold weather sends them flocking to the fat balls and nut feeders in huge numbers. Bullfinches in particular have been known to queue up on the frosty branches waiting their turn!

The hide overlooking the feeding station is fully accessible and with its large windows and detailed ID charts, is an ideal place for wildlife watching beginners.