Living in Woodford has tremendous benefits. We have the convenience of Stockport and Manchester close at hand but are well connected to the rolling farmlands of North East Cheshire and the Derbyshire hills. This gives plenty of opportunity for wildlife to come visiting.

The idea of this page is therefore to provide an opportunity for those of us around Woodford to share observations, photos and comments on the natural world and wildlife around us.

Hopefully through shared experiences we will improve our enjoyment and understanding of our local environment whilst protecting it for future generations.

We will include any notable wildlife sightings in Woodford. Let us know if you see anything unusual and better still have a photograph to send us: info@woodfordcommunity.co.uk

Greenshank/Canada Geese

For a few days back in May 2012, many birdwatchers congregated along Church Lane with binoculars and cameras. The reason for the excitement was the appearance of a Greenshank near the seasonal pond. According to the RSPB website, this is medium-sized wader with a dark greyback and white underparts. Its long green legs and slightly up-turned bill help to distinguish it from other waders. It was a surprise to see one in Woodford, probably just calling in while migrating back to the UK from Africa. 2020 has seen very large numbers of Canada Geese on the Church Lane pond and grazing in the fields. Over 400 were counted on the pond on one occasion.

Greenshank in Woodford 2012 and Canada Geese off for a walk 2020

Photograph of the Greenshank with kind permission from John Rayner (local birdwatcher). Canada Geese by Evelyn Frearson.

A photo of 3 whooper swans

Three Whooper Swans

Three Whooper Swans were spotted on the seasonal pond adjacent to Church Lane in early October. According to the RSPB website “the Whooper Swan is mainly a winter visitor to the UK from Iceland, although a small number of pairs nest in the north. The estuaries and wetlands it visits on migration and for winter roosts need protection. Its winter population and small breeding numbers make it an Amber List species. It is a Schedule 1 listed bird”. Close up photograph courtesy of local bird watcher, Steve Collins.

A photo of 3 whooper swans


Last month, our own Vicar of Christ Church Woodford, the Reverend David Russel, spotted a group of herons near the footpath (1HGB) from Old Hall Lane to Woodford Lane. We were amused to note that the collective noun for a group of herons is a Congregation. It seems that the reverend is never off duty in gathering his flock.

Red Kite

In June 2020 a red kite was seen flying over the Blossoms Lane area. It was identified because it is larger than a buzzard, has white bars under the wings and a very distinctive curved tail. Apparently, sightings have increased in the area recently.

We will include any notable wildlife sightings in Woodford. Let us know if you see anything unusual and better still have a photograph to send us: info@woodfordcommunity.co.uk

Red kite flying over the Blossoms Lane area in Woodford

Plover and Cuckoo

Here is a report from one of our local bird watchers, Paul Carter. Wheatear and Whinchat were seen passing through in early spring this year. During the “great flood” earlier in the year a pair of Little Ringed Plovers (top image right) were here for 50 days, making good use of foraging in the mud as the waters receded.

Someone in Church Lane tweeted that a pair of Cuckoos (bottom image right) were seen recently in their garden in the early evening, picking worms out of the lawn. These were probably adult birds en route, returning to Africa from either Scotland or the NE Coast.

A Tree Sparrow was seen along the Handforth part of Blossoms Lane.

The Cuckoo, Tree Sparrow and Whinchat are on the British Trust for Ornithology Red List, as birds in the highest category of conservation concern, so sightings in, or around, Woodford are good news.

A little ringed plover and a cuckoo spotted in Woodford


One of the largest and most magnificent of the local bird residents is the Common Buzzard. It isn’t the biggest we see around here, that honour easily goes to the significantly larger Grey Heron. The Buzzard, however, a beautiful sight soaring effortlessly on thermals in a clear sky.

Ten years ago sighting a buzzard in Woodford would have been very unusual.

Since then they have made a dramatic comeback, with at least three breeding pairs sharing the skies around Woodford.

As the warmer days of early spring come we can look forward to the carefree aerobatic antics of displaying pairs, full of the joys of spring!

A pair of buzzards flying over Woodford


Now for the surprising – around Christmas two years ago, this character came visiting the garden, a Rose-ringed Parakeet, also known as the Ring-necked Parakeet. It’s the only feral parrot in Europe, originally thought to have escaped from captivity.

There are now quite large and noisy populations across Europe from Barcelona to Richmond in the UK. Sightings have been reported in Greater Manchester over the years, but this is the first time I have seen them in Woodford.

Both a male and a female were seen - the photo is of a female (no neck ring) - and they visited our feeders for some three months, usually arriving and departing towards Bridle Road, so perhaps they had taken up residence around there. The male, in the company of two female parakeets and making a lot of noise, was last seen in springtime 2009. Has anyone seen them since?

A parakeet in a Woodford garden



Perhaps not what we usually think about the squirrels visiting our gardens.

I rather like this one enjoying a plum from our neighbour’s tree.

Usually I see them defeating my best efforts to keep them off the bird feeders.

If you have a photo showing either a squirrel failing to get to a feeder or even a gymnastic squirrel beating all odds to get there then send it in and I will post it for all to see.

Squirrel eating a plum in a Woodford garden


Finally, as one of the intrepid residents participating in the Litter Day last November, I spotted these fungi in the grass verges along Chester Road.

The Fly Agaric with its distinctive red with white spots I recognise but I’m not sure about the others – Any ideas?

Just a few photos and observations from me to start off and hopefully inspire you to participate and send in yours.

Please mark your contributions ‘Wildlife’ and e-mail to info@woodfordcommunity.co.uk

Dave Buszard

Squirrel eating a plum in a Woodford garden