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Leicestershire & Rutland Ornithological Society
Groby Pool

Groby Pool © Jim Graham

Grid ref: SK 521 082 (OS Landranger 140)

The pool lies some 4 miles north-west of Leicester, just north of the A50. Leave the A50 at the junction with the A46, and follow the road into Groby. Turn right after about a mile, just before the fish and chip shop. The car park (free) is on the left after about a quarter of a mile, then walk c200 yards to the pool. Please note that the car park is locked at 4.30pm between October and March, and at 8pm at other times of year. Break-ins can be a problem at this site, so do not leave valuables on show. There is access to the eastern side of the pool, and a footpath runs around the northern side.

This is one of the most reliable sites in the county for Mandarin, although they have recently become more and more elusive and erratic. Up to 26 have been recorded, but they are not always visible. They invariably prefer the areas of the pool with overhanging vegetation, specifically (and in order of preference) the north-west corner, the trees to the south of the house, and the island. Early mornings and late afternoons/evenings are the best time to see them. Small numbers of other ducks are usually present, and a drake Red-crested Pochard has been semi-resident since 1997. Occasional Goosander and Smew are recorded in the winter. There is a small heronry on the island.


Also of interest here are the gulls which feed on the nearby tip. During the winter good numbers can be present throughout the day, but especially in the afternoon, before they fly off to roost at Swithland Reservoir. Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls are both regular, and Mediterranean, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls are just about annual.

Lesser Redpolls and Siskins are regular in the alders and birches, especially along the north side of the pool. Several pairs of Reed Warblers breed and Water Rails can be heard squealing in the winter months.

Groby Pool © Jim Graham

Over 150 species have been recorded, and recent highlights have included Great White and several Little Egrets, Slavonian Grebe, Marsh Harrier, Honey Buzzard, four records of Bittern, Ring-necked Duck and Ferruginous Duck.

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