Birdwatching in Stratford
You don’t need to be an ornithologist or ‘twitcher’ to enjoy the act of watching birds. And we’d argue Stratford is one of the best places in London to do it!
Throughout the lifespan of our community here at IQL, we’ve built in birdboxes, green roofs, and planting to improve the neighbourhood’s biodiversity. We’re also taking part in various environmental events throughout the year, like No Mow May and National Nest Box Week to build upon our existing investments in the environment. We’re now finally seeing the fruition of those decisions, with increased populations of birds, plants, and pollinators across IQL.
Here's a run down of the best places to birdwatch in Stratford.
Whilst our bird boxes located along the south and north side of the building seem to now be attracting songbirds (think Tits, Robins, and Finches) a number of Pied Wagtails have been spied around this area.
The Pied Wagtail is a small, long-tailed, black and white bird that moves quickly through urban areas, searching for food. You’re likely to see them around dusk.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
In 2020, six new types of schedule one (the most protected group of species) birds were spotted in our neighbouring Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. These species included Kingfishers, Black Redstarts, Cetti’s Warblers, Fieldfarers, Redwings and Peregrine Falcons.
The best places to spot birds in the park is by the wet woodlands or the wetland bowl – areas known to be frequented by many a bird, including the colourful Kingfishers!
Albeit we haven’t yet seen large quantities of birds in Franklin Park, we have found ourselves a singular robin, who’s proving to be a bit of a bright spark!
Known by many for their red breast, this songbird often sings in evenings next to streetlights and follows gardeners who are cutting grass, to find worms and other invertebrates more easily.
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
Perhaps one of the less obvious places to birdwatch, due to the focus of visitors on the historic gravestones, this park can be defined as ‘urban woodland’ making it a perfect place for certain species.
In 2017, two professional birdwatchers completed a list of species spotted in the park. Amongst these were the Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Blackcaps and Sparrowhawks. The biggest drawer of ‘twitching’ crowds, however, is the incredibly rare Firecrest, which are known to be well-populated within the park.
The nearby Hackney Marshes are actually a mix of different habitats, sewn together by footpaths for the curious birdwatcher. The diversity of these habitats, including forests, wetlands, grasslands, mudflats and urban areas, make way for a diverse range of species.
Notable species that you might just spot here are the Red-Breasted Merganser, the Great-Crested Grebe, or the Eurasian Oystercatcher.
If you fancy learning more about birdwatching, the RSPB is a great place to start. You will need a pair of binoculars and a book of species in the first instance. If you spy any birds here at IQL or in the surrounding area, please do get in touch to let us know. We’re keen to keep an eye on any new or returning species to IQL, so we can help to encourage these populations through our biodiversity programmes. Tag us on Instagram or get in touch.