A few weeks ago, on a less wonderful day with less than pleasant weather, I went on a hot date to Chasewater. The last time I was here might have been 10 years ago, and another 5 before that. Considering how far away I live (which is something like 2 miles) it probably comes as a bit of a suprise that I don’t frequent the place more often. But why would I?
Chasewater itself is a reservoir near Burntwood, England. The reservoir was built in the late 1700s to service the local area, and has since become the home of one of the most diverse ranges of fauna in the local area. The water attracts a lot of wildlife, and as soon as you get past the visitor centre and head water-side you can spot plenty of birds. Ducks, swans, and a ton of others that I can’t name from memory. There are hundreds if not thousands of them, and they never seem to run out as you walk around the expanse of water.
If I didn’t know any better (which I don’t) I would say that Chasewater would be an amazing place to visit if you want to go bird-watching. I was prepared enough to take my camera, but I never bothered with the tripod as it was trying to rain and I didn’t feel like getting us soaked for the sake of a picture. Sadly, birds don’t like to sit still and have their photographs taken so they aren’t the greatest shots. They’re great to watch though!
After walking past the valve house and following the path around the reservoir, it starts to twist and turn through the trees. We only managed to get so far until we had to turn back because it was blocked off with fallen trees and ridiculously water logged mud. And we weren’t really dressed for climbing and trudging. On the way back some friendly dog-walkers pointed out a deer which we had somehow completely missed. They’re so damn well camouflaged.
Again, it’s not the greatest pic. I was trying to weave between the trees to get a decent picture but by the time I got to somewhere with a clear view the deer had turned tail and headed back towards the herd.
At first, I had only suspected there to be the one, blatantly obvious deer that we had been shown. As it walked off, and I managed to find a clearing, I tried to take a few other pictures. It turns out there were a whole load of them hidden in the field. Even more amazing was that if I hadn’t been looking through my camera’s viewfinder, I would never have spotted them.
Just makes me wonder how many more are hidden in and around this picture that I was completely unaware of. Who would’ve thought that animal camouflage was actually a thing that worked? Well, apparently it does.
The best part about Chasewater, apart from the wildlife, is the number of facilities available. After a chilly morning walk around the reserve you can head back to civilisation and into the cafe, grab yourself a nice hot cuppa and a bite to eat. There is also a fair bit of information about the place available, but without going there, if you want to know anything about Chasewater then the wiki is highly informative, as is the councils information page.
Nearby, and also accessible from Chasewater, is the Chasewater Railway which is another good place to visit if you feel like going for a day out.
Oh, and you can also use the car parks at the visitor centre for free. Bonus!