Finchley flora & fauna

Birdwatching in N3

By Don Pepper

This first appeared in the February 2010 issue

Dollis Valley stretches from Brent Reservoir to beyond High Barnet and some of the best sites for nature watching lie within, or very close, to N3.

On the most northerly border of N3, Dollis Brook forms part of the N3/ NW7 border and lies just south of Finchley golf course. This area can be accessed from Dollis Road off Nether Streetthe footpath is to the right just before you reach the viaduct. Following the path north of the brook you have one of the few areas in the district where you can see both treecreeper and nuthatch,. All three British woodpeckers – great spotted, lesser spotted and green – can also be seen in the area.

Grey wagtails are frequently seen and kingfishers and grey herons are regular visitors to the small pond. Around the pond there are a large number of goldcrest, Britain’s smallest resident bird. Tawny owls can be heard at night, especially at this time of year and on into spring. Foxes are common and in the summer bats have been seen flying near the entrance to the path. Follow the brook until you reach the allotments before returning to Dollis Road. Continue under the bridge until you come to a footpath leading off to the right, then walk along the brook and you will soon be back in our area.

The next area of real interest in N3 is Windsor Open Space, here ring-necked parakeets have a stronghold, grey wagtail can also be seen and in winter flocks of redwing and fieldfare often occur. Following the path to Hendon Lane you will find  a weir where grey wagtail and kingfisher are often seen.

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