Below is summary of good birding areas within the Eastern Section of the Cotswold Water Park, including an appropriate starting / parking area.
The Eastern Section is an area around Lechlade, Fairford and Whelford where gravel continues to be extracted and does have mature habitat.
The main car park south of the River Thames at Riverside (SU 210 989) between Lechlade and Inglesham is a good starting point for wintering swans, geese and other wet meadow favourites. It is possible to walk alongside the River from this location and some of the wet farmland does attract large groups of birds.
For many years, the flooded fields and winter crops here have been a great spot for Whooper and Bewick’s Swans and the occasional White-fronted or Pink-footed Goose feeding amongst the large numbers of mute swan and Greylag geese.
There are 3 Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust(GWT) reserves near Lechlade and Fairford, two of them linked by a green lane;
Whelford Pools (CWP 111/111b) and Roundhouse Lake (CWP 116) are linked by Longdoles Lane; park at Whelford Pools (SU 173 995)and walk from here along the rights of way, taking in Lake 126 (good for passage waders in recent years including Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwit, but also breeding Common Tern and Little Ringed Plover) and Lake 114 (supports high numbers of wintering waterbirds, including frequent Bittern and occasional Red-necked or Black-necked Grebe, and migrants such as Black terns, despite the development). Roundhouse Lake (Lake 116) is a SSSI for aquatic plants but typically supports good flocks of Wigeon and other waterbirds. GWT recently constructed a new hide from which to appreciate this reserve.
The Edward Richardson and Phyllis Amey Reserves (CWP 119/119b) (SP 216 008), to the north of Lechlade is a small reserve with wet woodland, scrub and open water water attracting a good range of waterbirds and passerines throughout the year.