SHOCKING pictures of some of the dozens of dead birds found at a popular beauty spot can be revealed by the Guardian.

A birdspotter who was among the first to find the dozens of dead animals littering a Wanstead lake has spoken about the discovery.

The deaths of more than 40 birds at Alexandra Lake, on Wanstead Flats are being investigated by scientists after they were found on Tuesday.

Jonathan Lethbridge had been scanning the Flats for migrating Wheatears at around 7.30am on Tuesday morning, and was returning home when he spotted the bodies of some dead crows sticking out of a large mayonnaise pot that had been left on top of a bin.

The father-of-three, of Windsor Road, Aldersbrook, discovered several other dead crows in the area around the lake - eight in all - together with the corpse of what looked like a coot floating in the water.

The 34-year-old initially thought the birds had been shot, but soon rejected that idea when he saw their bodies were uninjured.

After trying to contact the City of London Corporation - which maintains the Flats - he saw workmen arriving at the lake to empty the bins, who then contacted one of the park keepers.

He said: "It was horrific. I'm a bird lover, so the sight of any dead birds is terrible.

"After realising they had not been shot I thought they must have been poisoned.

"If someone did deliberately poisoned the birds it is hard to see how they could catch someone for this."

Mr Lethbridge said he was told later that dead crows had been seen falling out of trees in the area.

A spokeswoman for the City of London Corporation told the Guardian yesterday that post mortems were being carried out on the bodies found, and that tests were being done at the lake by staff from Natural England.

She said: "There have been unexplained bird deaths on and around Alexandra Lake and we have also received details of the death of a dog that was taken for a walk in the area of the Lake on 8th March.

"The area has been cordoned off and warning signs have been erected.

"Natural England, in association with the Environment Agency is leading an investigation.

"Epping Forest Keepers are on site to give out advice and the public are urged to stay away from the area and keep their dogs on leads.

"Post mortem examinations of some of the dead birds are being carried out by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

"The City of London, the Environment Agency, DEFRA, Met Police and LBR Environmental Health will all take appropriate actions following on the results of these tests."