Ex­plore a great site for pas­sage waders and also wild­fowl

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PETE HACKETT

THESE LARGE RE­STORED gravel work­ings, also known as Stret­ton Sug­was Sand Pits, pro­vides a welcome ex­panse of open water, which is a pretty scarce com­mod­ity in Here­ford­shire. The pits have now come to the end of their work­ing days and have been en­hanced by the cre­ation of is­lands, for the ben­e­fit of loaf­ing and breed­ing birds. Good views of the sur­round­ing coun­try­side can be had with a mix of hedgerow, wood­land and fields. Deep-sided in parts, this large pit has some ex­pan­sive shore­line prov­ing at­trac­tive to pas­sage waders, which have in­cluded Pec­toral Sand­piper, Tem­minck’s Stint and Red-necked Phalarope re­cently. Wild­fowl also con­gre­gate in good num­bers, while the large num­bers of Canada Geese at­tract feral Grey­lag and Bar­na­cle Geese with the chance of a scarcer wild goose such as Brent or White-fronted Goose turn­ing up. Pe­ri­ods of mi­gra­tion bring a good se­lec­tion of waders, in­clud­ing scarci­ties. A good se­lec­tion of wild­fowl in­cludes Wi­geon, Gad­wall, Teal and Shov­eler, while there is a chance of see­ing a Gar­ganey in spring or au­tumn. Goosander roost on the lake dur­ing winter and Smew have also been recorded. The large num­bers of gulls may in­clude the odd Yel­low-legged Gull, while Black­headed Gulls breed. This is a fab­u­lous site for the area – but be aware it’s close to a fir­ing range!

Canada Goose


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