Explore a great site for passage waders and also wildfowl
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!