A na­ture re­serve, a brook into a river and bird va­ri­ety

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - BERNARD JONES

WITH THE HELP of a grant from the World­wide Fund Na­ture, Shrop­shire Wildlife Trust (SWT) was able to ac­quire this fas­ci­nat­ing site as a na­ture re­serve. It has an in­ter­est­ing his­tory as squat­ting set­tle­ments and prod­uct of Par­lia­men­tary En­clo­sure but is now on a slope drain­ing the north side of Cather­ton Com­mon down to the brook called Cramer Gut­ter, that ef­fec­tively drains the hill into the River Rea that flows down to join the River Teme in Worces­ter­shire. It is on the north-east slopes of the Tit­ter­stone Clee hill, one of the high­est hills in Shrop­shire with the Gi­ants Chair part of the his­tory. Botan­i­cally, there are more than 100 flow­er­ing plants and there is heather and bell heather with var­i­ous bog plants in the wet­ter ar­eas, and sev­eral dif­fer­ent sedge species. But let’s get back to the birds. One of the birds that favour this re­serve is the Curlew, with its long bill curved down­wards and its mel­low whis­tle call mak­ing it un­mis­take­able. How­ever, re­cent stud­ies have shown a de­cline in the num­ber breed­ing in Shrop­shire and it sug­gests a de­cline of about 80% across the whole county. The Sky Lark is com­mon here, and you will most likely see Red Kite or Raven.

Tawny Owl


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