A for­mer land­fill and quarry, now a quiet haven for wildlife

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

THIS SMALL NA­TURE re­serve pro­vides a good win­ter’s day birding on newly-resur­faced path­ways and a pleas­ant va­ri­ety of habi­tat to ex­plore. For­merly the site of gravel work­ings, this un­der-watched lo­ca­tion has pro­vided a few sur­prises over the years. De­spite its close prox­im­ity to the M6 mo­tor­way, win­ter of­fers a good sup­ply of wild­fowl, which con­gre­gate on the shel­tered lake. In re­cent years, up to 180 Wi­geon have been noted, be­ing joined by smaller num­bers of Shov­eler, Gad­wall, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Goosander. Bor­der­ing the re­serve, a land­fill site dur­ing the 1980s pro­vided some ex­cel­lent county rar­i­ties such as Ring-billed, Ice­land and Glau­cous Gulls, while the now-scarce Twite were also recorded. Dur­ing the days of quar­ry­ing, the area had an out­stand­ing colony of Sand Martins, un­for­tu­nately lost dur­ing the build­ing work of a nearby su­per­mar­ket, while Lit­tle Ringed Plovers nested and even a Red­necked Phalarope once vis­ited. Although the area has lost its habi­tat for pas­sage waders, it has ma­tured with suit­able habi­tat for wood­land species. Great Spot­ted and Green Wood­peck­ers now nest and you could also see Sparrowhawk, Buz­zard and com­mon war­blers.


Glau­cous Gull

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