Upper Nene Valley Gravel pits

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Upper Nene photograph
Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits

Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits

The Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits SSSI is a nationally important site for its breeding bird assemblage of lowland open waters and their margins (including the largest nesting colony of grey herons Ardea cinerea in Northamptonshire), wintering waterbird species, an assemblage of over 20,000 waterbirds in the non-breeding season and a rare example of wet floodplain woodland.
At least 21 species comprise a regular breeding assemblage which includes mute swan, gadwall, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck, little grebe, great crested grebe and wading birds such as redshank.
Exposed shoreline margins, banks and sparsely-vegetated gravel islands within the lagoonsprovide nesting sites for little ringed plover Charadrius dubius, ringed plover C. hiaticula, kingfisher Alcedo atthis, and colonies of common tern Sterna hirundo, including the largest two in the county at Earls Barton and Stanwick. Breeding reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus, sedge warbler A. schoenobaenus and Cetti’s warbler Cettia cetti, along with water rail Rallus aquaticus, cuckoo Cuculus canorus, yellow wagtail Motacilla flava, grey wagtail M. cinerea and reed bunting Emberiza schoeniclus, are associated with damp grassland, scattered scrub and stands of marginal vegetation at the lagoon edges. This assemblage also includes the largest breeding colony of grey herons in the county at a former duck decoy at Titchmarsh within the Thrapston gravel pit complex. These tree-nesting birds utilise woodland around the disused decoy pond which consists of several different species of trees and shrubs including silver birch Betula pendula, crack willow Salix fragilis, Scots pine Pinus sylvestris and alder Alnus glutinosa. A PDF is available with further information

Ditchford Lakes and Meadows

Part of the upper Nene valley floodplain, this complex of old gravel pits, grassland and scrub is very important for both breeding and wintering birds. The lakes are surrounded by mature scrub, mainly willow, and provide perfect shelter. Occasionally a breeding pair of Cetti’s warblers uses the scrub around the smaller lake.
Click here for further details and directions....

Where to Watch Birds in the East Midlands  2nd ed

Where to Watch Birds in the East Midlands 2nd ed

The five counties covered in this guide (Lincolnshire,Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire) comprise natural and man-made areas as diverse as the Wash, Rutland Water and Sherwood Forest. Famous migration hot spots are found on the Lincolnshire coast, while the river valleys of the Humber, Trent, Welland and Nene all atttract a wide range of species. Following the series format, each of the 49 major sites is dealt with in detail, providing information on habitat, access, best times of the year to visit and the species likely to be encountered. Maps and line drawings enhance this exhaustive text.
Edition 2nd
ISBN 9780713675306
Format Paperback 304 pages. 216 x 135 mm.
Illustrations Line drawings, maps. Click here for ordering details.....

Bird photographs from Nene Valley gravel pits
Bird video from Nene valley gravel pits
Nene valley twitter
Nene valley blogs and links
Nene valley local services
Birdwatching walks around Nene Valley gravel pits

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Northamptonshire |  Upper Nene Valley Gravel pits

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