Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Well, as predicted it was a pretty uneventful weekend.  Saturday was a lock open day at Atherstone, quite fun but hard work and Sunday was a day of nothing but I did have a walk around Whitemoor Haye, still scopeless I must add.
Birds of note included
126+ Fieldfare
30+ Redwing
112 Coot
62 Tufted Duck
30 Mallard
84 Wigeon
250+ Golden Plover over
455+ Lapwing
4 Tree Sparrow
several Yellowhammer
400+ Woodpigeon
1 Mistle Thrush.
Nothing special I am afraid.
I have been asked to give some information on Whitemoor Haye as I bird it.
On the A513 out of Alrewas towards Tamworth, the arboretum is on your left. Turn right at the roundabout an drive past the Whitemoor Lakes centre.  On the left is what I call the quarry lake.  This can be viewed anywhere from the entrance to the centre to the entrance to the quarry.  A word of warning though, the centre get unhappy when kids are there, I check no-one is on the lake before I have a look however it is not against the law and there is a public footpath that runs right across the entrance.  The other side of the road is a small wood, don't ignore this, there can be some good stuff in there.  From the quarry entrance heading away from the arboretum (towards Whittington) you will be walking or what most birders do nowadays, driving around the lanes.  There is a sharp right hand turn with a rough looking track going straight on.  This is a 1.7 mile square walk and on a good day well worth it.  After the square you can keep heading towards Whittington past Sittles farm, check the hedgerows for House Sparrows, a nice addition to the site list, then round a sharp left bend and park on the next bend.  Here you can stand on the bank and check the far end of the pits.
A word of warning though, the gravel pits and fields are no go for birders.  Unfortunately people from the Whitemoor Lakes centre and poachers get away with walking around the gravel pits but birders are not accepted, the farmer has a few henchman who are happy to deal with birders but let poachers and the other people walk around.  Strange.
Quite a bit of information to take in but check as much as possible and you could have a good few hours here.  Time of day is, I find, very important.  First thing is cracking whereas afternoons can be dead.

Enjoy it, I do.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I have a day off and was really tempted with Marshside for a Baikal Teal and then Nottinghamshite for Parrot Crossbills but I still do not have a scope.  Getting a bit nervous now as it is getting closer to Xmas, I really need it back before then.

Local pits tomorrow then!!!!