Thursday, 5 December 2013

Patchwork Challenge 2014 – Eyebrook Res

This is my patch area for the 2014 Patchwork Challenge:

The 3km2 limit allows me to include all of the reservoir, plus about 100 yards into the fields beyond the perimeter road. Note the extension at the north-west corner to take in the ‘Little Owl tree’! A few photos of the reservoir:

Often thought of these days as the poor relation to nearby Rutland Water, Eyebrook was of course Leicestershire & Rutland’s premier birding site until the late 70s, and still has the potential to turn up good birds. This October I found a Gannet and a Ring-necked Duck there on consecutive days, and the same weekend there was a Yellow-browed Warbler in the plantation as well. Given a bit of luck I think somewhere around 150 species should be possible in a year.

A quick run through of some of the site’s past glories gives an idea of the potential: Blue-winged Teal, Squacco Heron, Black-winged Pratincole, Killdeer, Kentish Plover, American Golden Plover, Baird’s Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Pomarine Skua, Whiskered Tern, Caspian Tern, Puffin (!), Shore Lark and Citrine Wagtail, as well as many ‘lesser’ county rarities.

It’s also relatively underwatched compared to its larger neighbour – there are often no other birders there when I go, so the chances of finding the good birds are high. It takes a bit of effort to cover Eyebrook properly, and I must admit I’m frequently guilty of giving it just a cursory look on the way to or from Rutland Water. On the plus side, though, you can watch the inflow end from the car if the weather’s really horrible!

Finally (for now), here’s a selection of particularly poor record shots of a few Eyebrook birds I’ve seen over the years:


Rid said...

There is no need to cheat and have the 100 yard extension andy, there are little owls in the scrub area just to the left of the bridge, viewable when looking out into the reservoir.

The Leicester Llama said...

Thanks for the tip, Paul. Must admit I've never seen them in that area though, so I'll keep the extension just in case! Not sure why that's cheating though - all the rules say is an area of not more than 3km square, which it is!