Many of blog readers will know of my fondness for what I've nicknamed "THE REED BED". It has a official name called "Quarry Walk", something about quarries and me! Situated between the working quarry at Earls Barton and Pastures Farm the land was transformed under the maligned Natural England system, but when done properly it's hard to see why Natural England comes under attack by many conservationist.
After all how many sites during the spring/Summer can boast Cettis Warbler, Water Rail, Otter, Cuckoo, Hobbies, Reed Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroat and this summer being an exception the Sedge Warbler, numbers were drastically down with just the one male bird!! Which sadly tallies with the BTO figures for the species this year ie very bad. As for winter birds there is a star species that's so far gone unreported and as it doesn't show brilliantly I'll say nothing for now.
Numbers were quite impressive and had me wishing for my camera.
If you plan a visit, park in the carpark nearest to the quarry, definately don't park at the quarry entrance, security need access even at weekends, in no uncertain terms you will return to your car with flat tyres, you've been warned! Don't take a short cut across the quarry if security is present be prepared to be chased by a large dog they've had too many issues from diesel theft, plant machinery damaged/stolen. Walk past Dunkelys restaurant (old train carriages) opposite the only other property is a public footpath that takes you alongside the very muddy farmers field until you get to the boardwalk you can't miss it. There's a circular footpath that takes in a variety of habitat you might even spot an unreported bird too.
But what ever you do, don't stray off the footpaths onto Grendon Lakes, birders with the exception of one or two individuals are not welcomed and well let's say it will not end in a happy outcome. There is footpaths around the site but you won't see the starlings so it's not really worth it.