Friday 4th February 2011
Defied the gales to have a walk round the fields between Nuneaton and Burton Hastings. There are several well marked paths and I havent yet explored all this area. In the strong winds most of the bird activity was confined to the dense hedges near the village with Tits, Redwing and Bullfinch and a couple of Linnet flocks, probably involving over 100 birds, in the stubble fields. Apart from large numbers of Corvids and Wood Pigeon that was it. I've walked around this route for several years and I ve been critical of the way rough land has been cleared to maximise cultivation, hedges removed and the use of the 'conservation strip' around the fields for steeple chasing. I had a chat to the landowner /Farm manager planting bushes and saplings on one of the rough patches which has recently been 'tidied up'. I got a completely different impression of what was going on from our conversation. He was trying to develop conservation areas and pointed out several areas where planting and management had created habitat in which seed eating species could winter. When I asked about access he said there was no problem and that there were footpaths which gave good access. I certainly know of one path which takes you directly to the Lime Kilns pub on the A5 which still sells good Marston's Ale! I shall certainly continue to check out the area. To date my best birds have been Merlin, Stonechat, Little Owl, Peregrine and Kingfisher but I think the area has the potential for other goodies.
PS. The remnants of 6 Chinese Lanterns in as many miles today !