Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Storton's Pits

I had a couple of hours to kill while the car was having it's annual service so had a wander around Storton's pits. This is a nature reserve directly behind the Sixfields Football stadium managed by the Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust. There are flooded gravel pits over 58 acres and provides a valuable habitat for many winter birds. It is a mixture of woodland, scrub, lakes and reed beds. Reeds have been planted to provide cover for nesting birds in the breeding season, and there have been sightings of the rare bearded tit there too. Unfortunately I didn't see one but I did see a lovely male Reed Bunting along with a couple of Herons. Also Snipe feed on the bare mud and rare water rail are regular winter visitors. The wet meadow is important for butterflies. In the background is the once famous 'Northampton Lighthouse' originally the Express Lifts testing tower and now no longer used. Apparently there is a pair of Peregrine Falcons who have taken up residence on a lofty ledge. I came across this wonderful huge Puff-Ball fungi. Having a ball-shaped fruiting body that when pressed or struck releases the enclosed spores in puffs of dust. Of course I had to give it a little kick just to make sure!

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