Sheep Fields & Walters Lane

Sheep Fields (Private Farmland) & Walters Lane – Formerly the site of an extensive ‘furrowed’ gravel quarry that was developed into a series of PFA disposal lagoons managed by the former CEGB now EDF Energy based at Cottam Power Station but now fully restored back to farmland. Just a couple of remnants remain of this once extensive industrial site which in its day attracted many hundreds and sometimes several thousand birds daily to the warm waters that were continuously being pumped into the large settling lagoons here. For birders who knew and remember this site it may well have been the best birding they have ever known locally. Currently this whole site is now a managed grassland with the local farmer breeding a variety of sheep for both wool and meat.

Lapwing in field

The sheep fields themselves are home to Lapwing and Oystercatchers which breed here in small numbers and excellent feeding habitat for many bird species including corvids, thrushes, Starling and Woodpigeon. More interestingly, passage waders including Ruff, Curlew, Whimbrel and godwits can often gather here in good numbers around the many pools that occur after long periods of rainfall. Other passage migrants that use this site include Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and in winter good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing can also be found here. Walters Lane is an avenue of Oak trees which can hold key local species including Mistle Thrush, Little Owl, Tawny Owl and a good selection of passerines throughout the year.

Yellow Wagtail


Rarities in the past have included:

  • White-spotted Bluethroat (1979) in the Tiln area
  • Falcated Teal (1985) (also on the Wetlands Reserve)
  • Shore Lark (1986-87)
  • Black-throated Diver (1987)
  • Ring-billed Gull (1990)
  • Lesser Scaup (1990)
  • Razorbill (1992)
  • Caspian Tern (1993)
  • Great Skua (1993)
  • Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1995)
  • Great Northern Diver (1996)
  • Richard’s Pipit (1996)
  • Arctic Redpoll (1996)


Scare species in recent years have included:

  • Hen Harrier
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Black Redstart
  • Ring Ouzel
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Long-eared Owl.