By Tony

Ellenbrook Fields
The reasons why this area is so important to birds
Birds such as the Barn Owl, Tawny Owl and Green Woodpecker need this undisturbed natural grassland to sustain their existence. The Owls hawk over the area hunting for their basic food of voles and shrews to feed their young. Several nest boxes have been put up to make it easier for them and they are regularly used. The Green Woodpecker, of which there is a good population, cover the area feeding on the many ants that are here.
Many migrants each year come to this country to breed, birds like the Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Whinchat and Redstart use the park as a staging post to feed and rest after their long journey from Africa before continuing the rest of the trip to their breeding grounds further north. Then again use it on their return trip south in the late summer.
Other migrants, such as the many Warblers and Cuckoo come here to stay and breed before returning south again.
The ponds create another habitat for the likes of Heron, Moorhens Coots, many Ducks and the Little Grebe. Swallows and Martins hawk over this area catching insects to feed their Young.
To walk over the fields in the relative quiet is shear bliss, to listen to the bird songs and watch the Skylark on its aerial display lifts the spirits from the stresses of normal life. To think that it could all be replaced by gravel extraction makes me very sad as I will now have to make the effort to get in my car and travel to other sites with perhaps not the same environment.

Tony Bristow

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