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Leicestershire & Rutland Ornithological Society
Bardon Hill and Snibston Discovery Park

Bardon Hill © Richard Fray

Grid ref: SK 460 132 (OS Landranger 129)

Bardon Hill lies between Coalville and the M1 and, at 912 feet, is the highest point in the county. Park sensibly in the layby on Greenhill Road (SK 457 143) and follow the Ivanhoe Way footpath to the summit (see map). The area known as 'the Mound' is private, but can be viewed from the footpath.

The main attraction is the spring passage of Ring Ouzels. Up to five at a time have been recorded, any time between late March and early May, with the largest numbers usually present towards the end of this period. The best area is the slope and gorse bushes along the northern edge of the quarry/southern edge of the mound. Cold, northerly winds are probably best for grounding Ring Ouzels and other spring migrants, whilst light southerly or south-westerly winds are better for visible mig-

  The Ivanhoe Way © Andy Mackay

ration. Wheatears are regular migrants, and Tree Pipits breed in several areas around the hill. Ravens have been seen here on several occasions, but are by no means guaranteed! Crossbills have been seen in the conifer plantation during invasion years. Several scarce migrants have been recorded, including Woodlark, Firecrest and Honey Buzzard.

Nearby Snibston Discovery Park, on the north-west side of Coalville (SK 417 143) also attracts Ring Ouzels, Wheatears and other migrants, but in smaller numbers than Bardon. However, it is a lot easier to work, as less walking is involved! The park is signposted from the A511 Coalville bypass - park in any of the car parks and explore the area on foot. Ring Ouzels can turn up anywhere, but tend to favour the car park and scrub adjacent to the golf driving range. Wheatears are often in the same area, or on the golf course itself. The

  The southern edge of the Mound at Bardon © Richard Fray

potential of this site for migrants was proved in 1995, when Leicestershire's first Greenish Warbler occurred here on 17th September.

Bardon Hill map
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