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Leicestershire & Rutland Ornithological Society
Eyebrook Reservoir



Eyebrook Reservoir © Jim Graham

Grid ref: SP 855 955 (OS landranger 141)

Location/access
The reservoir lies on the boundary between Leicestershire and Rutland, two miles south of Uppingham. Take the A6003 south out of Uppingham, then turn right onto the minor road to Stoke Dry after a mile and a half. This road continues down the hill and round the north-west half of the reservoir. Park carefully anywhere along the road, taking care not to block field gateways or obstruct other traffic. LROS members are granted access to the reservoir grounds, including the plantation on the eastern shore, and the south-west corner and dam. To access these areas it is essential that, to comply with Health & Safety Regulations, you sign in at the Fishing Lodge, which is reached from the minor road just south-west of Caldecott. Access to the plantation is not officially permitted via the stile by the Stoke Dry layby. Ensure that you carry your membership card if visiting. It is worth pointing out that Eyebrook is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so wandering around close to the shoreline disturbing wildfowl and waders should not be carried out (and anybody found doing so will have to explain themselves to Corus). The access arrangements negotiated between LROS and Corus are designed to benefit those with an interest in the birdlife of the area, not people who want somewhere to take their dog for a walk!

Birds
The (northern) inflow end usually has muddy edges which are attractive to waders, often including large flocks of Golden Plovers and Dunlins in the winter. Autumn passage usually produces a few Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers and Spotted Redshank in addition to the commoner species. The inflow is also frequented by loafing gulls and dabbling ducks, in particular Wigeon and Teal, and Garganey in both spring and autumn. Bewick's Swans sometimes turn up on

  Eyebrook Reservoir inflow © Jim Graham
 

passage, but seem to be less frequent than formerly. The winter gull roost is best watched from the road near the 'island' - Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls are regular, with Iceland, Glaucous and more recently Caspian Gulls recorded annually. The deep water at the dam attracts diving ducks, including Goosander and Smew, as well as scarcer visitors such as divers, sea ducks or rare grebes.

Raptors which may be seen include Buzzards over nearby Stoke Dry Wood, Hobby and Ospreys, which are regular on spring and autumn passage. Barn Owls may be seen hunting around the reservoir margins and surrounding fields, and Little Owls are also resident.

   


Terns appear on spring and autumn passage, including Common, Black and Arctic, with occasional Sandwich or Little Terns. The grassy edges are particularly attractive to migrant wagtails, pipits and Wheatears in spring - one of the best areas is the south-west corner of the reservoir between the road and the dam. A feeding station is maintained by LROS at SP 848 950, and usually has good numbers of passerines including Tree Sparrows during the winter months.

  Eyebrook Res dam © Jim Graham
   

Rarities
A good number of national and local rarities have been recorded over the years, including: Leach's Petrel, Gannet, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, four American Wigeons, Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Montagu's Harrier, Black-winged Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Killdeer, Dotterel, American Golden Plover, Baird's Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Grey Phalarope, Pomarine Skua, three Caspian Terns, Whiskered Tern, four White-winged Black Terns, Puffin, Rock and Water Pipits, and Citrine Wagtail.

The shallow end ©  Jim Graham
   
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