Places to see birds

Astonfields Balancing Lakes Local Nature Reserve (SJ 9224)

This compact reserve, set just off an industrial estate on the north-eastern edge of Stafford, comprises two shallow lakes providing ideal habitat for Water Rail, Snipe and Jack Snipe.

The northern lake is mostly open water with a small amount of emergent vegetation. In contrast, the southern lake contains little open water throughout most of the year. The site was a salt works until the 1960s, and now this inland salt marsh provides a very special habitat.

The hedgerows and woodland fringing the reserve provide habitat for a range of warblers. Bulfinch, Siskin, Redwing and Sparowhawk are also possibilities.

Access to the reserve can be obtained via Drummond Road, next to Schott Glass.

For more information visit http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/live/cme4754.htm