Where Birding meets Logistics
If you have a sense of adventure, a pioneering spirit and you are willing to risk being hit by an HGV, while getting covered in mud, then read on …
The busy A5, just north of Crick, may not at first sight seem an ideal birding location but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Sandwiched between this major road and the M1 is a 250-hectare wedge of land currently under development by Prologis as an extension to the long-established Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal.
DIRFT 3 represents the third phase in this continually expanding logistics complex, which already includes national distribution centres for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Royal Mail, as well as those of a number of other well-known retailers and third party logistics operators. The project is a joint venture between Prologis and Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership, with construction taking place on the former Rugby radio station site, the masts of which have now been removed.
But back to the here and now. Levelling of the site is well under way and, as a spin-off, some sizeable shallow lagoons and pools have been inadvertently created as a result of standing rain water on the recently created flat earth surfaces. While some of these are inaccessible, deep within the construction site, one area in particular is readily viewable from the A5 – if you don’t mind the proximity of thundering traffic! Parking is also a problem but possible with care in the limited number of narrow pull-ins and lay-bys.
Having stumbled across it by accident while driving along the A5, I have visited this site a good number of times over the last month, recognising its potential for gulls in particular, and I’ve been lucky (or persistent) enough to find Glaucous and Caspian Gulls there. Its location is prime for receiving gulls, which roost at nearby Draycote Water (Warwickshire) 13 km to the south-west and feed on Shawell Landfill (Leicestershire) 5 km to the north and it seems logical to assume there is movement between all three sites. I’m hoping the new Lilbourne Meadows LNR will continue to attract them long after DIRFT 3 is completed.