Cambridgeshire Bird Club
     

Cottenham Long Drove

Long Drove is the name of a road which runs north along the eastern edge of Cottenham. The Drove can be accessed by taking the road from Landbeach to Cottenham and turning right on the outskirts of Cottenham just before the 30 mph sign. In the past, the main interest was a small flash which is 1.8 miles along the Drove on the right-hand side. However, activity on the Donarbon's landfill site has seriously depleted this habitat and the replacement habitat further north is nothing like as productive.

This was a sad loss to a productive habitat so near to Cambridge, as small numbers of Redshank, Lapwing,  Common Snipe and Shoveller bred in the area around the flash and the flash itself attracted small numbers of passage waders and was particularly good for Green Sandpipers. Turtle Doves were often seen around the flash in autumn. The list of rarer species seen included White Stork (2002), Little Egret, Honey Buzzard, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Red-backed Shrike (2000).

One of the main attractions of Cottenham Long Drove now is the large number of gulls to be seen on the Donarbon landfill and in the fields adjacent to the drove. It is one of the most reliable places to see Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls at any time of year, but particularly in winter, as well as regular Glaucous and Iceland Gulls. A Ring-billed Gull was seen once on the landfill. It is important to stay in your car to avoid disturbing the gulls.

There are many delapidated farm buildings at various points up the drove, a number of which contain breeding Barn Owls and Little Owls.  These are often easy to see in the evenings

The drove is now popular with dog-walkers and joggers and is a popular venue for local birdwatchers who have seen Osprey, Waxwings, and Montagus Harrier in recent years

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