Draycote reservoir is situated just south-west of Rugby off the A426 at approx. SP.460.700
Draycote Reservoir is only accessible by foot or bicycle. Parking is in the new pay and display car park, directions on approach road. Parking is currently (July 2017) £3.50 per day, £2.50 for two hours or annual car parking permits £35 (Purchased from Carsington Water 01629 540696)
Strictly NO DOGS around the reservoir (only in the Country Park)
Fishing season is now March-November and there will be disturbance on the banks so it pays to get check areas for waders as early as possible in the morning (depending on water levels)
Going in a clockwise direction past the sailing club and windsurfing car park you come to the "Public access area" a grassy area with picnic tables. This area is worth checking for waders before the crowds descend (Bairdís Sandpiper in 1996)
Hensborough Bank can be good for Wheatear and Pipits.
The Overflow area sometimes has Grey Wagtail and waders to the left and right also Ducks around the concrete "jetty" this can also be a good spot for scanning the Gull roost in the evenings.
Saddle Bank for Wheatear.
Barn Bank for Wheatear looking back down the valley to the south there is usually Buzzard and Short-eared Owl has been recorded. Below near the small copse is a Tree Sparrow feeder.
The Inlet is an excellent area for passerines and sometimes Waders to the left Grey and Red-legged Partridge in the fields behind. This is probably the best spot for the Gull roost if the wind is in the right direction as the light is excellent.
Draycote Bank for Wheatear and Pipits. Below is a small pool that sometimes has Green Sandpiper and Kingfisher along the small stream. There is also a small private pool further back and is worth scanning for Wildfowl etc.
The Valve Tower and surrounding area has deeper water and attracts Goosander and occasionally Smew and Divers.
Biggin Bay is usually good for Wildfowl and passerines around the area. Little Owl is occasionally seen in the Holly Bushes around the large house behind.
When the water levels are low enough the first Island to appear is Croft Shoal opposite the car park just along from Lin Croft Point and is a magnet for Waders and Terns. (viewable November 2011 with another 2 Islands coming up)
There is a car park at Grays Barn and is usually good for Treecreeper Willow Tit and occasionally Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker.
Toft Bay and Toft Shallows can be viewed from the car parks to the north east and south of the bay and also from the new hide. It is worth checking the bushes in the corner of the bay for Warblers etc. There is a small raft, which Terns sometimes breed on, and waders roost.
There is a large car park at the start of Toft Bank and the shoreline in this corner before it turns into rocks is probably the best place for Waders even at the highest water levels.
To the left of Toft Bank is a Sewage works and filter bed and usually has Wagtails and Warblers in the reed beds. Water Rail and Jack Snipe have also been seen when the water level and cover are at the right conditions.
Toft Bank is usually good for Wheatear and occasionally Rock and Water Pipits.
Farborough Spit if the water levels are low enough is good for Waders and this corner is the best in the evening for "fly-over" Waders.
All the hedgerows around the Reservoir are worth checking as you go around for Warblers and passerines.
The "Centre" of the reservoir is worth scanning for Divers, rare Grebes, sea Duck and Gulls during the day (it is surprising how many people do not look at this area!)
Hensborough Hill at the top of the Country Park is well worth a look as it is some 65ft above the Reservoir and you have an excellent panoramic view (Skuas have been seen from here in storms) and also a possibility of grounded migrants in the right conditions.
The lower car park of the sailing club is also a good area to check.