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Recent sightings

  • 22 April 2014

    Scaup and other migrants

    There is a male scaup on Bottom Tank visible from Phil Stead Hide. Other migrants yesterday included whimbrel, little ringed plover, common sandpiper and 7 wheatear. There were also 3 yellow wagtail and a pair of avocets which look like they may attempt to breed.

    Posted by Dean H

  • 22 April 2014

    Two pairs of garganey

    We've had two pairs of garganey for over a week now, with one pair seen mating, so it would appear that both are likely to breed. One pair can be seen from the Watchpoint Hide, although they are seen infrequently through gaps in the reeds. The other pair move between Bottom Tank and the Fire Station Field.

    Posted by Dean H

  • 19 April 2014

    Easter Arrivals

    As you will have seen from Josh's last blog the Grasshopper Warblers are here. First heard - and seen - last Sunday they are now in full voice. When I was opening up the reserve this morning there were at least three near the visitor centre and car park. If you haven't heard this song then try our car park in the morning - the reserve opens at 10 a.m. but the car park is open from 8 a.m.

    The Garganey were in front of the Wildlife Watchpoint Hide just after we opened - Dean has blogged about these. And was that a Red Kite high in the sky?

    Finally, three Yellow Wagtails have turned up but no one managed a photo today, so follow the link for more details on this bird.


    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 13 April 2014

    Garganey from Phil Stead Hide

    The pair of garganey have returned to Bottom Tank, and this morning were observed by visitors mating in front of the Phil Stead Hide. They have now gone into the reeds at the back of Bottom Tank.

    Posted by Dean H

  • 9 April 2014


    A splendid pair of garganey have arrived today, and have moved from the Fire Station Field, to Bottom Tank visible from the Phil Stead Hide and then into Middle Tank. A ruff is also on the Fire Station Field.

    This is an example of a ruff in summer plumage courtesy of Mike Richards via RSPB images. 

    Posted by Dean H

  • 7 April 2014

    Sand martins

    The sand martins are back!

    There were well over 40 this morning, inspecting the holes in the sand martin bank, visable from the Visitor Center. 

    Sand martins spend to winter months in Africa and return to breed here in the UK every year

    Posted by Dean H

  • 4 April 2014

    Water vole, harvest mouse, green winged teal and twite

    The green winged teal is still around in the afternoons and 20 ish twite are still around the clayfield. A water vole is feeding on apples and carrots from a custom made water vole feeding table at the Watchpoint Hide, but it appears very sporadically. If you want to see it, be prepared for a long wait ! A harvest mouse was seen yesterday under the Watchpoint feeders. Lets hope for more of that !

    Posted by Dean H

  • 24 March 2014

    Guest Blog - Dave Braithwaite, Site manager

    Just been out to Cowpen Marsh, half a mile up the road from the visitor centre, to look at some work we had done there last week. The massive storm surge on 5th December last year flooded the marsh and the brinefield at the other side of the road. All in all, 200 ha (about 450 acres) were under water and considerable damage was left in its wake.

    We took Cowpen Marsh back in hand three years ago through an agreement with the landowner. In the 1970`s, by an arrangement with ICI who owned the marsh then, it was an RSPB reserve in its own right. That agreement ran out and over time the marsh dried up. With some clever engineering works since we took it back, the marsh is marshy again and wetland birds thrive once more.

    It was great to see that the damaged dam had been repaired perfectly and was holding water. Amongst the birds I enjoyed during my brief visit were hundreds of Wigeon and Teal, about 30 Barnacle Geese and a rare Egyptian Goose. Amongst the Graylag and Canada Geese was a single Pink-Footed Goose and as I left the marsh a Green-Sandpiper obligingly popped out of a ditch in front of me. Truly amazing as my records show that on a visit the same time three years ago there was `nowt`!

    Posted by Lydia T

  • 12 March 2014

    Saltholme Hide and green winged teal

    Unfortunatley, work is still in progress trying to sort the drainage at Saltholme Hide. However, the hide is open again, and I'm pleased to announce that even after two days of pneumatic drilling, the green winged teal is still there. He's also been getting up a bit earlier, about 11.30 today ! Remaining works to the hide will not require closure and will be a bit quieter. There are also good numbers of twite around (40-60) and lesser redpoll still using the Phil Stead Hide feeding station.

    Posted by Dean H

How you can help

We're setting up an emergency fund that we can use to get our reserves back into shape and repair the damage caused. Please help us rebuild from the worst storm in 60 years.

Donate now

Your sightings

Grid reference: NZ5023 (+2km)

Green-winged Teal (1)
3 Apr 2014
Grasshopper Warbler (1)
24 Apr 2014
Singing/breeding calls heard
Long-tailed Duck (2)
24 Apr 2014
Black Tern (1)
24 Apr 2014
Arctic Tern (1)
24 Apr 2014
Water Rail (1)
18 Apr 2014
Avocet (2)
18 Apr 2014
Wheatear (2)
18 Apr 2014
Tree Sparrow (6)
18 Apr 2014
Yellow Wagtail (3)
18 Apr 2014

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 54.600995,-1.217496
  • Postcode: TS2 1TU
  • Grid reference: NZ506231
  • Nearest town: Middlesbrough
  • County: Cleveland
  • Country: England

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