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Recent sightings

  • 25 August 2014

    Why We Like Mud

    We put a lot of effort into creating mud to give ideal feeding places for the waders. Many different invertebrates live in mud and birds have evolved to probe for them, but the bill can get a little dirty...

    ... as this Lapwing shows. We can expect flocks of these to be on the reserve over winter, along with Golden Plovers - the first of which were seen this week end. On a crisp winter's day when the low sun catches a flock in flight they look magical.

    Not all our birds probe in the mud, some catch fish.

    This Little Grebe has found a meal.

    Thanks to Lockhart for the photos taken on Saturday.

    He also caught a shot of Little Egrets fighting

    and a Meadow Pippit.

    Peter

     

    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 19 August 2014

    Glossy Ibis on Fire Station Field

    We are working on getting the water levels correct and today we put a pump to move water from bottom tank to the fire station field. Just as we were about to bring the pump back to our workshop a Glossy Ibis landed just where the water was flowing onto the field. We had no choice but to collect the pump, and although we got a good look it did fly, first to bottom tank, then farther away.

    I did not have a camera so to see the bird follow the link which will take you to Frampton Marsh (which is where our former assistant warden, Toby Collett, is now the warden).

    Luckily our bird returned to the fire station field just as we were locking the reserve so it could be around tomorrow.

    Peter

     

    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 29 July 2014

    Leaf-cutter Bee

    Not everything in our Wildlife Garden goes to plan. We had planted a musk rose (Rosa moschata) to give scented, single flowers around a seat. Bees love single flowers and the birds eat the hips. However, it has been slow to grow and has no flowers. But I had noticed there were bits taken from the leaves.

    I suspected the culprit, but on Sunday got the evidence while I was working in the garden - Leaf-cutter Bees were making their nests in one of the logs.

    This is the evidence seen today - the bits of rose leaf neatly rolled and placed in the log, but I did not see a bee this time.

    Close inspection showed several other insects - many good for the garden - also using cracks in this and other logs.

    Well worth a look but for the time being it is best not to use the logs as seats! Someone with a good camera may even be able to get a good shot of a bee for us.

    Peter

    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 27 July 2014

    Weekend Photos, 26th July

    As Josh was talking about thistles in his last blog here is a photo of some.

    Lockhart saw this Linnet on thistles on Saturday. For the next few weeks there will be lots of seeds from thistles and other weeds so the seed-eating birds - Gold Finches most noticably - do not need to visit the feeding stations quite so often. The finches will be seen in the coarse vegetation eating these seeds and are less interested in the food we provide - I have noticed less nyger seed being eaten on the reserve.

    Other birds search for food in mud.

    A couple of Snipe

    And a Lapwing.

    The storm surge of last December had damaged the pumps which provide our water so making control of the mud rather difficult. But his weekend some water was once again being pumped to us, and with luck, we will be able to control the levels to give these birds lots of food-rich mud.

    The CommonTerns have now fledged and it seems there is a little confusion as this offering of food is a courting ritual.

    The photo I don't have is of the White-winged Black Tern which has been showing well today from the Visitor Centre and Paddy's Pool hide, but follow the link to get a look - including shots from today.

    Thanks to Lockhart for these photos.

    Not all of the reserve is visible to the public, and for obvious reasons this includes our workshop area, but at about 0830 hrs yesterday our Swallows fledged and we can report four healthy youngsters which should be seen well from the cafe balcony.

    Peter

    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 12 July 2014

    White winged black tern

    We currently have a white winged black tern feeding over Back Saltholme and Saltholme West Pools.

    Posted by Dean H

  • 29 June 2014

    As seen from the hides

    Widlife Watchpoint is still attracting the Water Voles

    Our guide Brian D saw this one on Saturday, but as Lockhart found out it is not the only mammal.

    He saw this weasel on the same day just by the vole feeding station.

    This side of the hide gives excellent views of the Water Rail family

    Dean in his blog earlier this week talked about the Roseate Terns, and to give a comparison with Common Terns look at this shot from Lockhart.

     

    For a good chance of seeing Garganay young then either Wildlife Watchpoint or Phil Stead hides are where they are showing well - until one of our guides wants to get a picture for my blog!

    Lets end with a show of bravado

    A Black-tailed Godwit with attitude as Lockhart says.

    Thanks to Brian and Lockhart for the photos.

    Peter

     

    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 27 June 2014

    Garganey broods

    This afternoon, we've seen two female garganey with 11 chicks in the Watchpoint Cut. There appears to be a brood of 10 and another of 1, which is smaller than the other 10. The 10 have begun to feather, and the 1 chick is still downy. There are also 3 water rail chicks in the cut.

    Posted by Dean H

  • 25 June 2014

    Roseate terns

    We currently have two roseate terns on a spit of mud in the main lake, visible from the Visitor Centre. We have guides with telescopes on the birds.

    Posted by Dean H

  • 23 June 2014

    Dragonfly ponds 23.06.2014

    A survey of the Dragonfly Ponds this morning brought some surprises. Amongst the 4 spotted chaser skirmishes, the north pond had two common hawkers emerging, while the southern pond had 10+ newly emerged emerald damselflies and even a new common darter. it is exceptionally early for these species and I wouldn't normally expect to see any of these 3 until mid July. It's amazing what a mild winter and warm spring can do for aquatic insects. What is also interesting is that common hawker normally breed in acidic water, and one would expect to see southern hawkers emerging from these ponds, as they are the large hawker of neutral water in this region. Maybe southern hawkers will emerge later ?

    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.

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Your sightings

Grid reference: NZ5023 (+2km)

Glossy Ibis ()
30 Aug 2014
Spoonbill (1)
30 Aug 2014
Marsh Harrier ()
30 Aug 2014
Spotted Redshank (4)
30 Aug 2014
Garganey (1)
29 Aug 2014
Common Sandpiper ()
28 Aug 2014
Water Rail ()
28 Aug 2014
Curlew Sandpiper (1)
28 Aug 2014
Ruff (1)
26 Aug 2014
Black-tailed Godwit (1)
25 Aug 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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