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Recent sightings

  • 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.



    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

  • 22 June 2014

    Black Tails, Blue Tails

    It would have been nice if one of us had got a shot of the Hobby as it visited the reserve this weekend, but sadly it was not to be.

    But Lockhart got a good shot of a Black-tailed Godwit from Saltholme Pools hide yesterday.

    And a Blue-tailed Damselfly

    There are lots of these now - easy to see in the Wildlife Garden, but also on the Wildflower Walk where they were joined by dragonflies, Burnet Moths - problably Six-spot but they did not rest for long enough for me to see - and a range of butterflies. The blue of the damselflies, red of the burnet moths and the yellow of the Bird's-foot Trefoil is superb at present, so the job of opening up the reserve on the bike was a real pleasure. (Thanks to BikeStop, Darlington - a Social Enterprise (charity run) - for repairing the bike so making our tasks that much quicker.)

    The butterflies?

    Meadow Brown

    Small Tortoiseshell.

    And finally, the Great Crested Grebe chicks are growing, but still with 'humbug' heads.

    Thanks Lockhart for the photos,




    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 19 June 2014

    Exciting Sightings!

    I was unfortunately away this weekend when an amazingly rare bird was briefly seen on the reserve. 

    A hugely rare, and a first for Cleaveland Black-Winged Pratincole was seen on Friday 13 June. 

    For those that saw it, it was definitely NOT an unlucky date! 

    Posted by Lydia T

  • 16 June 2014


    With stripes like this they look like humbugs. Yes, the Great Crested Grebe chicks are out with the adults. They can also be seen riding on an adult's back whilst the other adult brings fish to eat, so just who is being taken for a ride?

    And in case you wonder what the Drinker Moth Caterpillar from my last blog looks like here is one crossing a path.

    The names - both English and Latin - come from the belief that it drinks dew.

    Thanks to Lockhart for the photos.

    As well as all this an Osprey flew over on Sunday - I missed seeing it as I was using the lawn mower at the time and looking what I was doing, avoiding the bees and caterpillars!



    Posted by Peter Langham

  • 4 June 2014

    water vole

    If you want to see a water vole, then the Wildlife Watchpoint is the place to be. Now that we're putting the apples on spikes, the voles can no longer run off with the pieces, and have to sit there and feed. I've just spent 20 minutes there watching a water vole, bank vole and hedgehog, while a water rail caught flies in the background.

    Posted by Dean H

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Your sightings

Grid reference: NZ5023 (+2km)

Black Tern ()
22 Jul 2014
Kingfisher (1)
17 Jul 2014
Seen in suitable nesting habitat
Water Rail (2)
17 Jul 2014
Recently fledged/downy young
Little Ringed Plover (1)
17 Jul 2014
Arctic Tern (3)
17 Jul 2014
Tree Sparrow (6)
17 Jul 2014
Yellow Wagtail (2)
17 Jul 2014
White Wagtail (alba) (1)
17 Jul 2014
Avocet (1)
14 Jul 2014
Seen in suitable nesting habitat
Common Sandpiper (1)
14 Jul 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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