North Hide is now closed - but our new viewing screen is open and offering excellent views over the north end of the reserve.
Top things to do in Spring
- Watch out for returning migrants, just arrived in the UK, like swallows and martins getting their first food over British soil as they swoop and swerve over the reedbeds
- Listen to the reserve coming to life as the reedbeds start to fill with the reeling song of warblers and the squealing calls of water rails, the bushes fill with birdsong and the water’s edge is filled with the tiny ringing calls of the teal
- Look for rarer plants, such as orchids, amongst the path borders splashed with the multi-coloured wonder of our spring flowers and the new green shoots of the reeds themselves, which will be two metres high in just a few weeks!
Top things to do in Summer
- Marvel at the different ducklings from light golden-coloured gadwalls through to the jet black tufted ducks that look like bobbing corks in the water
- Enjoy the flashing iridescent wings and richly-coloured bodies of darting dragonflies, the colourful flying jewellery of our butterflies and day-flying moths and the myriad of other insects and bugs that you can see, and hunt for, around the reserve
- Listen for the excited 'pinging' calls and whirring wings of parties of young bearded tits hunting noisily for insects in the reeds
Top things to do in Autumn
- Look out for the electric-blue flash of a passing kingfisher, or sit at north hide and watch it hover in front of you, as it searches for its next meal, and marvel at the diamond-sharp droplets of water cascading off its back as it emerges with its prize
- Birds of prey – a sheer feast of poetry in motion... peregrines, sparrowhawks, kestrels, harriers, hobbies and even ospreys looking for their next meals
- The wonderful changing autumn colours, especially in the early morning or evening light, as the reedbed turns first purple with flowers and then amber or golden as the low sun creates halos around every seed head
Top things to do in Winter
- A really great time to take a good look at up to eight species of wildfowl, all really close, giving you plenty of time to learn what makes them so special and to enjoy their colourful and often iridescent feathers
- The shorter days and lower water levels means you should look out for tracks (or if you are lucky, smell the poo!) that tells you the otter has been about
- As the nights draw in, it is a good time to get heron happy – as the (white) little egrets and grey (big) herons start to gather for the evening, keep an eye out for the (brown) bittern, flying low over the reeds
We haven't got any events planned here at the moment. Check out our main events pages to find something up your street (or at least quite near to it).