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Post Info TOPIC: New RSPB reserve at Saltholme Tees Marshes


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RE: New RSPB reserve at Saltholme Tees Marshes


If you want a "real" Teesside reserve you could always try South Gare, at the back of the steel works. A yummy place full of smoking slag heaps and scrub, not many social walkers there. Bring your own sandwiches and work out where to go for a pee.

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Thanks for the info Mike. Im heading to Hartlepool shortly and hope to call in for a morning and/or afternoon.

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I've paid a couple of visits to the new reserve over the last few weeks and have been very impressed with the set up there.
At present the lavish main centre is open, complete with shop, restaurant, and toilets. Its big picture windows overlook one of the newly excavated pools. (It was here that the New Year's Glaucous -winged Gull was first noticed, so some of you will probably have visited already).
A walk of a few hundred yards (past an area with more newly dug but as yet sparse looking pools and new boardwalks) takes one to another more conventional hide. This is nicely screened by landscaped embankments (and is similar to the first one you come to at Leighton Moss, once you leave the centre there). This hide overlooks pools with an existing backdrop of phragmites reeds and looks really promising for wintering duck and short-eared owls/ marsh harriers etc. with excellent chances already of pulling in decent/good migrants soon.
Next Friday (March 6th) will see the opening of the latest hide, (the Saltholme Pools Hide), the approach to which is again well screened. This is a large camouflaged circular affair which presently one can only see from afar, but it occupies an apparently brilliant position with commanding views over the main Satholme pools, and Back Saltholme pools.
Another hide (Paddy's Pool Hide) and walks out to the western section of the reserve, are planned for availability and access in the summer.
In entirety, the reserve is at the heart of a brilliant birding area which is well watched by avid competent birders on a daily basis and rarities are both expected and encountered regularly.
We visited yesterday and saw 6 out of 7 species of geese in the area (Greylags, Canadas, (D.Bellied) Brent, (Greenland) Whitefront, Pink-Feet, 1 Tundra Bean Goose), We failed to see Barnacles, which were known to be around.
Among the thousands of gulls flying round in the area of the Cowpen Bewley tip I scanned for a few minutes at extreme range from the RSPB hide and noted an adult Glaucous/Iceland (too far to be certain even at x60). Last month searching for the G.WGull from the closest bit of road I readily found two first winter Glaucous on the tip. It's a case of the longer you scan, the more you will turn up here.
For any of you planning a visit in the spring, a full day/weekend doing the whole area is to be recommended; though be warned, it's not as "pretty" as Norfolk!
You can see details at :
www.rspb.org.uk/saltholme


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