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Post Info TOPIC: RSPB / Teesmouth Marshes


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RSPB / Teesmouth Marshes


- Nice to have 2 Manchester birders and their wives up here yesterday as our guests, (John Rayner and John Tromans, et alia).
We nipped out for a couple of hours in the afternoon on impulse, primarily to visit RSPB Saltholme, (about 33 miles from where I live in Wolsingham).

Several hundred pairs of common Terns have already nested on the new reserve, many of these on the island in front of "Paddy's Pool" hide, though it was pointed out that many of the later chicks now on show will not be mature enough to survive and migrate.
From this hide, we noted two Greenshanks, a Black-tailed Godwit, and two of the scatter of up to 7/8 Little Egrets, (now seemingly always somewhere to be seen on the reserve).
We had strolled round to here after an initial look in at the main centre and then the Wildlife Watchpoint hide, (which it had to be said was rather "steady" with a scatter of Coots, a few Little Grebe and Mallard and Gadwall, but not much else). Between the latter and the main centre, the newly constructed boardwalk was already being utilised by children and families enjoying some exploratory pond dipping. Phragmites has been planted here in strategically placed clumps and will no doubt be developing into a nice new reedbed within another 2/3 years.
The main attraction on the reserve was the presence of yet another Pectoral Sandpiper viewable from the Saltholme Pools hide. This we found alongside a single Ruff, with two Wood Sandpipers (an adult and a juvenile) in close attendance, though not quite in the same binocular view, pattering around a shallow pool in the background, with a Dunlin.
As the reserve closes at 5 pm and the hides get locked at 4.30pm, we strolled back to the main centre.
Here the staff advised that they have now opened for access the path out towards the vantage point overlooking the mature Haverton Hole phragmites reed beds. It was here in the early summer that a first year Purple Heron put in a brief appearance(Saturday evening and Sunday only).
From the reserve we drove off to Greatham Creek, a couple of miles beyond the traffic island down the road towards Seaton Carew and Hartlepool.
Although the tide was fully in and the only waders visible were several dozen Curlew, loafing in tall rank grass some hundreds of yards distant, we nevertheless picked up the calls of a Whimbrel, which then revealed itself by obligingly flying across in front of our vantage point and perching on the creek side opposite, where it foraged for some minutes before tucking away its bill and dozing off in the afternoon sunshine.
At low tide over recent weeks there have been up to 26 Avocets viewable from here(adults, and young hatched locally).
All in all, a very worthwhile little outing, (with quite a few species (5)which I still have yet to see in Greater Manchester!)



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