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Post Info TOPIC: North Cave Wetlands

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RE: North Cave Wetlands

Saturday 2nd September

Great views of a juvenile Red-necked Phalarope in a flying visit. Also 5 Green Sandpipers in the same area of Island Lake; on another day you'd have stayed in the hope of a Spotted Crake; it looked ideal for one


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Saturday 17/06/23 14.00-16.45 Stockport Birdwatching Society coach trip

Arriving at North Cave in the warm mid-afternoon there was a serene atmosphere, sadly quieter than normal due to the decimation of the Black-headed Gull colony at the site, normally alive with hundreds of birds squawking and squabbling. There was still plenty to see however, with various members getting good views of Hobby, Sedge Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Garden Warbler, Avocet, Yellow Wagtail and a long-staying female Common Scoter.

Many members commented on how the reserve has developed over time and you can imagine eventually it will easily merit a full day on its own. A look on Google Maps is instructive as the full footprint of the site is over twice the size of the area currently regarded as the core reserve, and it will all be returned to wildlife in due course. I recorded 50 species in 2 hours as it stood, in the middle of the afternoon, and I missed several things other people saw. Overall the trip recorded 88 species from a very decent turnout of 44 members and guests, in lovely weather; another successful outing!

More information on the society is available at http://stockportbirders.blogspot.com/


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Originally posted today by Dave Ousey:

A midweek trip out to try to see a couple of nice birds that have begun their migration through Britain. Myself, Kevin C and Craig B left Rochdale at 10am (to hopefully miss the M62 snarl) on a warm, pleasant morning. Our plan was to head for North Cave nature reserve about 20 miles west of Hull to see a Spotted Crake that had been found there a couple of days previously. Spotted Crake breeds in Eastern Europe & Russia and is an annual overshooting migrant in Britain, not always easy to see as it hides away in marshy, bog like water fringes. This particular individual was no exception to the rule! With lots of birders already present in the hide where the bird could be seen from occasionally, we had to wait our turn to get sat at the front. After about an hour of watching Water Rails, Green Sandpipers, a birder said that the bird was moving about in the reeds and was about to emerge! A bird that is about 8 inches long at 75 yards distance is not easy to see, but we eventually had decent views of the crake as it shuffled about feeding on the edge of the vegetation. As we walked back to the car for a drink the smell of cooking bacon hit our noses, impossible to resist, and a really nice treat for us! Without looking for the Red Crested Pochard at North Cave we just almost bumped into it! Although it looked a little washed out the long body, red bill and capped head were good I.D. features. Also with 29 Little Egrets stood around together, it gave the place a more tropical feel to it. What a good reserve this is turning out to be, it used to be a gravel quarry, now being changed into a rather good nature reserve.


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Called in to the reserve for an hour or so after our trip to Swine Moor for the Baikal Teal. It would appear to have grown in size, with several more hides, since my one and only previous visit in 2011.

Of note amongst the usual, commoner wildfowl species were Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Snipe, White-fronted Goose, Red Kite and a male Marsh Harrier.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Friday 25th of March 2022 09:51:16 AM


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Saturday 13th April 10.00-12.30

An enjoyable session at North Cave with Stockport Birdwatching Society. It was a bit earlier in the spring than previous visits I've made, and significant for some of the longer-standing members as it was the 10th anniversary visit to the scene of one of the Society's best birding finds, a Spotted Sandpiper in June 2009.

There were fewer migrants present than we might have hoped for, but Avocets and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers showed really well and good numbers of Sand Martins zipped enjoyably around us. There were plenty of Blackcaps on site but no Willow, Reed or Sedge Warblers or Whitethroats, and nothing much else in the way of waders. The reserve continues to develop brilliantly but this year we were just a bit early to really see Spring in full bloom. Tell that to the colony of nesting Black-headed Gulls to be fair, which were as noisy and active as ever, and harboured the normal pair of Mediterranean Gulls true to form.

We continued to Blacktoft Sands for the afternoon.

As ever, a relaxing bit of birding in good company. Anyone interested can see more at http://stockportbirders.blogspot.com/


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Monday 17th April.

Called in briefly on way back from Spurn and picked out a fairly distant Curlew Sandpiper on one of the cells.

I didn't stop long though as it was there I realised I didn't have my bins... I'd only gone and left them on a fence post at Kilnsea Wetlands car park whilst putting my other stuff in the boot. They've been handed in and hopefully should have them soon. The power of Twitter coupled with the honesty of a random birder who found them that evening and handed them in at Kew. smile


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Malcolm and I called in this p.m. on way back from Spurn and had fabulous views of the juv. Spotted Crake(a lifer for mebiggrin).
Cheers Ian


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Thursday 25th August.
A 3 day trip to Spurn with Steve Burke and Simon Gough began with a call into North Cave.
70+ species seen in just over an hour.

- Spotted Crake juv 1 showed well for ages
- Water Rail 2, 1 ad - 1 juv
- Marsh Harrier 1 from new hide
- Kestrel 1
- Bar-headed Goose
- Shelduck
- Shoveler
- Gadwall
- Little Grebe
- Common Tern 1
- Greenshank 8
- Common Sandpiper 2
- Green Sandpiper 1
- Ringed Plover 1
- Little Ringed Plover 1
- Dunlin 1 juv
- Ruff 1
- Oystercatcher
- Redshank
- Common Snipe
- Lapwing
- Little Egret
- Grey Heron
- Red-legged Partridge 2
- Pheasant 2 dark phase juv / females?
- Kingfisher 1 (at 1 point sat on post above Crake)
- Lesser Whitethroat 1 showed well
- Whitethroat 4, probable family
- Sedge Warbler family
- Reed Warbler family
- Willow Warbler 2
- Chiffchaff 1
- Blackcap 2
- Yellow Wagtail 3
- Grey Wagtail 1 on island spit
- Pied Wagtail
- Meadow Pipit 2
- Skylark few over into field behind reserve
- Linnet
- Reed Bunting
- Sand Martin
- Swallow
- Stock Dove
- Song Thrush 2
- plus lots of usuals on this very busy birdwise reserve


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Sunday 21st August.

Jet lag, late night olympics, and a Wirral high tide, had got the better of my usual comrades so I decided on a mid-afternoon visit to try my luck and it paid off!

- Spotted Crake 1
Showed really well, at one point for best part of an hour. A lot closer than at Burton Mere but still at a distance. A cracking bird with its spotted plumage and some other good features on show including the yellowy green legs and the reddish base to the bill. Well worth the journey. Some birders think there maybe more than 1 here but I only saw 1.

Other birds of note...
- Bar-headed Goose 1
- Teal
- Little Grebe 2
- Great Crested Grebe 1
- Little Egret 1
- Common Snipe 2
- Greenshank 7, 4 in view then another 3 flew out from under the near banking
- Little Ringed Plover 3
- Dunlin (juvenile) see below???
- Sedge Warbler 1
- Reed Warbler 2
- Yellow Wagtail 5 (incl 1m and juvs)
- Reed Bunting 1
- Corn Bunting 10-15 (a reserve rarity I was told)
- Sand Martin ...a steady trickle through
- Swallow 1
- Stock Dove 1
- Common Buzzard 1

The juvenile Dunlin caused some debate with at least 2 birders on the verge of opting for Baird's Sandpiper. Some images do show some irregular black spots on the upperparts matching the Collins image somewhat but I couldn't detect the the long primary projections passed the tail so I think juvenile Dunlin.


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Sunday 29th May

Early evening visit with Simon Gough, we had to call in here as I knew it meant Simon getting a Lifer!
I've heard about North Cave many a time and passed it lots of times too. I'm glad we did call in because we'd soon got some good sightings in a roughly an hour.

The highlights...
- Glossy Ibis 2 showing very well
- Mediterranean Gull 2
- Hobby 1 circling over the reserve
- Bar-headed Goose 1
- Avocet lots around
- Oystercatcher
- Common Tern 4
- Shelduck
- Shoveler
- Sand Martins

A cracking reserve that appears to be well run, lots of birds too!


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I've been up in yorkshire all weekend, and after hearing about the temmnicks stint, I dropped in on my way home this afternoon. Thanks to some other birders, it didn't take long for me to spot the bird from the crosslands hide. However, I realised that much better views could be had from one of the viewing points along the track. Even when you realised where it was, it proved difficult to pinpoint due to its small size. Also a wood sandpiper was giving very close views from the viewing point.
2 common tern
40 avocet
200 sand martin
2 tree sparrow

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 17th of May 2015 05:57:55 PM


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we had a black swan on the pool with the tern raft that on sunday morning also,

other wise bird list similar to the one posted previously

-- Edited by jason fisher on Tuesday 14th of June 2011 06:50:23 PM


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This is a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve a couple of miles north of Junction 38 of the M62. After a visit to (fairly) nearby Blacktoft Sands, we filled in time here before moving on to Hatfield Moors. Well constructed hides overlooking several pools and a decent bird list for the site. See www.northcavewetlands.co.uk

Little Grebe
G C Grebe
Greylag Goose
LRP (2)
Common Tern
Sand Martin (250+)

Med Gull had been seen there first thing that morning.

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