Friday, 27 February 2009

Sparrow central

Wednesday 25th February 2009
The North Cave Wetlands reserve run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is a suberb example of how a former quarry can be designed for the benefit of birds and birdwatchers. I'd never been there before but I thoroughly enjoyed my couple of hours at the site. The hides are full of up to date information and well positioned.
I was lured by the report of a Green winged Teal but despite a thorough inspection of the 200+ Common Teal their American counterpart could not be found. The wetland is just at the end of the M62 and worth the slight detour on route to the more illustrious birding sites further east such as Spurn or Filey. What made my day was the sheer number of Tree Sparrows at a feeding station, I would estimate in excess of 60 birds. I also had great views of Red Kite which I understand is doing really well in this part of Yorkshire. Other birds seen were Mealy Redpoll, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and all the commoner Duck species.
The other feature of this reserve was the hospitality, there was no attempt to make money out of the visitors, you got the impression they liked to share their reserve with newcomers, something that is not always the case in Warwickshire. The refreshment van in the Car park was a gem, homemade cakes and sensible prices. Its worth going just for the homemade Bakewell tart let alone the birds.

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