Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve

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Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve
The reserve

The reserve

Blacktoft Sands tidal reedbed is the second largest in Britain and lies on the south side of the Humber estuary where the river's Ouse and Trent meet.It is an important breeding site for bearded tits, marsh harriers and bitterns, and also boasts the largest concentration of breeding reed warblers (right) and reed buntings in northern England .A series of saline lagoons attract a variety of breeding and migrant waders, including Avocets.
The grazing marshes are important for wintering ducks such as Pochard, Teal and Wigeon and waders such as Golden Plover.Wintering birds of prey include Merlin , Peregrine, Short-eared owl and regular Hen Harrier. The RSPB hold special Hen harrier viewing days in winter.
Spring and autumn bring many passage waders to the brackish lagoons including Little Stint, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff.Rare migrants have included Hobby, Montagu's harrier, Black tern and Spoonbill.
The breeding season has Lapwing, Snipe and Redshank nesting along with Avocet (around 20 pairs 2006), Shelduck, Ruddy Duck, Shoveler and Gadwall.Birds of prey include Marsh Harrier and Barn Owl which use boxes provided on the reserve. The areas of willow scrub provides food and nest sites for tree sparrows and whitethroats and are a regular spot for Long-eared Owl at the right time of the year.
Over 270 species of bird have been recorded on the reserve and 60 of these have bred. The reserve has six observation hides, a reception centre, a picnic area, toilets and a car park.

RSPB Explorer Backpacks are available for children to use on the reserve. These contain binoculars, bug viewers, wildlife guides and activity booklets. Some of the special events are particularly suitable for families. These include open days and bat and moth nights.Further details are available from the RSPB (see UK conservation organisations)

Click here for the reserve location and map.

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The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Yorkshire |  Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve

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