North Cave Wetlands

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north cave
The birds

The birds

North Cave Wetlands was acquired by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 2000 and a great deal of work has been undertaken to create a reserve that supports over 170 species of breeding, wintering and passage birds, 200 plant species and 24 butterfly species.
Photo Ian Lavender

A variety of habitats are managed by controlling the water levels. One lake has been planted with reeds to create an extensive reedbed, which will provide summer breeding for reed warblers and reed buntings (above). Another lake provides an ideal breeding ground for ringed plover, little ringed plover, oystercatcher, redshank and avocet. Shallow mud ledges are an ideal feeding area for waders and dabbling ducks, and diving ducks such as goldeneye, pochard and smew all use the deeper water. Sand cliffs provide nesting habitat for sand martins and kingfishers, whilst ground nesting birds such as skylark, meadow pipit and redshank breed in the grassland areas.

Hedgerows of hawthorn, blackthorn, and elm, together with an alder woodland, provide food and shelter for wintering goldfinch, redpoll and siskin. An area of cereal crops that is planted but not harvested, supports finches, buntings and tree sparrows in winter. Hobby, merlin and peregrine falcon all hunt over the reserve throughout the year. Common blue, small skipper and wall brown butterflies are seen frequently and several species of dragonfly have been recorded including migrant hawker and four-spotted chaser.

Water levels on the reserve are controlled throughout the year via a system of sluices. The water is highest in the winter months, covering the islands and killing off the vegetation. It is then slowly lowered to reveal bare mud to provide feeding areas for migrating waders. The grassland areas are mown annually in late summer after the breeding lapwings have fledged their young. The cereal field is ploughed at the beginning of spring to re-seed the field; it is left unploughed over winter to provide food for passerines.

Bird photographs from North Cave Wetlands
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North Cave Wetlands blogs and links
North Cave Wetlands Local Services
Birding Walks at North Cave Wetlands

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Yorkshire |  North Cave Wetlands

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