We made the most of a trip to Newport, Hull for a family reunion this weekend and squeezed in a couple of hours birding beforehand. I asked on Birdforum if there was anywhere close by and found out that the wetlands were 10 minutes away from where we were going.
It was around 10 when we got there and we spent a good couple of hours walking around and checking out the three hides. There is a map available here and the actual reserve was easy to find and well signposted.
Our first Ladybirds of the year were found right by the first information board though they were hidden in the shade a little.
At the first hide which overlooks the village lake we were impressed by all of the information and guides on the walls. Plenty to help you make identifications of what you were seeing. We saw plenty too - there were Black Headed Gulls all over the reserve and they were certainly noisy as were the many Greylag Geese!
I got my first ever sighting here of Avocet, there were quite a few out on the lake and I was very pleased to see such an iconic bird. It's one i've always known since becoming a member of the YOC as a child! Nearby we saw 2 Snipe wading (an id I was helped with by another birder in the hide - thank you!) and a Little Ringed Plover running about on the sand.
There was no chance of any kind of decent photos of the birds so I stuck with the scenic views and will say that some of white dots on this one are Avocets!
The second hide overlooking the Island Lake was the biggest i've ever been in and very cold with the windows open too! But what a view, we could see, Avocet, Lapwing, BH Gulls, some other gulls which I didn't id but they were huge, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Redhsank, Teal amongst others. We spent a while looking from all sides till the little one got too fidgety.
She could run off a bit of steam as we walked around the maize field, which gave me my first sighting of a Yellowhammer when two landed in the middle and ran about a while. The reedbed lake had two more Little Ringed Plovers, Redshank, Mute Swans, Lapwing and on the far side a huge number of Woodpigeons on the banking.
A nice little pathway led around the top end of the reserve and there was plenty of birdsong as we walked. Blue Tits, Chaffinch and Blackbirds were all around. Another first for this year were a few Swallows above our heads and Sand Martins over the water.
We had the south hide (which is accessed from the road) to ourselves for a while. There was a Great Crested & Little Grebe diving in front of us then a Cormorant popped up too. We had taken the scope I bought from Aldi, which i'd only ever tried out in the garden so far and though not as impressive looking as some we saw our little scope did quite well. I managed to id a Wigeon at the far side of the Main Lake and watch the Cormorant drying it's wings across there too.
The full list of birds we saw there with the lifers in bold. That 100 is getting closer!
Black Headed Gull
Great Crested Grebe
Little Ringed Plover