Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Waterton Countryside Discovery Centre

After seeing signs for this place on numerous visits to friends in Wakefield we finally made the detour to check it out. We walked around the lake at the Anglers Country Park. Despite it being early afternoon and packed in the car park once we were walking there was enough space to enjoy the afternoon without being too crowded with people and dogs. The park is full of information boards which our little one always checks out.

There are two hides on the site, one overlooking The Pol and one overlooking an area of the lake called The Shallows. The one at The Pol seemed a little overlooked by a lot of people as it was hidden down a boardwalk, which was fine by us! It was pretty quiet with a couple of Moorhens and a few dragonflies, we did hear we had just missed a Water Rail though.

The Shallows hide was a great spot and is in a reserve area of the lake where some of the land is restricted, our friends told us that part of the are was cordoned off earlier this year when the birds were breeding.

As we walked to it there was quite a few Swallows overhead, they turned out to be nesting nearby and we actually saw 3 or 4 chicks with their wide open mouths being fed by one of the adults. Our little one loved seeing that the best I think.

From the hide we saw many Lapwing and Canada Geese, both with lots of youngsters. Three Cormorants sat on a raft and a fourth flew in while we watched. There were Crows and Starlings by the waters edge too. A Heron stood on the furthest island with it's back to us the whole time! Again there were Moorhens, with Mallards and Coots too. We saw a pair of new birds for us - Greenshank.

Our walk also produced House Martins, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Great Crested Grebes and a lone Pied Wagtail.

We will definitely be back, it will be interesting to see what other birds may turn up in The Shallows over the winter months.

Here are some of the other things we saw.

Not sure what this caterpillar is but we saw them at Rodley too.

Ruddy Darter (?)

Plenty of flora too


  1. Hi Pam, it's lovely to be back :) and what another great place you have discovered! You got some great photos too! So many signs of Autumn though, Summer seemed so short this year :(

    I don't think I have ever seen a Greenshank either, well done on that.

    I also enjoyed looking through the previous post, another great visit. I don't think I have seen a newt since I was a child and it is years since I saw a toad.

  2. It's good to have you back :-) Funny to see the signs of Autumn when we seem to be having summer all over again right now!
    Rodley nature reserve has quite a few old doors set into the ground that you can lift up, we always find something underneath them, I don't remember ever seeing a newt before?

  3. Hi Pam. Some lovely images and sightings from your Waterton visit. How delighted you must have been to see the elegant Greenshanks. FAB.

    BTW I think your Darter is a Common from the lighter colouring and yellow patches on the thorax. The Ruddy male is slightly smaller and has an obvious waisted blood-red abdomen but they can be difficult to tell apart depending on their age and the light.

  4. Thanks for the comments. I've had a look at some photos of the Darters and it does look like a Common, maybe an immature one. I just assumed it was a Ruddy as they were shown on the info boards as being commonly seen!
    Elegant is certainly a good word to describe the Greenshanks

  5. I enjoyed your postPam, I've never come across this place before. Lovely photo details of the foliage around the area, those Guelder Rose berries are wonderful aren't they.

  6. Hi Linda, It is a little bit hidden away down the country roads! I'm using the berries as wallpaper on my pc at the moment :-)