Sunday, 28 May 2017

North Cave Wetlands

We spent a few hours at the Wetlands on Saturday morning, apart from getting caught in a brief downpour just before we left it was really hot and sunny.

First things first though, we got bacon sandwiches cafe there and watched the Acovets as we ate, a couple of Mallards and Sparrows were around our feet and there are signs up saying not to feed the birds!

I'd seen on twitter that a Little Gull and Mediterranean Gull have been seen on the lake and I managed to pick out the Med Gull from the Turret hide amongst all the BH Gulls, no luck with the Little though.

We also saw Herring and Common Gulls, Little Egret, Shoveler, Shelduck, Greylag Geese, Pochard, Common Tern, Oystercatcher, Lapwing amongst others.

This Rook was taking a drink from the pond.

As we watched Dragonflies in the grass by the maize field my daughter walked ahead and came across a Green Woodpecker on the path in front of her! By the time she had got our attention it had flown across to the other side of the field, too far for my camera but it lingered on a fence post in the sun for a while so we got good views before it flew down into the grass. This Woodpigeon wasn't quite as flighty though.

My husband saw a Grass Snake but by the time I got there with the camera it had gone. I've yet to see a snake in the wild in the UK!

There were plenty of Butterflies about, we saw Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Orange-Tip, Small White, Common Blue and also Carpet and Burnet moths. Most stayed on the wing but I caught a couple.

The Dragonflies were pretty flighty too today but a gentleman pointed out this one that kept settling in the same spots as it flew around one of the ponds, just stunning!

Four Spotted Chaser

Then this one, which perched nearby, some help on the ID and I'm told this is a Teneral Blue-Tailed Damselfly. I looked up Teneral, which i'd not heard before and found it means an insect which has recently moulted. It's always good to learn something new!

There were lots of Beetles and Ladybirds in the grass too.

Seven Spot Ladybird

Soldier Beetle

This one was my absolute favourite, we saw a few around. I knew it was a Longhorn and again a little help with the id and it's a Golden-Bloomed Grey Longhorn!

From the Turret hide we watched a Kestrel hunting and saw Little Ringed Plovers running around. Avocets chased off a Great Blacked Back Gull, which looked like it had something in it's mouth. 

The Gulls were all waiting on the lake at the opposite side of the hide! The Gulls were in various states of plumage so I figure the photo's I took here will be great to practice my ID skills on......


  1. Wonderful post and photos Pam - looks a superb reserve and some great sightings. I am sure you will get to see a snake in the wild soon - have only ever seen 3 grass snakes and one adder in the whole of my life! Every encounter is special though and becomes etched in memory. Adders are thought to be extinct in Warwickshire these days :( My husband and son saw a grass snake on a canal walk a few years ago - you might know I missed it - I had lingered to try and get a damselfly photo!!!

    1. Thank you :) That's exactly what I was trying to do this time! It's a shame they're extinct there, we do have them in day!

  2. Lovely collection of photos - I love the longhorn beetle! what a shame you missed the snake! I like snakes. I once saw a baby adder out on a walk and I've seen a few grass snakes in the garden but not for a long time, sadly.

    1. Thanks Louise, the beetle is definitely a favourite! How lovely, I need to stop looking up so much I think and start paying more attention for snakes!

  3. The chicks in your photos are darling! Rarely do I get to see gulls with chicks...and good work with your insect macros! I love the host of the antenna....Snakes are always slithering through my yard in fact the other day Annie, one of my dogs, found one laying in her favorite spot under a low hanging shrub...she got him on the move pretty fast,,,I had to intervene...we have venomous and nonvenomous snakes, this one was harmless, thank goodness!

    1. Aren't they! We do get quite a few Gull colonies around and about here. Thanks, the beetle was great. I have seen a snake in Florida years ago, we only have one venomous snake in the UK and luckily not where I live. I guess you really have to know your snakes if you get them in your yard!