Owned and managed by the Lower Ure Conservation Trust, this reserve has evolved into a very important wetland and grassland area.  It offers excellent habitat for wildlife, birds, plants, mammals and insects.  Today our quest concentrated on birds, although several members were able to examine many spring wild flowers and plants as we made our way along the paths.

11 members of the bird watching group gathered in the main car park of the reserve at 09.30am.  The weather was quite promising; overcast but no rain.  However, the water level in all the lakes was significantly high.  We began our day in the Main Hide.  So many interesting species to view from there, including Sand Martins swooping across the water.  Other species seen:-  Black-headed Gull, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Wigeon, Coot, Redshank, Mute Swan, Goldeneye, Gadwall, Pintail, Curlew, Canada Goose, Black-tailed Godwit, Red Kite, Magpie and Buzzards, a male and female together on the hedging across the main lake.

Our next venue was the Tanfield Hide and more species to spot:-  Mallard, Pied Wagtail, Pheasant, Greylag Goose, Shelduck and Great Crested Grebe.

Walking on the path towards North Lake and the viewing screen, we passed the dipping ponds and continued along the footpath, clearly hearing the Chiffchaff, but unable to see the bird.

From the viewing screen we spotted Dunlin, Ruff, Avocet, Lesser Black-backed Gull, more Curlew and many more Oystercatchers.

We gathered for lunch in The Quarry Visitors Centre.  Afterwards making our way through the restored areas for nature, along good footpaths towards the lakes and reed beds.

Further species seen:-  Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Feral Pigeon, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Little Grebe, Ringed Plover, Great White Egret, Heron, Cormorant and Green Woodpecker (spotted in the same area when we visited this site one year ago).  Finally, a Tawny Owl sheltering in an opening on the side of a tall dead tree.

Another successful and enjoyable day.  Total sightings 46.

Judith Goodings