Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Alkborough Flats

 Yesterday's was my first visit to this fantastic and relatively new site. Placed on north Lincolnshire, where the Trent River meets the Humber bridge, by the somewhat misleading name of Trent Falls, the reserve was born in the autumn of 2006, where the bank was breached in a managed realignment scheme allowing the Humber to flood over 400 acres of fields. Habitat management since then has created a diversity of habitats, including extensive reedbeds, lagoons and saltmarsh. It is a beautiful location, with impressive views of the landscape surrounding the site from the cliff where the village of Alkborough is perched: the Humber and Blacktoft Sands and Whitton Sands in the distance. The dead tree trunks scattered across the reedbeds make for very atmospheric views. There are also some wooded patches on the cliff near the reserve.
 A cold, a bit breezy, but sunny morning, it didn't take long to see a large group of Bearded Tits feeding on the dry reed seedheads performing their acrobatics. At some point, three Marsh Harriers were visible gliding over the reeds. We visited three hides, by far the most interesting is a tall hide overlooking the reserve, were we saw a Kingfisher, a pair of Grey Herons and a regular pass of Bearded tits and Reed Buntings. Geese, Lapwing and Golden Plover flocks fed on the grassland, occasionally spooked into flight.
A western hide facing mudflats provided good views of Teal, Shoveler, Lapwing, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits preening, with a flock of Dunlin and Shelduck feeding on the mud.
A panel showing a map of Alkborough Flats
A male and a female Bearded Tit feeding on the reeds. At some point three males were visible.
A female feeding
View from the tall hide

View from the western hide
More information
Article at Wildlife Extra.

Site location map

Bird list
  1. Bearded Tit
  2. Black-headed Gull
  3. Black-tailed Godwit
  4. Blackbird
  5. Blue Tit
  6. Canada Goose
  7. Carrion Crow
  8. Common Gull
  9. Cormorant
  10. Curlew
  11. Dunnock
  12. Fieldfare
  13. Goldcrest
  14. Golden Plover
  15. Goldfinch
  16. Greenfinch
  17. Grey Heron
  18. Greylag Goose
  19. Jackdaw
  20. Jay
  21. Kestrel
  22. Kingfisher
  23. Lapwing
  24. Little Egret
  25. Mallard
  26. Marsh Harrier
  27. Moorhen
  28. Pheasant
  29. Redshank
  30. Redwing
  31. Reed Bunting
  32. Robin
  33. Rook
  34. Shelduck
  35. Shoveler
  36. Starling
  37. Stock Dove
  38. Teal
  39. Water Rail
  40. Woodpigeon
  41. Wren 
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