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RSPB Walsall Local Group

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Field Trip: Top HIl Low Nature Reserve

1 September 2002

This was the group's first visit to this reserve, a water treatment works situated alongside the River Hull, north of Beverley in Yorkshire.

The reserve consists of two deep reservoirs, shallow lagoons with scrubland and woodland copses surrounding the wildlife centre and car park, with eleven hides; all of which provided good views. As the site is just eight miles from the east coast, a September visit was hoped to produce a wide variety of passage waders, with the possibility of a rarity equal likely.

We started at the appropriately named 'D' reservoir, which had several species of duck, all in some stage of eclipse, giving us an opportunity to test our skills of identification. A pair of raptors were seen high above a distant wood, they eventually flew very close to the reservoir and came in low over Barmston Drain, allowing identification as a female and juvenile Marsh Harrier.

The hot weather meant the birds weren't showing very well and a walk through woodland only produced fleeting glimpses of Blue and Coal Tits.

The afternoon was more productive as we went to the lagoons and found a number of waders such as Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, eight Ruff, Water Rail, Greenshank, Snipe and Lapwing. The highlight of the day was probably seeing Little Gull, about ten of which were fishing over 'D' Reservoir.

I would certainly recommend a visit to this reserve as the year- round bird list is impressive. However, following a round trip of 330 miles and given the birds we saw, I would only re-visit myself, if I was in the area.

Mike Pittaway (Field Trips Organiser)

Birds seen on the trip were:

The Hull Valley Wildlife Group* describe the reserve.

Other field trip reports.

Forthcoming field trips.


* Neither the Group nor the RSPB can accept responsibility for the content of web sites to which we link.