Waterworks has a great recent record of rarities
TOPHILL LOW NATURE Reserve is an active Yorkshire Water Treatment Works built in 1959. One of its main functions is cleaning the water of nitrates brought in from the rich surrounding farmland. It opened as a Nature Reserve in 1993 and features 12 hides spread across a 300-acre site that flanks the River Hull. The two concrete reservoirs - ‘D’ and ‘O’ – dominate the reserve and have Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status for their massive wildfowl numbers. Around the perimeter a network of marshes, ponds, hay meadows, woodlands and grasslands result in an annual 160-plus bird species count out of the 269 found from 1993. Winter sees large numbers of wildfowl, with Wigeon, Teal, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Smew, Goosander, Scaup and Gadwall worth looking for. One bird that put the reserve on the map was first reported as a Red-footed Falcon but later found to be an Amur Falcon, new for Britain! There are many common birds to look for over a 12-month period, with warblers making a great attraction in the summer months with Cetti’s a great bird to hear from a distance, but much harder to see close by. This makes nine breeding warblers with passage Wood, Icterine and Yellow-browed Warblers possible. Spotted Crake are an annual visitor along with a mixed bag of waders, with some excellent finds like White-rumped and Pectoral Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitcher. Little Ringed Plover breed while local fields can have large flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing in winter, as you drive onto the reserve. Tern rafts add to the breeding birds and wagtails are a joy to find at any time. try the North scrub for migrants and North Marsh for Bittern, Water Rail and ducks.
Back south of the car park are the lagoons and O reservoir to look for even more duck and grebes.
4The Southern Marshes are a flood defence scheme and attract many waders and reedbed birds.
5Make an evening visit to hear Spotted Crake TA 072 485 YO25 9RH Tophill Low Nature Reserve is situated four miles from Watton village on the A164 Beverley to Driffield road. It is signposted from this road onto minor roads The car park is next to the visitor centre. Admission is £3.30 for adults and £1.50 for concessions (16 and under / 65 and over / registered disabled). Under 5s go free. All year round. No dogs Driffield and Beverley Services via bus only along A 164 with trains from Hull. Traveline, tel: 0870 6082608 tophilllow.blogspot.co.uk/ Yorkshire Water PO Box 52 Bradford BD3 7YD; tel: 0345 1242 424 Tophill Low Nature Reserve, tel: 01377 270690 email: email@example.com
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OS Explorer 293/5, OS Landranger 107
Cetti’s Warbler Little Ringed Plover