• Larry the White Tailed Lapwing and Friends.

    What an amazing couple of weeks here at Blacktoft, around the Humber and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

    I know it’s been a little while since our last blog. But then our small but dedicated team of staff and volunteers have been very busy looking after approaching 4000 visitors.

    Of course the vast majority of those have come to see what is this years star bird, Larry the White Tailed Lapwing. It’s presence has been…

    • 13 Sep 2021
  • Star of the Show

    Firstly apologies !

    It's been a fabulous time at Blacktoft over the last week and we've been brilliantly busy. Assistant Warden Stuart discovered an absolutely gorgeous White Tailed Lapwing early Thursday morning last week and it's still showing really well. Well done Stu amazing work. He'll definitely be dining out on this anecdote for many years to come!

    This is the first time it's been recorded in Yorkshire…

    • 2 Sep 2021
  • Midweek sightings update 18.08.2021

    Waders are still prevalent around the reserve especially marshland, xerox and townend hides with reports of 56 snipe around the reserve yesterday (17th Aug). These quirky little characters aren’t always the easiest of spots especially when in amongst the reeds and vegetation .

    Snipe

    Black tailed godwits have turned up in good numbers too. Pete counted 120 earlier today.

    The wood sandpipers are still featuring mainly…

    • 18 Aug 2021
  • Midweek Sightings Update

    The wader spectacle continues – here’s a quick update of what’s been spotted at the reserve.

    This week’s (so far) star bird is wood sandpiper. There has been at least 2 of these little beauties showing between marshland and xerox hides.

    Other sightings include:-

    Spotted redshank

    Green shank

    Common redshank

    Snipe

    Dunlin

    Common sandpiper

    Black tailed godwit

    Green sandpiper

    Little egret

    Lapwing

    • 11 Aug 2021
  • Big shoes and little feet.

    July has been a headlining weather month breaking record temperatures and lashings of rainfall combined with ear splitting thunderstorms. But the little feet around the reserve have continued to thrive.

    Here’s a quick round up of some of the juveniles (and adults) seen around the reserve.

    Young lapwing (Pic: Pete Short)

    It looks like it’s been a great year for breeding lapwing at the reserve and across Yorkshire…

    • 1 Aug 2021
  • It’s all about the chicks

    Please note the reserve is open from 9am – 6pm, covid guidance is in place e.g. test and trace, social distancing, reduced capacity and masks in enclosed areas. Please be kind to others especially if they are waiting for space.

     

    Early summer. Hazy days and sunshine – or not as recent weather testifies. But chick season continues. It’s been fab to see the young ones emerging or trailing after their parents on the…

    • 5 Jul 2021
  • GATHER In The Meadow

    Please note the reserve is open from 9am – 6pm, covid guidance is in place e.g. test and trace, social distancing, reduced capacity and masks in enclosed areas. Please be kind to others especially if they are waiting for space.

    Meadows matter. Wild flower meadows are one of the rarest habitats in the UK. We’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 1930’s.

    Horseshoe meadow (adjacent to our toilet…

    • 13 Jun 2021
  • Rarities on the Reserve

    Please note the reserve is open from 9am – 6pm, covid guidance is in place e.g. test and trace, social distancing, reduced capacity and masks in enclosed areas. Please be kind to others especially if they are waiting for space.

    Humans! We have people back on the reserve after around 8 months. It’s been great to see so many of you experiencing the brilliant wildlife the Humber has to offer from the hides at Blacktoft…

    • 2 Jun 2021
  • Staff Training

    We’ll be opening the reserve, hides and toilets as usual on Thursday 27th May. However, due to team training, we will be unable to staff our usual meet and greet. ️We apologise for any inconvenience.
    The reserve will be open as normal from 9am on Friday onwards.
    Please be aware covid measures e.g. social distancing, reduced capacity, test and trace and masks in hides remain in place for now.
    Sedge Warbler…
    • 24 May 2021
  • Glad to welcome you all back!

    We’re pleased to be open again.

    What's open at Blacktoft Sands?

    Here's a quick summary:

     Car park open

     Trails open

     Hides open

      Toilets open

     Reception remains closed for now, but we are working hard to open as soon as we can.

     Refreshments/Cafe remains closed for now, but we are working hard to open as soon as we can.

     We’re open daily 9am - 6pm Greeting point outside reception closes 5pm.

     Normal entry…

    • 19 May 2021
  • Covid-19 Update

    Covid-19 Update
    Sadly we have to announce that the reserve and hides will remain closed until 17 May at the earliest.
    We know that for many of you, the reserve provides enjoyment and solace through these challenging times, so this decision has not been taken lightly.
    We totally understand this is disappointing for some of our visitors, but it is in line with Government guidance.
    Throughout the pandemic, we…
    • 9 Apr 2021
  • Limboland From Winter to Spring!

    Please note. The reserve remains closed under lockdown guidance. Unlike at other sites, much of the reserve here at Blacktoft can only be viewed from the hides, so closed hides means a closed reserve. We will of course continue to monitor the circumstances and re-open at the earliest opportunity. Please stay local.

    It’s been a strange time for all of us this past year. I’m pretty sure a lot of us feel a little ‘cooped…

    • 26 Mar 2021
  • Wild Times in Scunthorpe (well almost).

    Please note. The reserve remains closed under lockdown guidance. Unlike at other sites, much of the reserve here at Blacktoft can only be viewed from the hides, so closed hides means a closed reserve. We will of course continue to monitor the circumstances and re-open at the earliest opportunity. Please stay local.

     

    Firstly let me apologise for the lack of a blog recently. Lockdown means that for much of the time office…

    • 22 Jan 2021
  • A Happy Humber New Year

    Happy New year to all from all of us (and our partners) that work in conservation around the Humber.

    Let's hope that 2021 let's us do more of the things we love. For me that means spending more time along the Humber and the wider area exploring and watching our fantastic wildlife.

    As you can imagine I usually spend a lot of time at the reserve. Which means I have the amazing privilege of seeing some of the finest…

    • 3 Jan 2021
  • Summer 2020 - The perfect bittern year

    2020 may be a year that many people would rather forget than remember but for one of our flagship reedbed species here on the Humber I thought it would be fitting to write a blog to mark what was simply the perfect year.

    When I arrived to work here at Blacktoft way back in 1998, bittern was one of the of the species that I was asked to specifically manage the reedbed for and try and attract to breed. Indeed, it was at…

    • 31 Dec 2020
  • Waifs, Strays and Northern Wanderers

    Although the reserve is still unfortunately closed to visitors the team have been working flat out to deliver as much conservation work as possible before the new year when we will be busy with our main reedcutting operations, that's if the weather is kind to us. 

    But as we've gone about our work its been very notable that there has been distinct movement through and arrival of birds on site which have no doubt…

    • 9 Dec 2020
  • How time flies

    Well almost December and how time seems to fly at the moment despite the reserve still being closed to visitors. The last few weeks just seem like a blur as the team try to get on top of the work programme which has led to a very busy time for us all. 

    Late November sunsets are always very nice

    With not writing a blog for a while I seem to have lost my stride a little but hopefully today I can give you a little flavour…

    • 27 Nov 2020
  • I know what I did last summer.

    Mothing … lots of mothing. And no that isn’t a typo. (nothing)

    There’s real beauty in moths!

    So it’s deepest darkest lockdown as late spring is merging into summer and I’ve been at home for what seemed like an eon. I needed something to do to keep me sane. Realising my 3 previous attempts to learn guitar had met with abject failure and I’m never going to be a rock star I looked back to nature for inspiration…

    • 23 Nov 2020
  • Covid Update as of 31.12.2020

    In line with government guidance, and the region continuing in Tier 3 from Friday 31st December 2020 the reserve will remain temporarily closed. We know that for many of you, the reserve provides enjoyment and solace through these challenging times, so this decision has not been taken lightly.
    Under the latest Government guidance, hides will be closed throughout Tier 3 restrictions.
    Unlike at other sites, much of…
    • 2 Nov 2020
  • The Numbers Game - Wetland birds flock to the Humber in record numbers

    Firstly I will confirm that yes the reserve is still open 9am to 5pm last entry at 3.30pm every day. We will update you as soon as is possible if this changes, please bring a face mask and wear them in the hides and toilet block and I recommend that you bring hand sanitiser as it is not provided in the hides. Also just to say that we have limited parking and this means visitor numbers are restricted, so please think carefully…

    • 30 Oct 2020
  • Back In My Happy Place.

    Just a reminder that the reserve opens 9am to 5pm - last entry at 3.30pm. Please bring a face mask with you for use in the hides and toilets and also it is recommended that you bring your own hand sanitizer.

    We’re constantly monitoring the latest government guidance and will update any changes via our blog posts here, facebook and twitter.

    It’s been an awfully long time !!

    I’ve been away for far too long…

    • 22 Oct 2020
  • Autumn fading into Winter

    There's really been an autumnal feel over the last week with changes in the birds seeing summer now slip into winter as the first redwings and fieldfare arrive, the wildfowl numbers build up and the harrier roost gathers against a background of browns and reds.   

    Marsh harriers coming out of roost on a morning

    community.rspb.org.uk/.../8637.2352.2860.DSCN0736.MOV

    Its certainly that time of year when the birds of prey…

    • 14 Oct 2020
  • Up where the air is clear, up in the atmosphere

    Apologies for there being no blog for a while, work has just been incredibly busy and even today its going to be a short blog I'm afraid. 

    Just a reminder that the reserve opens 9am to 5pm - last entry at 3.30pm. Please bring a face mask with you for use in the hides and toilets and also it is recommended that you bring your own hand sanitizer.

    So on with the blog.............................

    After typically a 'quietish…

    • 6 Oct 2020
  • Migration gets into the swing

    As many of you now know we have tentatively re-opened the site to visitors, if you are to enjoy your visit then please read the last recent sightings blog that should tell you everything you need to know before you set off. We have a restricted offer and you will need to bring a face mask and hand sanitiser with you on the day. But if you do decide to visit here's an update on the weeks sightings. 

    Migration gets into…

    • 12 Sep 2020
  • Important information: what has re-opened at Blacktoft Sands?

    We know how keen you've been to visit us, so we are delighted to have re-opened some of our facilities from 8 September.

    You’ll notice we’ve made some changes to help keep you and our small team safe. If you have visited before, you'll know that the layout of Blacktoft Sands means that much of the viewing takes place from the hides (download a map here if needed), so in order to ensure you can have …

    • 7 Sep 2020