A gull-billed tern was spotted flying west with a group of black-headed gulls over the flashes late evening on 20th June, the birds identity being confirmed by its call. The first record of the species on the reserve and a great spot, it makes you think how many other species have passed through un-noticed late in the day!

The latest spoonbill news is that the two nest sites have at least two young in each so no doubt there will be a few teaspoons on view soon. The best place to view from is the coal tips, there are benches in place overlooking the moat area as well as fencing where you can either use a scope with a hide clamp or just rest your arms on with binoculars.

Spoonbill - Jon Buxton


The cattle egret has been seen most days, probably the best vantage point would be up on the coal tips if it’s not in plain sight on the flashes. The grass is quiet long where the cattle are roaming so it is difficult to spot at ground level if the egret is following them around. Waders recorded around the flashes recently have been greenshank, four avocet, ringed plover, two little ringed plover, up to nine black-tailed godwits, up to four green sandpiper, three little egret, two redshank, and a curlew.

Redshank - Pete M

 Up to seven spoonbills have been seen on a single occasion, the birds do fly east to the Humber to feed so numbers do fluctuate but the most recorded has been fourteen. Raptors noted have been hobby, red kite, three peregrines, marsh harrier, also barn owl and little owl. Other notable sightings have been of a little gull seen crossing the River Aire towards New Flash, a garganey has been spotted on New Flash on three occasions, two mediterranean gulls were seen heading west on the evening of 21st June. Six ravens were seen on 24th June, as well as 20 black-tailed godwits heading east and an adult cetti’s warbler was seen with four young close to Cedrics Pool, finally 247 swifts were counted heading north-east in the evening.

Hobby - Jon Buxton

Main bay and village bay

A quiet spell on this part of the reserve, best sighting was of an osprey heading south-east on 24th June. Other sightings have been wigeon, teal, common tern, three little egret, two ringed plover, two redshank and six avocet with two young. Eight buzzards and a kingfisher were seen from Bob Dickens hide on 16th June. A yellowhammer has been seen from the Riverside Path near to Red shale Road.

Yellowhammer - Pete M

Coal Tips

A cuckoo was seen on a couple of occasions and a bittern was seen on the 27th, proving to be rather elusive of late. An eclipse red-crested pochard was seen on the west lagoon and a water rail was heard from the same location. Quite a few sightings of bearded tits recently, with a maximum of eight seen on one occasion. Big hole has produced common tern, avocet and lesser black-backed gull with three mistle thrushes seen in the area as well as green woodpecker. Raptors noted have been kestrel, buzzard and red kite. Two mediterranean gulls were seen flying over on 24th June.

Bearded tits - Pete M

Visitor Centre

Pick up hide is still proving to be the best place for close views of feeding spoonbills, always worth a look to see if there is one about. A little ringed plover and little egret have also been seen from Pick Up. Kingfishers have been seen from the screen on odd occasions, the vocal garden warbler can still be seen around the car park / play area. A marsh harrier was seen heading west on 23rd June.

Butterflies & Dragonflies

Current list of butterflies reported on the reserve are small skipper, large skipper, common blue, meadow brown, brimstone, speckled wood, red admiral, green-veined white, peacock, painted lady, ringlet, comma, small tortoiseshell, six spot burnet moth

Red admiral - Pete M

Sightings around the reserve of common blue damselfly, azure damselfly, four spotted chaser, banded demoiselle, blue-tailed damselfly, large red damselfly, black-tailed skimmer, ruddy darter, brown hawker, emperor, southern hawker

Black-tailed Skimmer - Pete M


Bees noted have been large earth bumblebee, small earth bumblebee, common carder bee, early bumblebee, stone bumblebee and tree bumblebee

A roe deer was seen from Pick Up hide on June 27th