The Lagoon is home to various waterbirds throughout the year. Oystercatchers, common terns and little grebes breed here in the spring and summer. An artificial sand martin nesting bank attracts good numbers of breeding birds. In winter wigeon, pochard, goldeneye and goosander can be seen.
A major re-development of The Duck Marsh took place in 2021 with all three acres being remodelled to include a series of spits and islets, all with gradually sloping banks into water depths of 20cm to 1m. The area provides ideal habitat for wading birds as well as other wetland species.
Sedge warblers, reed warblers and reed buntings breed in the Reedbed in spring and summer. Kingfishers can be seen on all the wetland areas throughout the year but the Kingfisher Pool here provides particularly good views.
Constructed in 2012, the Fish Pass was designed to allow native fish such as brown trout and European eels in the River Aire to pass around the barrier posed by the 1.8m high weir on their migration journeys. Accompanied visits are arranged on a regular basis. Grey wagtails and dippers can sometimes be seen here.
The Wet Grassland provides ideal breeding habitat for reed buntings, reed warblers, sedge warblers, little grebe, coot and moorhen. Snipe and teal can be found here in the autumn and winter months and water rails are present throughout the year.
In early summer at the Dragonfly Ponds look for Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies along with Banded Demoiselles, Broad bodied and Four- spotted Chasers, Emperor Dragonflies and Southern Hawkers. Later in the summer Brown and Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters can be seen.
Various species of birds breed in the Woodland Coppice including willow warbler, garden warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap, common whitethroat, bullfinch and song thrush.
Bird-friendly seed crops grown on Tim’s Field bring in flocks of linnets in the autumn and winter months together with reed buntings and greenfinches.
Enjoy a walk through the Wildflower Meadows on well cut paths in the summer months to see many species of wildflowers and butterflies.
Watch typical garden birds at the feeders in the Manager’s Garden from the hide. Reed buntings and sometimes tree sparrows visit in the winter months. Two large ponds on a raised mound in the Poplar Field attract amphibians in the spring and breeding dragonflies in the summer. Scan the row of poplars at the northern end of the field for redwings and fieldfares in the winter. Little owls can also be seen in the poplars at times.
Various warblers breed in the Poplar Carr and woodcock can be found here some winters. There is no access to the area but there is a viewing point overlooking it at the top end of the John Ackroyd Meadow.
The Scrubland is a wild area at the eastern end of the Reserve. Common whitethroats and grasshopper warblers breed here in the spring and summer and it is a popular hunting area for raptors throughout the year. It is best viewed from the Riverside Path.