Click here to return to the Bird Watching Sites Main Map

Holywell Pond

Just beyond the North Tyneside Border, as you cross over into Northumberland, with the coast to the east you can find the town of Holywell. Holywell Pond which is rich in birds, is adjacent to the former estate associated with Seaton Delavel Hall which is now managed and owned by the National Trust. Holywell Pond, is managed by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and is a large subsidence pond with reed beds, woodland and grassland along the outskirts.

Photo to the left
A Black-tailed Godwit
at Holywell Pond
by T J Tams
in April 2012

The pond can be enjoyed from the west from the NWT members bird hide, (keys are available to members of the NWT for a small charge) or from a pubic hide to the east where access is free. There are bird feeders to the left and right of the NWT hide and there is a feeding station, with a screen along the main path between the two hides; which is accessible to the public. The bird feeders at times prove popular with Brambling during the winter months. A small team of NWT volunteer wardens help manage the reserve.

Holywell Pond is great for wildfowl all year round and attracts a good selection of birds throughout the year. Since the landfill closed in Seghill, the site is less popular with Gulls, however still attracts good numbers at times, which can include Mediterranean Gull.

The exposed mud areas in front of the public hide attract at times waders such as Common, Curlew, Green and Wood Sandpipers, Greenshank, Little Stint, Golden and Ringed Plovers, Redshank, Spotted Redshank; and Curlew, Lapwing and Snipe.

Photo to the left
A Pink-footed Goose
at Holywell Pond
by Chris Barlow
in 2013

In the 1980’s the site was well known for a resident Ring-necked Duck which remained in the area for a few years. Other wildfowl of note have included an American Wigeon in 2015, an Egyptian Goose in 2014 and a Red-crested Pochard in 1999. In recent years there has also been a couple of inland records of Slavonian Grebe’s which were very popular with local wildlife photographers.

Photo to the right
An American Wigeon
at Holywell Pond
in April 2015
by Alan Curry

A well maintained path travels along the back of the reserve from the A190 and to Holywell Dene. This area is well loved by Goldfinches and Yellowhammers. During the spring/summer months a good selection of Warblers are present, which can include Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat.

Over the past two decades the familiar Grey Partridges have been joined by Red-legged Partridges and the northern expansion of Little Egrets has inevitably, brought individuals to Holywell Pond also. These visits continue to be infrequent at the moment and don’t attract as many birders, when compared to the 1992 bird, which was considered a major twitch for the county at the time.

 

Below is a selection of photos from Holywell Pond.

To view a larger image, please click once, on a photo.