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Castle Island – River Wansbeck

An Interactive Guide To Birdwatching Sites in the North East of England

Castle Island, which has been a Local Nature Reserve since 2003, can be found on the River Wansbeck in Northumberland.  The surrounding area attracts a large selection of birds whichever the season. There are some well-used paths which follow the river for over two miles.  Nearby there are also areas of woodland and grassland.  A telescope is recommended to view Castle Island itself, however, much of the sites bird life can easily be enjoyed using a pair of binoculars.

In 2014 birdwatchers flocked to Castle Island to view the Counties third record of a Collared Pratincole.  Other highlights in recent years have included Great White Egret, Little Egret and Spoonbill. Visitors can also view Castle Island from the south side of the River Wansbeck, however parking is more limited.

A Redshank

In the autumn months, waders present can include Curlew Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Little Stint, Spotted Redshank and Wood Sandpiper.  Many birdwatchers may remember the Terek Sandpiper of 1990, which attracted a great deal of attention whilst it was staying nearby in Blyth. On occasion it travelled up to Castle Island.

County

Northumberland

Map Reference

NZ 283 855

Habitats

  • River
  • Woodland
  • Grassland

Access

There is free access to the riverside and there are paths, which travel close to the river for over two miles.

Facilities

There are toilets, shops and cafes in the nearby town of Ashington.

Parking

There is free car parking available close to the A196, on the north side of the River Wansbeck.