Monthly Archives: August 2012

Calm after the storm?

Been too busy to blog recently. Had hoped to catch up on a “rainy day” but now think it’s best to to skip a couple of weeks [but means I’ve got several useless photos!] but may reference back in future postings.

25/8/12 Dashed off to Tophill Low NR with Roy for a Gull-billed Tern on D res but had flown north c20 mins before we arrived and although the 3 adult Little Gulls and Common Tern returned it didn’t. More info including photos here

Two Spotted Redshanks on South Marsh East, with one on site on and off most of the week although had missed it on Thursday.

26/8/12 Again to Tophill Low NR with Roy. Spent a while checking D res with John, among others, in the vain hope of the Gull-billed Tern. Had 2 Little Gull, an adult and a juvenile and a cream-crown Marsh Harrier. Looked around the south end this afternoon. Two Greenshank again on South Marsh East but no Spotted Redshank. Also 3 Pintail new in and the Egyptian Goose, back from it’s tour of the the valley.

Had a few of these caterpillars in South Scrub. Also this pair of Common Darter.

Had another look for the tern with Martin this afternoon but only had another sighting of Marsh Harrier.


Filed under Nature in East Yorkshire

Where have all the waders gone?

6/8 Went to High Eske NR Monday afternoon. Been threatening to rain and just my luck started as I was riding through Beverley, however the weather remained perfect during my walk around the reserve. Water level still high and if anything up so little hope of waders. Again a few Common Terns over the lake [difficult to say how many in the area with parties of up to 5 seen recently including pairs with 1 and 2 juveniles as well as unaccompanied adults.]

Still good numbers of Meadow Browns but few other butterflies seen. Had my 1st Udea lutealis  for the site as well as several Shaded Broad-bars in the long grass. Very few dragonflies this week. maybe due to the timings of my visit with only a few Common Blue Damselflies and on Thursday a Brown Hawker.

Did a full circuit of the lake and then headed up to Leven Canal to check for raptors. A shallow pool has recently been created on Leven Carrs. Looked to have potential but previously had only held Grey Heron and Mallard. However this evening even in the distance could see many waders. Getting closer, but making sure to keep behind the flood bank to avoid disturbance, picked out  a Wood Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, 3 Ruff, 7 Green Sandpiper and 17 Snipe. At last waders!

However then had to rush back due recent problem with leaving High Eske Farm after 7pm.

Thought I’d better check Swinemoor but again [and up to Thursday evening at least] no waders there.

7/8 Tuesday morning Steve Webb, just back from a family holiday, rang me about my new “secret scrape”. Steve checked the site late morning and had pretty much the same as yesterday.

With rain again threatening and the site already covered thought I’d visit Tophill Low NR in the afternoon. Wader wise an improvement on Sunday with 2 Green Sandpiper and 3+ Snipe on South Marsh East and 2 Common Sandpipers circuiting Watton NR.

8/8 Although Steve had been up in the morning and had most of the waders except the Wood Sandpiper still decided to go up to High Eske again. Late start due to pressure of work so had to rush up to Leven Carrs. On site met up to fellow blogger Stuart {Oscillates Wildly]. Little wader action probably due to 3 Grey Herons flying low over. 5 Greenshanks tried to return but didn’t settle probably due to us being too close. On the way back south heard but didn’t locate a raptor. Running short of time so only managed a quick look at High Eske NR but did managed several Kingfisher which although only seen in flight were still a year tick for Stuart.

9/8 Up to High Eske again Thursday afternoon. On the scrape only had 2 Greenshank although a Green Sandpiper lingering by High Eske NR.

Walking up disturbed one of the largest Grass Snakes l’ve ever seen and both heard and saw the raptor from yesterday, a Hobby.

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5/8 Waders, more or less?

Went to Paull Holme Strays with Roy this morning to do the high tide with John. Big tide so all waders displaced except for some roosting on the bund. However with the falling tide more came in from which I picked out an adult Curlew Sandpiper. Also Redshank 600, Dunlin 300, Oystercatcher 2, Black-tailed Godwit 30, Bar-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Ringed Plover 20, Golden Plover 300and  Curlew 110. Also 3 Whimbrel flew west calling and a Marsh Harrier east over the river then south.

No sign of any Small Red-eyed Damselfly.

At Tophill Low NR this afternoon John found the 1st returning Goldeneye on D res. Apart from a Greenshank seen by Richard Hampshire mid morning the only other waders were the usual Lapwing. 2 Peregrine over Watton Carrs, also found by John.

At least while the sun was out there were plenty of insect, although nothing new.

Udea lutealis   

Ruddy Darter

Gatekeeper on Ragwort.

The best bird of the day waited to the end. We were all sat in the Vol.Wardens office when Richard thought he heard a Crossbill calling again. Rushed out with Roy and found an immature male Crossbill top of a “pine” opposite. Then followed the biggest appearance of cameras since the Cattle Egret. All fired off a few shots before it flew east calling still. Unfortunately Dave Ruffles arrived too late!

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August 5, 2012 · 7:12 pm

Catching up.

Too busy to blog recently so I’ll attempt to summarize the last 2 weeks.

21/7 Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit With the summer appearing to temporary put in an appearance thought trip no.3 might be worthwhile. Had Marbled White almost on leaving Kiplingcotes Stn, but flighty, with many more on the reserve.


Also a few Small Heath.


Also good number of Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Six-spotted Burnet, a Common Wainsot and a few micro moths.

Again no sign of Turtle Dove, which I would have written off for the year except Eric Clubley heard and saw one a few days later just down from the Stn.

Tophill Low NR As is my habit have made several visits to “mecca”. Wader passage is well underway with several sightings of Green Sandpiper, Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwit although not lingering long on the reserve. Also John Hirschfield found a juvenile Little Ringed Plover on Watton NR on 29/7, the 1st sighting since the failed breeders departed.

The  warmer weather brought out the insects with good number of Brown and Southern Hawkers and Gatekeeper present in good number end of last week. As well as many Hoverflies including Helophilus pendulus.

Roy and I had this Grey/Dark Dagger on L-shaped hide steps on 22/7.


Great find by John Hirschfield of Four-banded Longhorn Beetle on 29/7.

Finally managed to photograph a Grass Snake this week.

High Eske NR Also prayed at this site on several occasions. On 23/7 the water was still very high and therefore no chance of waders. Like many sites this has been a terrible year for breeding birds with  6 pairs of Great Crested Grebes which have either failed or given up on breeding. However not all bad news as there was a recent Tufted Duck brood of 4.

Also bad news is the amount of Himalayan Balsam, an invasive garden escape.

To be more positive, dragonflies present  in good numbers with Common Blue Damselflies ovipositing.

As well as a few Brown Hawkers and Black-tailed Skimmers.

A pair of Common Terns with 2 young on site on 28/7 joined by a 3rd adult on 1/8.

On 1/8 had a Greenshank briefly and photographed a small white moth

Small Fan-footed Wave.

Swinemoor Visited several times but only waders have been Lapwing, although Steve Webb managed 14 Black-tailed Godwits on 27/7 and Whimbrel on 28/7.

24/7 North Cave Wetlands Good to see good numbers of Cinnabar caterpillars.


Paull Holme Strays Had 2 visits to here. On 25/7 went  with Roy Lyon and Martin Lonsdale for Small Red-eyed Damselfly on the car park pond.

Also 2 Emperors and few Black-tailed Skimmers and Common Blue Damselflies.

Also a few moths including a Narrow-bordered Five-spotted Burnet, my 1st this year.

Went on 30/7 to count waders with Roy. Had Black-tailed Godwit 97, Dunlin 1000, Golden Plover  2000, Redshank 2 and a Ringed Plover.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire