With Roy in the VIP box at Hull City this afternoon it was my chance to visitor my long time favourite High Eske NR for the first, and probably last time, in several weeks. Got up fairly early and although hardly warm it was frost free and likely to be bearable by the time I got out. As my brother and sister-in-law were visiting this afternoon had to get out pretty quick to get a decent look around. No surprise there was nothing in the moth trap so that was one delay avoided. Next, would the bike start, but like after every winter lay up for the last 10 years, after turning over for a few second, while oil circulated, it started to fire then started up and was warmed up enough to run clean in a few more second. Although I loved both my Moto Guzzis there is nothing like the reliability of my current rice-burner.
Next task was loading up, a bit more than just opening the boot on a bike, followed by getting my gear on, which in winter is only just less of a task than putting armour on.
Setting off, the bike is fine, but am I rusty? No problem there, helped by not being on a cycle for 5 days. In the past have found getting on bike shortly after getting off a cycle can be a weird experience as your brain doesn’t always switch modes and you can find yourself trying to brake with the clutch or squeeze through cycle size gap.
The [t]rusty steed.
Ok that enough about bikes as this turning into the type of vanity project that stopped me starting a blog in the past.
Anyway, having seen the floods, just a few mile further north, at Tophill Low NR it was no surprise to see the river level at Hull Bridge. High water usually isn’t good at High Eske NR and with anglers on site it was no surprise there wasn’t much wildfowl with only 2 female Pintail of note.
High Eske NR.
However walking north of the pit it was immediately apparent the real reason for this as Arram Carrs was now a vast lake with 100’s of Wigeon and Greylag Goose as well as smaller numbers of other things including a few Pintail.
Looking across R.Hull at Arram Carrs “Lake”.
Quickly picked up 6 “wild” swans but unfortunately they were Whoopers and there was no sign of the Bewick’s. Also a few Mute Swans but nothing like the number usually seen in past winter. 3 adult Eurasian White-fronted Geese with the Greylags.
Leven Carrs wasn’t too wet so chance of raptor and owls again this winter.
However with the weather looking to change didn’t give it too long and only had a Common Buzzard.
Returning to High Eske NR was unable to do a circuit as I’d learn from an angler that the bridge at the north inlet was under deep water and checking the south end there a “river” over the bund.
Heard from another birder that a seal had a been seen again during the last cold snap.
Roy with Kurt and Lewis-Who had the better day?
Had a walk late afternoon in Cottingham to check the Waxwing site on Canongate then around KGV rec. In the park saw something falling from a tree and hitting the ground with a good thud, and was surprise to see 2 Blue Tits flying off.
Steve Routledge was at Tophill Low NR today.
“Waterbob” had the Smew and 2 Waxwings at Welton Waters.