Monthly Archives: January 2013

Waxies not waning.

28/1 Kumlien’s Gull still on Barmston beach north of the car park at midday Monday.

2 Short-eared Owls in fields east of the Trout Inn, Wansford this afternoon.

Bittern in flight at west end of Hornsea Mere.

Click here for “Wild in Hull” at Tophill Low NR.

29/1 Roy and Martin L had 89+ Waxwings in Anlaby by Haltemprice Leisure Centre.

Waxwings inc ringed bird Altemprice Liesure Ctr 290113 Leo

Waxwings including colour-ringed bird-Anlaby-R.Lyon.

Colour-ringed Waxwing Altemprice Liesure Ctr Hull Anlaby 290113 Leo

Later they had 28 Goosander and a German ringed Black-headed Gull at East Park,Hull.

German-ringed Black-headed Gull East Park Hull 290113 Leo

German ringed Black-headed Gull-East Park,Hull-R.Lyon

Male Goosander E Park 290113 Leo

Drake Goosander-East Park,Hull-R.Lyon

Kumlien’s Gull still on Barmston beach from car park at mid afternoon.

30/1 Kumlien’s Gull still on Barmston beach from car park Wednesday morning. Also a Snow Bunting flew north. More from Barmston here.

All the pictures on this blog are taken on Nikon P510. Check Dave Tucker’s blog for more on this camera.


Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire

26-27th January

26/1 2 Bitterns at the western end of Hornsea Mere on Saturday morning.

Kumlien’s Gull again off Barmston car park early afternoon.

Click here for Jess Stokes’ recent Driffield patch work.

Mike Coverdale had 5 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs.

27/1 John went to join the crowds at Barmston on Sunday morning and and had good views of the Kumlien’s Gull below the car park. Also a Snow Bunting and 2 Waxwing over. Too windy for Roy and I so we had a quick look at Heron Lakes, Routh in case the Ring-necked Duck was hiding there then sort the shelter of Hornsea Mere hide. Had a look at Bewholme Hall pond early afternoon then Dacre Lake where we had the “white” Coot again.


“white” Coot-Dacre Lake

Looked round Brandesburton Pond but could find nothing unusual so dashed to Tophill Low NR. A “gull roost event” was planned and Roy and I were intending to be spotters but when no-one had turned up by the allotted time and there were few gulls anyway, I decided to have another try for the Smew on Watton NR. The redhead Smew was close to the hide but I’d left the camera in the to car!


An earlier shot of the redhead Smew

On the way back had 5 Pintail flying south. Back at D reservoir car park hide. although there were now plenty of gulls, nothing interesting had turned up but did pick up a pair of Goosander which had managed to drop in close to the hide unseen. Click here for Martin’s version including pictures.

Tony Simpson managed both Little Egret and Water Rail from North Marsh hide.

Mike Coverdale had 8 Bewick’s Swan on Wilfholme Carrs this morning.

Bewick’s Swan and 5 Whooper Swans [3 adults +2.juvs] on Arram Carrs early afternoon.

Paul Martin had 12 Waxwings in Hull on Freetown Way near the Sanctuary.

Andy Nun had one drake Smew at Welton Waters on Brough Angling Complex. One back at Far Ings NR which may be the other bird.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters

January 25th

25/1 Went to do Welton Waters with Roy on Friday morning. On the way had 5 Waxwings in Brough on Moor Road.


Waxwings-Moor Road,Brough

Roy dropped my on Myrtle Way and he went to Welton crossings. Walked across Brough airfield. Had 60 Curlew and 37 Lapwing but the marsh was frozen over. Also had c100 Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Redshank on the Humber shore. Met Roy at the back of Brough Angling Complex [strange that the elements of the complex all have bird names but birding isn’t encouraged!] and we quickly picked up the 2 drake Smew amongst a large number of Wigeon, Gadwall, Coot, 10 Shoveler, and female Goldeneye.


Drake Smew-Brough Angling Complex-Welton Waters.

Watersports pit by contrast was near empty with no sign of Red-throated Diver, the second time we’ve dipped one in only a few weeks, and only a few Cormorant, a Little Grebe and 2 Mute Swan.


Common Lane-Welton Waters


Robin-Common La,Welton Waters.

Went round to Brough Haven early afternoon. Had 1062 Pink-footed Geese on a mud bank for a while before they flew south. Also 2 Marsh Harriers, probably a male and a female to the west.

Headed to Tophill Low NR. Initially went via Brantingham Dale but this proved impassable due to snow so went by a less direct route. As we were now short of time I did the south end of the reserve whilst Roy did D reservoir. The marshes and lagoons were still frozen but Watton NR and D reservoir were more open than on Sunday. Redhead Smew had been seen on Watton NR earlier, and 5+ Pintail and Goosander on D reservoir but weren’t around for us but did have a adult Yellow-legged Gull when I joined Roy and Richard Hampshire in D reservoir middle hide at dusk.

Check here for more this week from Tophill Low NR

An Otter had been seen again yesterday at North Marsh on the ice.

Had Little Owl again in Watton on the way out as well as Woodcock.

Kumlien’s Gull still at Barmston this afternoon by the car park. Click here for more on this gull.

Check Dave Tucker’s new blog here.

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24th January

24/1 Check Stuart’s blog for Thursday at Welton Waters.

Check here for reports from Nafferton/Wansford Carrs today.

At Tophill Low:- 5 Eurasian White-fronted Geese on O reservoir with big numbers of wildfowl. Little Egret at Hempholme and Wilfholme. Also Woodcock on  site.

Roy and Martin L had the Kumlien’s Gull at Barmston again.

The Barmston Gull 240113 use Leo

Kumlien’s Gull-Barmston-R.Lyon

Also did High Eske/Pulfin NR. No sign of Ring-necked Duck again. However on Pulfin NR there was 50 Tufted Duck, 830+ Greylag Goose, 1000 Teal, 1000 Wigeon. 74 Mute Swan, 23 Snipe, c30 Redshank, Little Egret, Barn Owl and probable Marsh Harrier.

Snipes Pulfin 240113a Leo

Common Snipe-Pulfin NR-R.LyonBarn Owl Pulfin 240113 Leo

Barn Owl-Pulfin NR-R.Lyon

14 Waxwings in Hull by Hessle Road Police Station.



Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Nature in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters

One, Smew, three.

21/1 John Bratton had 10 Waxwings, at the southern end of Leven Bypass late Monday afternoon.
Roy and Martin L visited  High Eske NR. No sign of yesterday’s Ring-necked Duck but Jack Snipe flushed, Snipe, Water Rail, 3 Eurasian White-fronted Goose, 700 Wigeon, c12 Goldeneye. c25 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 250+ Greylag Geese, 26 Redshank and 6 Mutes Swans.
On Arram Carrs at least 5 Bewicks Swan and 2 probable Whoopers Swans which refused to wake up.
Also along the river were 18 Mutes and 3 Dunlin.

22/1 The Kumlien’s Gull was again at Barmston early Tuesday afternoon about 2/3ml north of the car park.

For sightings from Wansford Carrs check here.

Roy and Martin L had a redhead Smew off Brough Haven carpark as well  2 Marsh Harriers.


redhead Smew-Brough Haven-M.Lonsdale.

Went round to Welton Waters and had the drake Smew again on Brough  Angling Complex.

Drake Smew Welton Waters 220113 Leo

Drake Smew-Welton Waters-R.Lyon.

The drake Ring-necked Duck was reported again at High Eske NR this afternoon. A possible Scaup/Tufted hybrid was reported by Garry Taylor.

23/1 Roy went to High Eske NR on Wednesday morning but most of the birds flew off and no sign of the Ring-necked Duck. 6 Whooper and 2 Bewick’s Swans on Pulfin NR and Peregrine over fields to the north.

The Kumlien’s Gull was still at Barmston but mobile. Check here for more news from Barmston.

Red-throated Diver at Welton Waters this afternoon and 2 drake Smew on Brough Angling Complex

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Frustrating day.

20/1 Sunday morning started at Barmston with Roy and John. Tide already well up not helped by a cold easterly wind. Therefore very few gulls on the beach although a good number over the sea. Roy and John couldn’t find the Kumlien’s Gull so decided to head for the relative shelter of Hornsea Mere hide. However the gull was seen early afternoon north of the car park.

From the hide the Mere looked ice free although driving away along Seaton Road the western end was still frozen over.


Hornsea Mere without ice.

Best birds were a female Goosander, Redshank and Dunlin.

Click here for more recent sightings at the Mere.

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. Not surprisingly due to the condition of the roads there were only a few visitors plus the more die-hard volunteers. Even  had John and I volunteering although whether throwing logs on a fire counts as work I don’t know?

D res reservoir was largely frozen with only a small area open.


Frozen D res.

Only interesting bird we found was a drake Pintail although we were looking hard [see below]. A Woodcock had been seen from the visitors centre this morning but we couldn’t see it. Walking south, the lagoons and marshes and were frozen over and only a small area free on Watton NR but surprisingly O reservoir was ice free. Had several close but frustrating sightings of Barn Owl.


Barn Owl-the best I could get!

Picked up 7 Whooper Swans [2 adult, immature and 4 juveniles] on D reservoir late afternoon which John had seen [but not ID’ed} flying in.


Whooper Swans on D res.

One of the few regulars to make it, Tony Simpson, during his regular stake out of North Marsh had Water Rail, Woodcock and male Marsh Harrier, the latter also seen yesterday.

Also Tony McLean made it. See what a few thousand pounds of lens can do. More on Tophill Low NR blog.

Lee Johnson had a male Ring-necked Duck on Arram Carrs briefly early afternoon then relocated with Richard Jennings on Pulfin NR then High Eske NR before flying north late afternoon.

R-n Duck Hi Eske 200113 Leo

Drake Ring-necked Duck-High Eske NR-R.Lyon.

Also in the area were 2 Peregrines, drake Pintail, 5 Whooper Swans, 8 Bewick’s Swans and adult Little Gull.

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Cottingham and Willerby

18/1 Took a walk on “the carrs” late Friday morning. Starting from my home in Cottingham I go up Priory Road, checking the paddocks, then down Wood Lane to Wold Road, Hull. Depending on time and inclination I’ll spend some time on Springhead GC. Usually I look round the scrubby area at the north end but sometime may venture further. Finally I walk back along the footpath back to Abbots Walk in Cottingham, passing the site of Haltemprice Priory.

To be honest in this weather I’d see more looking in the garden. I had a good number of Fieldfare over Priory Road but otherwise few birds except in Springhead GC where it abuts private gardens.


“That looks like fun Holly”-Springhead GC

However the lack of birds was somewhat made up for by great views of Roe deer with one in Springhead GC, a very approachable 5 on farmland behind and a pair with a large fawn nearer Cottingham.



Roe deer-Willerby

Before the recent cold winters Stonechat would winter at Haltemprice farm. Also a Little Owl has been regular on the buildings and both Barn and Short-eared Owl have been seen in past years.

Check here for sightings from Figham Common, Beverley.

Check here for today at Tophill Low NR.

19/1 Went for a walk on my other Cottingham “patch” Saturday afternoon. This centres on KGV Rec including Millbeck Wildlife area and the fields between Park Lane and Dunswell Road.


Millhouse Woods Lane pumping station-Cottingham

It can also include the rough fields on the corner of Dunswell Road/New Village Road and the Woodland Trust reserve “Oppy Wood”, which I previously called Millennium Wood. At this time of year usually go via Canongate to check for Waxwings.

Had good tit flock in St.Mary’s churchyard including a Goldcrest. 3 Tree Sparrows in KGV Rec were not a regular sighting.

Paul Martin had male Hen Harrier, Woodcock and 2 Goosander at Paull. For more from Paull [and Paul] click here.

The Iceland/Kumlien’s Gull was again at Barmston late morning. Click here for further discussion on it’s ID. My only is comment is that nobody mentions taxonomy?

Drake Smew still at Welton Waters on Brough Angling Complex this afternoon.

Click here for more recent HVWG sightings.


Filed under Nature in East Yorkshire

Hornsea Mere and Atwick

17/1 Had a pair of Coal Tit in the garden on Thursday morning.


Blackbird in the back garden.

Went to Hornsea Mere with Roy and Martin L late Thursday morning. The lake was well frozen but still some open water.


Clouds over Hornsea Mere.

Picked out the female Velvet Scoter diving to the west of Swan Island. Later it climbed onto the ice and went for a walk presumably looking for more open water but eventually gave up and went back the way it came.


Female Velvet Scoter on ice-Hornsea Mere

Went round to Kirkholme Point and had a Rock Pipit briefly.

Walked the cliff top from Hornsea NCBC to Atwick. For a change had a good number of birds with 100 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Fieldfare, 30 Meadow Pipit, 5 Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer and 6 Skylark. Roy and Martin did the fields further north but had little to add.


Redwing-Atwick cliff top.

Bloody cold day and we all had feet like blocks of ice. Possibility of more snow tomorrow and no sign of warmer weather before mid February. Not looking forward to returning to work next week!

The Iceland/Kumliem’s Gull was still at Barmston this afternoon north of the car park and the Water Rail was seen again this in a drain.

Check James’ blog for interesting sightings on Wansford Carrs.

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Cottingham and Arram Carrs

15/1 Click here for Tuesday at Barmston.

Had a walk round Cottingham KGV rec this morning but was defeated by heavy snow.


Treecreeper-KGV Rec-Cottingham


Millbeck Wildlife area-Cottingham

Ricky Fisher called round early afternoon to tell me about up to 8 Waxwings that had been on Murray Crescent Cottingham in recent days. Drove me there but no sign.

Had a cycle round the area, and some other sites nearby where I have seen Waxwings over the years, mid afternoon, but no sign.

Waxwings also reported in Pearson Park, Hull.

16/1 Iceland Gull again at Barmston early Wednesday morning, now being reported as a Kumlien’s. Unfortunately I’ve only seen this bird in thick fog so can’t say too much about it in the field but even before Martin Garner had ‘thrown the cat among the pigeons’ I had thought in some of the photos I’ve seen it did seem more heavily marked than a typical glaucoides. However it’s not as dark as I remember the 2000 Whitby bird to be and that wasn’t accepted. There is a “scoring” system for Kumlien’s/Iceland Gulls which should be available on the internet. However I’m not going to get too deep into this as I’m  sure there are plenty others happy to pontificate on the subject. In the end Kumlien’s Gull is currently considered [by many?] as a highly variable hybrid between Iceland and Thayer’s Gull so it probably isn’t worth stressing over it too much?!

Went to Aike with Roy this afternoon to view Arram Carrs from a different angle.


fields west of Aike village

Only a short walk from the village to the water so worth a future visit although still everything is distant.  The water was totally frozen but there were still a few swans, with initially 2 adult Bewick’s and an adult Whooper  joined later by 4 more Whoopers, including 2 juveniles, which flew in from the the north.


Family party of Whooper Swans-Arram Carrs


Bewick’s Swans-Arram Carrs.

Only a few Mutes. Also still a few hundred Lapwing with a few tens of Golden Plovers. On the way out 2 Little Egrets flew from the roadside ditch.

If you wonder where the other Bewick’s have got to check the Tophill Blog.


Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire

All White?

10/1 First winter Iceland Gull still Barmston on Thursday morning.

Roy and Martin L had the male Long-tailed Duck on Hornsea Mere and 140 Pink-footed Geese flying north. Also they had 14 Waxwings at Sigglesthorne.

11/1 John Sadler had a flock of Waxwings in North Bransholme at Aberdovey Close on Friday.

12/1 Drake Long-tailed Duck still Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point early Saturday afternoon.

Mike Coverdale had 6 Bewick’s and 7 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs.



High Eske NR.

With the extensive flooding in the “Valley” Roy and I went to High Eske NR to count the wildfowl get a more realistic idea of numbers along the River Hull for WeBs. As before there was very little at High Eske with only 10 Goldeneye, 4 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe of interest with the few Wigeon there of now significance when added to the 1300 on Arram Carrs.


Arram Carrs from river bank.

Also on Arram Carrs were 4 species of Swans! To start with 85 Mutes, then 8 “wild swans” which due the distance and less than perfect light took a while to agree on as 6 Bewick’s [at last!] and 2 Whoopers, and number 4 was a Black Swan! Also present were 500+ Greylags with the regular “white” geese but no other species could be found. Still at least 200 Teal. Waders were represented by a a large flock of Lapwing hiding a small number of Curlew and Redshank. Also a flock of 33 Golden Plovers.

Meanwhile John [and Geoff Dobbs giving himself a birthday treat] had the immaculate male Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere.

First winter Iceland Gull again at Barmston late morning, having been at  Bridlington South Bay on Saturday. Also 27 Snow Buntings. For an interesting discussion on the Iceland Gull click here.

Headed to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. The redhead Smew was back but very mobile, flying between Watton NR and D res, and we only saw it in flight over the car park.


Watton NR-water level well down since Christmas day.

Other wildflowl counts were Tufted Duck 399, Goldeneye 60, Great Crested Grebe 3, Wigeon 88, Pochard 49, Teal 215, Gadwall 83, Mute Swan 3 and Mallard 183. Most of the numbers thanks to Graham Slack.

Gull counts were Black-headed Gull 4000, Common Gull 13000, Great Black-backed Gull 140 and very few Herring Gulls. Mediterranean Gulls in short supply so far this year.

For more Tophill Low NR news click here.

14/1 Just found I am unexpectedly on holiday this week. With the weather it’s going to be relying on others or walking the dog locally. Going for the Great Grey Shrike then North Cave Wetlands this afternoon. Be warned this will appear on another blog as I intend to keep this blog purely for HVWG stuff in future.


The road into South Cave mid afternoon.

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