14/2 After yesterday’s cold and snow the start of a milder period on Thursday was welcome. Thus with the longer days and a lighter week at work it gave me the chance to get out on the bike for the first time this year. Decided to do Welton Waters to check for the 2 drake Smew as I hadn’t had any news since Eric Clubley’s visit nearly 2 weeks back. I’ll not bore my regular viewers but anyone interested in the rigmaroles of getting out on a bike after a winter lay up can check here. Anyway probably due to the milder weather than Boxing day it wasn’t as bad [also suspect overdid the layers!].
Started at Myrtle Way in Brough so I could walked across the airfield. 100+ Curlew there as well as similar number of Lapwing there and later seen with a good number of Golden Plover behind the pit at Welton Waters. However only a Coot was visible on the marsh. Walking along the flood bank saw a mass of ducks flying from Brough Angling Complex [BAC]. Fortunately they landed on on the river and I was able to count c400 Wigeon, c50 Gadwall and 12 Goldeneye but no Smew among them. The disturbance was likely due to noise from the the machinery excavating the new pit to the north. Still a good number of duck on BAC and with birds quickly returning found it difficult to get a better count however was able to add drake Smew, Coot and Tufted Duck to the list. Also had a drake Smew on watersports pit but this fly over Common Lane a few minutes later towards BAC where I could again only find one.
watersports pit-Welton Waters-Ralph Dawson
Walked to the back of the pits to check for anything hiding in the north west section of watersports pit. Common Lane at the north end of BAC was a mess due to the excavation machinery.
Cormorant-Welton Waters-Ralph Dawson
Walking back south had another quick look at the main section of watersports pit and had a very close Otter, unfortunately I’d forgotten my camera! Had another good look at BAC from the riverbank and finally got 2 drake Smew. Success! Had timed it so as to be back at the airfield for dusk but again no Short-eared Owls.
Black-necked Grebe again at Hornsea Mere off Swan Island.
Click here for an update from Tophill Low NR.
15/2 Friday morning the Bittern was again in the north east corner of Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point. Acting on this information Roy and Martin L had it this afternoon, a tick for Martin. Water Rails were still showing by the gate.
Greater Bittern-Hornsea Mere-M.Lonsdale.
Kumlien’s Gull again on Barmston beach this morning as well as 6 Snow Buntings.
If you come across any wintering Chiffchaffs this article is worth a read.