Monthly Archives: April 2013

Kumlien’s Gull revisited.

Went to Weedley Springs on Monday morning to look for migrants. Pretty quiet with only a Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and 2 Blackcap. Had a photogenic Brimstone butterfly but flushed by 2 inconsiderate mountain bikers and lost to view.

Went to Hornsea Mere with Martin L and Roy this afternoon. Had the 3 Red-crested Pochard again.

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Female Red-crested Pochard of the mixed pair-Hornsea Mere

Went to do a see watch at Ulrome. Had a few Kittiwake and Sandwich Tern as well as 3 Sanderling and a Turnstone on the beach. Moved further up the coast to Barmston. The “Kumliem’s” Gull was on the beach below the car park. Now looking very white. Is it distinguishable from a first summer Iceland Gull?

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Kumlien’s Gull-Barmston

Flew north then back south again, disappearing towards Ulrome.

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Kumlien’s Gull-Barmston

Sea birds as at Ulrome. 11 Turnstone on the outfall, and a similar number of Sanderling and a Dunlin. 2 Hobbies reported flying south along cliff top late afternoon.

Ring-necked Duck still at Tophill Low NR this evening.

 

 

 

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April 29, 2013 · 5:18 pm

More like spring at Tophill Low NR

28/4 Went to Tophill Low NR with John on Sunday morning. Started in D reservoir car park hide. Good number of hirundines as well as a small number of Common Swifts. Also a female Marsh Harrier flew south. Seen again later and then 2 seen early evening. Walked up through D woods to Hempholme Meadows. Little Egret there but flew to the river after being flushed to 2 volunteer wardens.

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Little Egret-Hempholme Meadows

Also had my first Whitethroat singing near the hide as well as a showy pair of Blackcap.

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Common Whitethroat-Hempholme Meadows

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Female Blackcap-Hempholme Meadows

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Male Blackcap-Hempholme Meadows

Several tens of Swift over the north end. Walked back along the road.

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Tree Sparrow-Barmston Drain

Had no wagtails but a few on the reservoir wall below car park hide, a brief “channel-type”, 2 more showy Whites and 4 Yellows and a Pied.

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White Wagtail-D reservoir wall

Had lunch in the hide and picked up a Common Tern [a 2nd or 2 more seen after we went south]. Went south this afternoon, first to South Marsh East where a Greenshank was showing.

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Greenshank-South Marsh East

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South Marsh East-now nearly dry

Then went to South Marsh West where the Cetti’s Warbler was in good song but only giving brief views, and Reed Warbler just audible in the wind. Also heard a Cetti’s briefly by North Lagoon. On Watton NR a pair of Little Ringed Plover had been seen copulating. Lesser Whitethroat singing in South Scrub, Ended the day back at car park hide where the Ring-necked Duck was showing up close having dropped in mid afternoon.

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Drake Ring-necked Duck-D reservoir

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Getting cold again!

24/4 Went to Tophill Low NR on Wednesday afternoon. The intention was to check out the Blue-headed Wagtails seen over the weekend so after confirming the Ring-necked Duck was still on D reservoir [before departing to Hornsea Mere for a short break] headed north up the straight road but only had a single Yellow Wagtail.

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Drake Ring-necked Duck-Tophill Low NR-M.Lonsdale.

After checking Hempholme Meadows walked back through D woods. Had a Lesser Redpoll at the north end. Then headed straight for Watton NR before the light got too flaring. Had a Little Ringed Plover, probably the 1st sighting for a while. Then did South Marsh West. The Cetti’s Warbler was again singing close to “back to back’ hide. Even saw in a bush close to the hide but repeatedly failed to locate it in the view finder, did the same on Saturday. On the now almost drain South East I found 2 White Wagtails as well as 2 Redshank. In fact so dry now there was a excavator out on it!

For more from the reserve check here.

25/4 Ring-necked Duck relocated on Hornsea Mere on Thursday morning.

Roy and Martin had the 2 redhead Goosander and 5 Pink-footed Geese at High Eske NR.

I birded outside the “valley”.

For recent wildlife sightings in the Beverley area check here

27/4 Had the trap out over night on Friday. Only a Early Grey.

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Early Grey

Went to Hornsea Mere with Roy on Saturday afternoon. Had the pair of Red-crested Pochard and mixed pair again from the hide.

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Pair of Red-crested Pochard-Hornsea Mere 

Roy picked up the pair of Black-necked Grebes, 1st reported a week ago, but close to the south side. Also despite numbers down eslewhere we had 88 Goldeneye.  Also Common Sandpiper on Swan Island. However no sign of the Ring-necked Duck seen again yesterday, Round at Kirkholme Point there was a very mobile flock of wagtails including a Channel-type. Also a male Wheatear

Went to Atwick to do a sea watch but couldn’t get out of the wind so moved to Ulrome where we got a shelter between the caravans. Got my 1st Sandwich Tern as well as a few Kittiwake, Gannet and Red-throated Divers and Guillemot.

Checked Bewholme Hall where had a Little Ringed Plover and pair of Oystercatcher.

Finished at Swinemoor. Still plenty of duck but only waders were 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 2 Redshank. For more recently from here check here and here.

For the 1st damselfly at Tophill Low NR check here.

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High Eske NR and Swinemoor

Since the start of bright nights and better weather I’ve found myself too busy in the field to blog. However after a good afternoon out felt inspired to put something in writing.

23/4 Went to High Eske on Tuesday afternoon. Water level higher than on Saturday and the seasonal islands were covered again. Two female Goosanders were on the permanent island, I had one on Saturday.

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Female Goosanders-High Eske NR

c20 Mute Swans on the pit, presumably pushed off Arram Carrs. No sign of the Whoopers Swans.Heard a familiar call, not heard since last autumn, and picked up 2 Greenshank flying in from the north. Spent a few minutes on the island then continued south. Walked north and checked the few swans remaining on Arram Carrs but no Whoopers so looks like they have departed. Good numbers of ducks, particularly Teal, on Leven Carrs scrape but numbers down on last visit. Only wader was a single Snipe. Also a few Yellow Wagtails. Only warblers heard were a Chiffchaff by Leven Canal and 3 Willow Warblers around the reserve. A few Swallows over the water but no over hirundines. Getting back to the reserve saw 5 Pink-footed Goose drop in to join the feral Greylags. Later in fields.

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Pink-footed Geese-High Eske NR

Also 5 Yellow Wagtails and joined the White Wagtail and Pied Wagtails on the “scrape’.

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White Wagtail-High Eske NR

An Oystercatcher appears to be on a nest on the main island.

Went to Swinemoor this evening. Disappointed not to reconnect with the Greenshanks but had at least 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 7 Redshank, a Snipe and many Lapwing. Also good numbers of Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and Gadwall and 4 Shelduck. At least 3 White Wagtails but only one Yellow Wagtail.

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‘start of spring.

9/4 On Tuesday Barry Warrington had 12 Waxwings in Hull feeding near Mr Chu’s on St Andrews Quay.

Click here for news from Figham Common.

10/4 Drake Smew still at Welton Waters on Brough Angling Complex on Wednesday.

11/4 Clouded Drab on Thursday was my first moth in the trap for 2013.
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Clouded Drab-Cottingham

Went to Hornsea Mere with Martin and Roy this morning. Had a 7 Sand Martin, our first for the year, but no sign of the Long-tailed Duck around the jetties.

Walked the cliff top north of Hornsea Northcliff Boat Club. Found a male on the cliff face.

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Male Black Redstart-Atwick

Had a Little Ringed Plover at Bewholme Hall.
Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. The drake Ring-necked Duck was back on D reservoir. Also an immature Little Gull. Walked to Hempholme Meadows where a few pipits,, including a possible Scandinavian Rock Pipit had been seen earlier but no sign. Walking back along the straight road had a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull in flight.

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1st winter Mediterranean Gull-Tophill Low NR-R.Lyon

As we were about to leave Roy had some birds in the pines above the members hut. I still had my bins and found them to be 7 Crossbills.

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Male Crossbill-Tophill Low NR

The Red-necked Grebe was still on O reservoir.

12/4 For news from Tophill Low NR on Friday check here.

13/4 Had a good number of Small Tortoiseshells and a Peacock butterfly in Cottingham in the warmer weather on Saturday morning but coolled off later.

Went to High Eske NR this afternoon. Had 100+ Fieldfare with a few Redwings at Eske Manor. Had a my first Swallows and House Martin with good numbers of Sand Martin. Wildfowl were down with only 10’s of Wigeon and Mallard but still 165+ Teal between Pulfin NR and Leven Carrs scrape. Also a pair of Pintail on the latter site. The 4 Whoopers Swans were still on Arram Carrs but very distant with c20 Mute Swan. No sign of the Eurasian White-fronted Geese, last reported on Sunday.

Intended doing Swinemoor but started raining.

White Wagtail at Hornsea Mere on Kirkholme Point.

Common Swift reported at Tophill Low NR.

Kumlien’s Gull still at Barmston.

14/4 Did Hornsea Mere with Roy and John on Sunday morning. Hard work in the strong wind.

Had a female Merlin flying north over Atwick cliff-top. Walked the fields between there and Hornsea and were rewarded with our first 2 Northern Wheatears.

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. The Ring-necked Duck was still on D reservoir. Also good numbers of hirundines over. A few Yellow Wagtails on the straight so went with Roy to get pictures.

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Yellow Wagtail-Tophill Low NR

Up to 7 were seen by early evening. Had 2 Little Egrets briefly on Hempholme Meadows. Had our first Willow Warbler singing as we walked back through the woods.
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D woods-Tophill Low NR

The Red-necked Grebe was still on O reservoir.

Great Northern Diver flew south past Barmston.

For new from Bransholme SW check here.

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April 7 at Tophill Low NR

7/4 Went to Tophill Low NR with Roy on Sunday morning. Started in D reservoir car park hide. No sign of the Black-necked or any Goosander.

The Red-necked Grebe was still on O reservoir.

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Red-necked Grebe-Tophill Low NR

The Pink-footed Goose and a pair of Little Ringed Plover were still on Watton NR.

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Pink-footed Goose-Watton NR

A few Chiffchaffs now singing.

There were a few Redwing in the works compound possibly part of the big movement on the coast.

Had a Peacock butterfly from South Marsh East no.2 hide.

Checked the D wood feeders this afternoon. At least 2 Willow Tits and a Marsh Tit but no sign of the Nuthatch reported earlier. Also a Blackcap sang briefly.

2 Otters had been seen on North Marsh late morning. Gave it a few minutes but no repeat performance.

For more from Tophill Low NR check here.

Did Swinemoor from Weel Road early evening. Much as yesterday but the pair of Pintail were back and finally caught up with a pair of Little Ringed Plover.

Kumlien’s Gull still at Barmston.

For more sightings in the Hull Valley check here.

Despite the cold Africa Gomez had some insect sightings today.

Weather like, a bit of a false promises day. Started out wearing coat but no hat, by lunchtime had got rid of the coat, however by early evening at Swinemoor it was coat and hat. Forecast is currently colder again first half then possibly milder but with more chance of rain second half. We’ll see.

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April 7, 2013 · 6:37 pm

Out for a duck [scored twice].

4/4 For Thursday at Tophill Low NR check here.

For James’ tour of the ‘valley’ wildfowl treats check here.

5/4 Red-necked Grebe and Black-necked Grebe still at Tophill Low NR on Friday and an adult Mediterranean Gull roosted.

Drake Smew still at Welton Waters.

Male Long-tailed Duck still at Hornsea Mere and an Osprey early evening.

6/4 On Saturday morning I had a Waxwing whilst at work in Cottingham on Southwood Road. Also had a small Tortoiseshell on Mayland Drive, my first butterfly since a Peacock in January.

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Goldcrest-Humber Bridge CP-M.Lonsdale

Went to Swinemoor with Roy and Martin L late afternoon. Much as on Monday but no sign of the Pintails. Roy counted the waders getting 74 Snipe, 50 Redshank and 6 Dunlin. A few Lapwing appear to be sitting.

Following the recent excellent photographs on facebook and elsewhere, we thought we better go to Hornsea Mere for the cracking male Long-tailed Duck. Was still showing well off the jetties.

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Drake Long-tailed Duck-Hornsea Mere

Went round to the hide and I quickly picked up a pair of Red-crested Pochard in the north-east corner of the bay. Unfortunately a but distant.

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pair of Red-crested Pochard-Hornsea Mere

For more the Mere check Steve’s blog.

“Kumlien’s” Gull still at Barmston.

Red-necked Grebe and Black-necked Grebe still at Tophill Low NR.

Short-eared Owl at Welton Waters.

Running the moth trap for a few hours at least tonight. Still not really warm but the sighting of a butterfly gives some optimism.

Although it’s been a bit milder recently and tomorrow is forecast to be better it now seems that next week isn’t going to bring a heatwave and wetter weather is forecast for the back end.

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Spring!

3/4 Went to Welton Waters with Roy on Wednesday morning. Distinctly more spring like today, at least out of the wind. The drake Smew was still on Brough Angling Complex. Initially distant but swam towards us on the river bank and eventually came pretty close though the trees.

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Smew-Welton Waters

Wildfowl was generally down with only 50 Gadwall, 50 Tufted Duck and 40 Wigeon.

Went to Tophill Low NR with Martin this afternoon. Roy almost immediately picked up the Black-necked Grebe on D reservoir despite no reports yesterday. The Red-necked Grebe was still on O reservoir but for us distant from both the screen and L-shaped hide. Finally caught up with a pair of Little Ringed Plover on Watton NR as well as a Pink-footed Goose.

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Little Ringed Plover-Watton NR

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Pink-footed Goose-Watton NR 

Chiffchaff singing and seen by South Marsh West.

Spring at last?

Kumlien’s Gull still at Barmston.

For recent news from Figham Common check here.

For new from Hornsea Mere check here.

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Still freezing but hotting up at Tophill Low NR

1/4 Checked Swinemoor with Roy and Martin L on Monday morning. The wildfowl was up with 500 Teal, 110 Wigeon, a few Gadwall and the pair of Pintail. However the waders were down with fewer Golden Plover and no Snipe or Dunlin seen. Compared with yesterday it was arctic!

On the way to Tophill Low NR had a good number of birds by Watton chicken farm including 190 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing and 20 Reed Buntings. Assured by Keith Rotherham and Mike Bayldon that the Red-necked Grebe was showing well from the O reservoir viewing screen. However no sign of it when we got there. Went round to L-shaped hide for a look from another angle. Still no sign. but as is my habit, I took to checking a recently arrived flock of Teal and picked out a Green-winged Teal. Martin got on it but Roy struggled, so as it would be closer we went back round to the viewing screen. We all managed to see it from there including Martin H [who had just happened to be passing and wasn’t at all interested] and John.

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Green-winged Teal O res Tophill Low 010413 Leo

Green-winged Teal-Tophill Low-R.Lyon the top picture showing the female accompanying it.

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Green-winged Teal-Tophill Low NR-M.Lonsdale 

Martin picked up the Red-necked Grebe at last.

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Red-necked Grebe-Tophill Low NR

Went to D reservoir for lunch and to see a summer plumage Black-necked Grebe which Martin H had picked up earlier [of course I wasn’t really interested having found one at Hornsea Mere recently?!]. As it was closer to Middle hide we all went round to get some shots.

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Black-necked Grebe-Tophill Low NR

On the way back we had a classic White Wagtail on the reservoir wall.

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White Wagtail-Tophill Low NR

Went round to Watton NR but again no sign of any Little Ringed Plover and there were several Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits but nothing better among them.

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Hedgehog-Tophill Low NR

Checked O reservoir again but Teal flock had left and we couldn’t find the Red-necked Grebe. The grebe was seen again and photographed by Andy Nunn in the evening.

For more on today at Tophill Low NR check here.

2/4 On Tuesday, continuing Monday’s theme, the Ring-necked Duck, still at New Arram yesterday, turned up on at Tophill Low NR on Watton NR but only the Red-necked Grebe remain from yesterday.

For today at Barmston check here. Also the male Long-tailed Duck is still at Hornsea Mere. Drake Smew still at Welton Waters on Brough Angling Complex.

Forecast to get warmer next week [although ‘more unsettled”] and actually felt more spring like today. With migrant queuing up in southern European could witness a rapid arrival soon?

 

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Start of British birding time.


31/3 Usually by this time of the year I’d be visiting High Eske NR regularly. However with this years weather and pressure of work I found myself making only my 2nd visit in a month late Sunday morning. Still cold so had to don multiply layers but removed my fleece on arrival at High Eske farm. Although the forecast said remaining cold, out of the wind it was quite pleasant. Anyway less personal babble, let’s get down to serious matters. On reaching the pit the first thing I saw were a few Eurasian White-fronted Geese. Eventually counted 6, more than had been present earlier this year so possibly different birds.

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Eurasian White-fronted Geese-High Eske NR

Still 500+ Wigeon and 100+ Teal in the area. Water level very high so little hope of Little Ringed Plover with only waders being Redshanks. The pair of Oystercatcher had been displaced to the fields to the south but no sign of the Pink-footed Geese there.

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Oystercatcher-High Eske NR

Walked Pulfin NR and flushed 10+ Common Snipe but again failed on Jack Snipe. Met up with Richard Jennings. He had 23 Pink-footed Geese still on Good Friday. Walked as far as Leven Canal. 4 Whooper Swans were still on Arram Carrs opposite.

Did Swinemoor from Weel Road. A Little Ringed Plover had been seen but with the amount water was always going to difficult. Did however have a pair of Pintail and 4 Dunlin as well good numbers of Teal, Lapwing, Golden Plover and Snipe.

Kumlien’s Gull still at Barmston.

Ring-necked Duck still at New Arram.

Drake Long-tailed Duck still at Hornsea Mere.

For Sunday at Tophill Low NR check here and here.

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