22/10 On Tuesday afternoon went to Hornsea Mere with RL to put another coat of wood stain on the HVWG hide.
RL putting another coat on the HVWG hide.
The juvenile Red-breasted Merganser and Black-necked Grebe were still present but no seen from the hide but we had three Egyptian Geese around “tree island”.
24/10 On Thursday the forecast was the best for nearly two week so decided to make the most of it. Started at Welton Water. The distinctive Marsh Harrier was again over the airfield marsh. A very rufous bird, from some angle looking almost like a Red Kite. The only other birds on the airfield were a few Curlew and Lapwing. This was surprising as the tide was well up. Could make out a few Avocets on the Lincolnshire shore. Again plenty of waterfowl on Brough Angling Complex but only a family party of Mute Swans on “watersports” pit. As I started to walk north up Common Lane I got news of a Spotted Crake at Hornsea Mere. Hadn’t seen one since September 2004 at Tophill Low NR and never seen one at the Mere so, although I took it easy, decided to head back to my bike. Hasn’t been a twitchable one there for thirty years although one was hear calling in the early nineties. The message had said south-east corner which should have made it opposite Kirkholme point, but also said from 2nd field. Also reported were the Long-necked Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe and Scaup. Anyway started at Kirkholme Point. Met John Brattan there. The Red-breasted Merganser was still there at bull hole so had a quick look then started scanning the muddy edges on the south shore.
Juvenile Red-breasted Merganser
However a few birders were in 2nd field so went round to the south side. The Spotted Crake had been seen again recently but wasn’t currently on view. Slavonian Grebe was showing well so had a look at that. Haven’t been noted previously but may have been present for a few days but overlooked.
The Spotted Crake showed up again along the edge of 1st field and although very mobile, was seen well several time over the next hour by the bulk of the “Merebirder”. Also up to three Water Rails.
“Record shot” of Spotted Crake
Late afternoon the edge became more shaded so to went around to the hide were I a had female Scaup but missed twenty-seven Whooper Swans flying south, there had been a few moving today.
25/10 On Friday after the weather had improved went back to Hornsea Mere with RL and JH early afternoon. Checked the Red-breasted Merganser was still off Kirkholme Point as JH hadn’t seen it then went round to the south side. The rain had reduced the muddy edges and the Spotted Crake had become very elusive so didn’t stay long. It’s seen well early evening though including by Tony Martin, who couldn’t make it at Thursday. Now six Egyptian Geese but none of the other interesting were on show.
26/10 Back again to Hornsea Mere with RL and ML. Started in the hide but saw nothing from there. Next to Kirkholme Point where an interesting female aythya-type was showing. This turn out to be a Red-crested Pochard-like hybrid, similar to a bird seen as few weeks again there.
Hybrid seen 23/8/13
The Red-breasted Merganser was still present. Also six Egyptian Geese were on Swan Island. They have left North Cave Wetland so may be the same birds.
Egyptian Geese on Swan Island-Hornsea Mere
Went round to the south side where the Spotted Crake was still showing. Not currently on show but gave those waiting the opportunity to find a male and two female-type Greater Scaup and the Long-tailed Duck.
Male and female-type Greater Scaup with Coot.
Didn’t see any small grebes. But Geoff Dobbs had two Slavonian Grebes late afternoon, adult and juvenile. Black-necked Grebe and four Whooper Swans had been reported this morning.