Category Archives: Cottingham

A Ghost emerges in Cottingham

14/6/15 Again Saturday was another slow night moth trapping with only 10 moths of 8 species, although 2 identified late night had gone. This makes the regular checking during the evening a good idea. Apart from Spruce Carpet, with one previous record in October 2013, everything else was had been already recorded this years. DSCN7418

Spruce Carpet

An over friendly Blackbird had obviously learnt the trapping area was a good place to forage, showing the need to try to get up early to beat the “early bird” to the moth. DSCN7417Spent the afternoon checking Little Wold Plantation for Spotted Flycatcher with out success. 15/6/15 Monday had a look round the fields behind KGV Rec,Cottingham. Apart the common Celypha lacunana I found a very distinctive micro new to me. After posting on twitter and facebook was identified as Ptycholoma lecheana, a fairly rare species for the county. DSCN7423

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Ptycholoma lecheana

16/6/15 Tuesday evening checked the fields on corner of New Village road and Dunswell Road. Found a strange creature crawling in the grass. On closer inspection seemed to be a just emerged moth species. Carefully picked it up and carried it home in my camera case.

DSCN7436 On reaching home and it had pumped up to become a female Ghost Moth. DSCN7438

♀.Ghost Moth

20/6/15 Friday night’s moth haul was again small but varied. Brown Silver-line was a new one but I suspect I may have overlooked this species in the pastSmall Magpie was first for 2015.

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Small Magpie DSCN7472

Brown Silver-line

Also first for the year was dark Minor species.

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Minor agg.

Also 2 Common Marbled Carpets were 1st trapped this year as was Common Carpet.

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Common Marbled Carpet

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Common Carpet

Had a look round Snuff Mill Lane before the rain set in. Plenty of Timothy Tortrix, Straw Dot as well as couple of Meadow Brown, all refusing to pose for a picture. Best was a male Nemophora degeerella, an attractive long-horn moth, the only one I’ve recorded away from Tophill Low NR. DSCN1279

♀.Nemophora degeerella-Tophill Low NR-24/6/12

Sorry to my regular followers more inclined to birds. Locally not much on the bird front but did a bit of twitching recently. The account is on my other blog for those not already following.

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Singing Chiffchaff-Snuff Mill Lane,Cottingham.

For recent bird sighting from Hornsea Mere check here.

For the most recent update of the Tophill Low Blog check here.

For Paull Holme Strays Blog here.

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Filed under Cottingham, Moths

A [slightly] better day at Kiplingcotes +Priory Fields

11/6/15 Thursday was a warmer day than recently so headed to Kiplingcotes in the hope of a better day than Sunday. Arriving at Kiplingcotes Station wasn’t truly hot but at least stiller than Sunday. However for a good while it was insect desert but eventually started getting a few things including a Small White.

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Small White butterfly-Kiplingcotes

Also had a Common Carpet but didn’t pose for a picture. A Fox watched me from a good distance than disappeared into cover.

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Red Fox-Kiplingcotes

Also a few hoverflies on the wing.

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hoverfly-Kiplingcote-have a go at ID later!

Further on saw an unfamiliar moth. Only managed one shot but fortunately good enough to confirm it as a new species for me.

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Twin-spot Carpet-Kiplingcotes

Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit was very windy so poor for insect but the east end was calmer and I managed a Cinnabar moth and tatty Common Blue butterfly.

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Cinnabar Moth-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

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Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit looking west

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Common Blue Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

Got a Spectacled Wood to pose on the way back.

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Speckled Wood-Kiplingcotes

Birds wise nothing much to say but had the Garden Warbler again near the first road crossing west of the station but again no sign of Turtle Doves near the bee hives.

Another sighting of Turtle Dove near Tophill Low NR gives hope that the species may still be hanging on somewhere.

12/6/15 Friday was disappointing with total cloud cover almost all day. Had planned another Moth/Butterfly session this time at Weedley Springs/Drewton but didn’t seem worth it so ended up staying in Cottingham and doing Priory Fields. The best area for insect in the village. Not promising initially but then started getting the odd smaller moth including my first Chimney Sweepers and Straw Dots this year.

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Chimney Sweeper-Priory Fields, Cottingham

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Straw Dot-Priory Fields, Cottingham

Eventually were getting good number of micro moths. Most non-descript brown things which I couldn’t get a good shot of but managed to capture a more interesting one. Turn out to me a new one for me.

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Crambus pascuella-Priory Fields, Cottingham

Had no butterflies and only a single “blue” damselfly. Too cold at the pond where I had Red-eyed Damselflies ovi-positing last year.

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Notice on the gate but no sign that it’s been read.

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13/6/15 Had Common Marbled Carpet and a probable Red-barred Tortrix at work on Saturday morning. Not sure about the last one as I was dealing with a customer while trying to ID it on her front door. Gives me hope for trapping tonight although Tuesday night had only produced single Brimstone and Heart and Dart.

Five first summer Little Gull at Hornsea Mere this evening. For more news check here. Beware if parking at the top of the road to Wassand Hall as there have been several break-ins recently.

Some recent sighting from Tophill Low NR here.

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Filed under Butterflies, Cottingham, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire

Garden Moths and Kiplingcotes.

5/6/15 An Osprey flew south over Tophill Low NR mid afternoon. Only managed a quick walk to Cottingham KGV rec early Friday evening but did get a few Nettle-taps, very late this year, as well as Common Carpet. Quail singing in fields south of Leven Canal between the village and Waterloo bridge this evening. Experiencing a small invasion of Bee Moths and am constantly removing from the house. DSCN7257

Bee Moth

7/6/15 Again on Sunday managed to empty the moth trap early although wasn’t as vital with a solitary Garden Carpet the only moth found outside the trap. However the cold keeps the moths comatose. Several hawk-moths trapped locally on Friday night so a Poplar Hawk-moth, my commonest, wasn’t a surprise. DSCN7265

Poplar Hawk

Had been very windy yesterday but was calm and cold over night and although numbers still low the variety was good. A Clouded-bordered Brindle was the first since June 2012 and only the 2nd for the garden.

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Clouded-bordered Brindle

Green Silver-lines was the 4th record, and the other year 1st was Campion, which gets recorded a few times a year. DSCN7282

Green Silver-lines

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Campion

A possible Pacific Swift flew south at Barmston at 8.35. Not seen further along the coast but almost coincides with the 2nd anniversary of the previous record. Also not seen in 5000+ Common Swifts at Hornsea Mere. Unfortunately James Spencer, whose patch it is, was ringing at Tophill Low NR where a Red Kite was seen. A Small Elephant Hawk-moth was only the 2nd for the site in the last 24 years with the previous only on the 4th. Also the young Tawny Owls were still viewable from the carpark. For more from reserve check the Tophill blog as well as James Spencer’s.  Went to Kiplingcotes with JH, RL and ML this afternoon. Started at the station. Only a single Turtle Dove has been heard so far this year and no sign for us. Also no sign of any Spotted Flycatcher to the west where I’ve had a breeding pair the previous two years.  However heard our 1st Garden Warbler for the year. A cold wind and intermittent cloud wasn’t for good insects. Only had a few butterflies including our 1st Cinnabars for the year which didn’t linger. DSCN7289

Common Blue butterfly near Kiplingcotes StnDSCN7292Green-viewed White butterfly near Kiplingcotes StnDSCN7298

Nettle tap near Kiplingcotes Stn

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Common Buzzard near Kiplingcotes Stn

DSCN7304 Moved round to Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit but the sun still didn’t come out for long and only managed a Small Heath and an unidentified Crambidae moth. Marbled Whites don’t seem to have emerged yet, in common with the lack of orchids likely due to the cold spring [so far?].DSCN7302

Small Heath-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

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Orange-tip near Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

Spoonbill landed on Swan Island at Hornsea Mere mid evening. For more news check here.

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Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Cottingham, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

Crazy last day of May 2015

31/5/15 After a hard week at work I was happy that it looked like I’d be on my own on Sunday and with rain forecast in the morning I’d have no urge to venture out too early. Under no pressure I approached the moth trap more relaxed than often is the case. This year has so far been very poor but this morning although no great shakes compared to past years saw for the first time this year double figures. Least Black Arches was the best catch with my first ever only a week ago.

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Least Black Arches

Brimstone added some colour and with Common Swift and Mottled Pug firsts for the year.

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Brimstone Moth

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♂.Common Swift

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Mottled Pug

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Not forgetting the regular Cockchafer.

With the rain almost over by late morning I planned an early lunch then off to Tophill Low NR for some shelter incase of further rain. This planned was solidified by the finding of a female Red-necked Phalarope by a visitor on D reservoir. This also got RL to change his plans so early afternoon we were on site. No sign from car park hide so moved to middle hide where fortunately the finder, among others, had it on view. Took a while to get on but once found was fairly easily relocated although it was fairly distant in the middle of the choppy reservoir. Both of us went for our cameras where the best method was just to fire away and hope to catch it above the waves.DSCN7037

♀.Red-necked Phalarope from D reservoir middle hide

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Flew short distances, often when disturbed by a gull, but about c13.45, coinciding with the arrival of a flock of mainly Common Gulls, it flew again and this time couldn’t be relocate. Give it half an hour then went to check O reservoir. The wind made checking the reservoir unpleasant and decided against checking the rest of the site. Wasn’t seen again. Ironically one regular had visited early morning with the hope of finding a phalarope and had to make a return visit, while another long-time regular arrived too late. Fortunately with several previous records, the most recent being 12 June 2011, none of the top site listers  needed it.

For more from Tophill Low NR, including the Lesser Scaup that almost went unnoticed, check here.

Getting in late afternoon went for a walk up Priory Road with Holly. A few Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the paddocks. Started down Woods Lane but only get a short way before receiving a message that Lee Ives had found a pair of American Wigeon along with drake Garganey by Bewholme Hall pond. Thus a brisk walk back, not easy with an obese mockweller, to await RL’s  arrival.

Arrived at Bewholme Hall to have the place to ourselves but I quickly picked up the Garganey by the pond then the first winter drake American Wigeon just left of the pond quickly joined by a female Eurasian Wigeon. A drake American Wigeon flew south at Spurn Point this morning however a drake was at Saltfleetby St.Clement this afternoon just a short jump across the Humber. Unless this drake then went back north we appear to be looking at two drake only a few tens of miles apart. Again apparently paired with a Eurasian Wigeon.

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♂.Garganey-Bewholme Hall-RL

American Wigeon Pair Bewholme 310515a

Drake American Wigeon with female Eurasian Wigeon-Bewlholme Hall.

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Also interesting that a pair were seen at Tophill Low NR 4 years almost to the day.

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pair of American Wigeon at Tophill Low NR-1/6/11

A pair of Shelduck had 6 small ducklings on the the pond. The drake was constantly chasing off the others ducks, giving good flight views of the Garganey but unfortunately not of the American Wigeon. Despite it’s aggression a Carrion Crow managed to take a chick although did get chased off when it was too late.

Actually weren’t alone as two Merebirders were out of sight at the top of the farm dive. Later found the Whooper Swans with the Canada Geese, which had recently been seen  at Grimston. Birders are asked to view only from the road and not go beyond the farm entrance.

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Over summering Whooper Swan-Bewholme Hall-RL

For more recent news from Hornsea Mere [including more of the above] check here.

Also check here for sightings from Paull Holme Strays.

1/6/15 Drake American Wigeon still at Bewholme Hall today but the female considered Eurasian. Also 3 Barnacle Geese with the Canada Geese this evening. Interestingly a drake American Wigeon was again at Kilnsea. With no sign of any American Wigeons at Saltfleetby St.Clement this morning it looks likely that there are two drakes, but females probably all Eurasians.

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Filed under Bewholme Hall, Birds in East Yorkshire, Cottingham, Moths, Tophill Low NR

A good day at Hornsea Mere

15/10 Went out with RL on Monday afternoon. Went first to Swine Moor, viewing as usual from Weel Road opposite Corporation Farm. On Sunday afternoon I had found a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper with Richard Jennings. Also had up 7 Ruff and 6 Dunlin along with the usual flock of Wigeon and Teal. Also that day had the 1st 10 returning Whooper Swans north of High Eske NR on Arram Carrs but didn’t see the Common Crane, Had hoped to get back to Swine Moor earlier but the weather on Monday and Tuesday had not encouraged me. However this afternoon the area was deserted with just the regular Little Egret of note.

Went to Hornsea Mere starting at Wassand Hide. Met MR on the way down. Had had the 2 Slavonian Grebes off Kirkholme Point and a 3rd bird towards the west end. Also found a Red-necked Grebe and had seen a dying Gannet on “tree island”. Not long after getting in the hide MR picked up a grebe which turned out to be the 3rd Slavonian Grebe presumably pushed into Decoy Bay by a boat.

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 One of the Slavonian Grebes from Wassand Hide-5/10/14 

Also a female Marsh Harrier still present.

Next went round to Kirkholme Point. Scanning the edge of 1st field, where the other 2 Slavonian Grebes had been seen, picked up a female Velvet Scoter, possibly the same bird seen over the previous 2 winters.

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 fem Velvet Scoter from last winter but likely the same bird as today

Scanning further east I picked up the 2 Slavonian Grebes, then the Red-necked Grebe.

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Red-necked Grebe

Moved to get closer t0 the latter and had a moment of self doubt when I picked up a Little Grebe. However scanning to the right picked up the Red-necked Grebe again. Also 3 Little Gulls, an adult and 2 1st winters. Had texted MR about the Velvet Scoter but before he got to us it was flushed by a boat and we lost track of it. MR had been delayed by a Yellow-browed Warbler calling unseen near Wassand Hall.

Finished the day in HVWG Hide. Had the Gannet on tree island.

Gannet and Juv Mute Hornsea Mere 151014 RL

 Moribund Gannet-RL

Didn’t look too fit but to quote John Cleese it hadn’t yet “fallen off it’s perch and joined the choir eternal”. Started checking the gulls roost and picked up 3 waders in flight. Pale grey with a strong white wing-bar and was thinking Sanderling or Dunlin when RL reminded me that several Grey Phalaropes had been reported by RBA today. The penny dropped and not long after they landed and there identity became obvious. Tried contacting MR but his phone wasn’t on. For the rest of the time we were in the hide they remained on the water mid-mere and with the fading light would have been very difficult to pick up if you weren’t sitting with us.

For more recent sighting in the Hornsea area check here.

Seems to be an influx of Jay at the moment with bird seen coming in on the coast and evidenced myself by Jays around Cottingham and Willerby this week. Seen at Hornsea Mere today but my been just resident birds.

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Filed under Arram Carrs, Birds in East Yorkshire, Cottingham, High Eske NR, Hornsea Mere, Swinemoor

Whooper Swans return to High Eske NR

4/11 With the end of my 3 week holiday coinciding with end of British birding time and the added complication of major changes at work I found it impossible to get out after work last week. Fortunately Monday was a lighter day at work and mid afternoon found me at High Eske NR. Walking towards the pit I was sure I’d seen 2 White-fronted Geese dropping onto Molescroft Carr with Greylag. However with most of the geese obscured by the flood-bank and the position of the sun not helping I was unable to confirm. Reaching the pit I quickly located 14 adult Whooper Swans. One had a red leg but I was unable to read it today.

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Whooper Swans and Greylag Geese-High Eske NR

The geese flock flew in and I was able to confirm my sighting of 2 adult Eurasian Whitefronts as well as a juvenile Pinkfoot. Walked north to Leven Canal in the hope of Short-eared Owls or harriers but only had the regular pair of  Kestrels. Had a Grey Wagtail in the derelict lock on the way back south, Noticed a wake in the river. Too obvious for an Otter and no boats but then I saw the head of a large Common Seal swimming south, the first I’ve seen for a few years, since the end of  the invasion that had annoyed the anglers.

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Grey Wagtail-Leven Canal lock

Getting back to the pit, as the light was fading I located a Green Sandpiper, at the far end of the island. Also 5 Little Egrets had come in to roost in the south west corner.

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Whooper Swans at dusk-High Eske NR

5/11 Only managed a walk on Willerby Carrs on Tuesday. Had Common Buzzard flying west. My 3rd in Cottingham in the same number of weeks.

Hornsea Mere continues it’s purple patch. Check here for details.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Cottingham, High Eske NR, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire

Brown Tits and Ladybirds at Tophill Low NR

Been a good week on the coast but things have been much quieter inland at Tophill Low NR.

13/10 Started promising with a drake Common Scoter found by Doug Fairweather on the Saturday  but the following day was only seen by Geoff Barker who had braved the inclement weather and made it to the top D reservoir hide whilst everyone else only got as far as middle hide and then only because car park hide would have been unbearable in the northerly wind. The Scoter reappeared for a few mid week although I hadn’t seen it on the Monday. Geoff also had female-type Goosander and Greater Scaup, both managing to hang for RL, ML and I to reach top hide although the Goosander departed south soon after.

Walking back through D wood had my 1st Brambling since early last year.

I thought I had a dark winged goose flying south with Greylags but no sign of it on Watton NR. However a radio tagged Taiga Bean Goose was in the area recently so maybe?

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Greater Scaup with drake Tufted Duck

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Jack Snipe were still on the reserve last Sunday, with one utilising the “channels’ dug by Richard and his band of helpers on South Marsh East, likely the one I found on the 8th. This one was elusive when we looked for it late afternoon but I eventually located it very close to the hide, although well hidden behind reeds.

DSCN0402Jack Snipe

While looking for it I located a 2nd bird much further away although was even more elusive. The rain last week has started to fill South Marsh East and made the Jack Snipes more elusive although the same lucky people had two again mid week.

In the gull roost this evening I found a Common Gull with white primaries, a possible confusion with a Mediterranean Gull for the unwary, then a real 1st winter Mediterranean Gull.

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Adult Common Gull with white primaries.

14/1o On Monday the only bird of note for me was Cetti’s Warbler briefly giving it’s explosive song at the lagoon. Richard had another one their favoured site, South Marsh Wast on my next visit, on Saturday.

DSCN0467Agonopterix alstromeriana-commonly seen in hides around the reserve-14/10/13

19/10 Like Monday it was again quiet on Saturday although had a bit of fun when while Doug Fairweather was showing off the highlights of his moth trapping a big spider decided the walk up his arm. Although I’ve not seen one quite like it before, it appears to be just a colour morph of Garden Spider.

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Garden Spider

The highlight of the moths was Rush Veneer, rare anywhere so a good site tick although will have to wait for Martin’s return from Sagre to get it’s status for the site.

After the good day on Friday only the Black-necked Grebe and a Red-crested Pochard were reported from Hornsea Mere on  Saturday.

20/10 Back on the site with RL and ML on Sunday morning. Had a load of Harlequin Ladybirds.

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Harlequin Ladybirds

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Harlequin Ladybird Larva

Otter had been seen by, amongst others, Eric Clubley, a site 1st for him. We headed through D wood wood checking the tit flocks on the way. Both Willow and Marsh Tit are been seen regularly recently.

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This one is definitely a Marsh Tit!

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Another Marsh Tit

Gave it a while in North Marsh hide but as usual no Otter. Also no Kingfisher, which have been scarce recently. However still plenty of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darter, including many still ovipositing.

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Migrant Hawker

For more news from the reserve check the Tophill Low Blog.

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