Category Archives: Hornsea Mere

7/2/14 Hornsea Mere + the coast

Went to Hornsea Mere on Friday morning with RL. Started at Kirkholme Point. Brian Wilson had just had the Great White Egret but it appeared to have walked into the reeds. Went round to the hide. Eight Scaup were close, but the no sign of the ninth.

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Greater Scaup [male+2 females]

The drake Red-crested Pochard was also close in but like the rest of the ducks was having an early afternoon siesta. Four female Pintail were new in, a scarce bird this mild winter.

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Didn’t see the female Velvet Scoter but Mark Robinson had it later. The Red-necked Grebe was seen again at the west end on Tuesday. More news from the mere here.

Went to Barmston early this afternoon. Had the Kumlien’s Gull in flight distantly to the north of the caravan park. In common with the rest of  our coastline today only a few Red-throated Divers and Great Crested Grebes on the sea. At our next spot, Ulrome, RL picked up an immature Shag, a rare sight south of Flamborough Head. Also I had a few Guillemots flying north off Atwick as well as five Sanderling on the beach.

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The regular Far Grange hybrid goose with Mallards

Three Pink-footed Geese and a Barnacle Goose were with the Greylags by the pond at Skirlington.

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Pink-footed Goose

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Barnacle Goose [of unknown origin]

A male Hen Harrier was seen over Tophill Low NR late afternoon.

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2/2/14 Paull and Hornsea Mere

A Firecrest was found by the Martin brothers near Fort Paull on Saturday morning. RL and ML looked for it early afternoon with out success but it was found again after they left showing well along the moat on the south side of the fort. I went back with RL but by then the wind had become too strong and we couldn’t relocate it.

Went back to Paull with RL and ML on Sunday morning and joined JH, the Martin brothers and Pete Scott looking for the Firecrest. Wind much lower and we could actually hear birds calling. Shortly RL located it at the top of a tree west of Fort Paull. Unfortunately flew but I relocated it just a few metres away and eventually everyone was happy with their views.

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Firecrest near Fort Paull-RL

For more news from the Paull area check here.

Went to Hornsea Mere this afternoon. Mike Jackson was already in the hide and had located the Scaup flock. The full nine present including the two drakes.

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Pair of Greater Scaup with Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Wigeon

While watching them I found a nice drake Red-crested Pochard, the first for a few months.

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Drake Red-crested Pochard

Also had the female Velvet Scoter.

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Female Greater Scaup and Velvet Scoter-RL

Mike had had the Great White Egret yesterday [see here]. With the unusually bright conditions compared with the recent times and with the bird quite close we got some of our best pictures [I hope!] for a while.

Had a walk past Wassand Hall later but a Jay was the only bird of interest.

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Looking over Hornsea Mere from near Wassand Hall.

A lot of trees have been felled at the west end of the mere but many saplings have also been planted

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Recently felled timber

Check here for last week at Tophill Low NR including a Bittern on North Marsh.

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19/1/14 Hornsea Mere and Tophill Low NR

Sunday found me in what is becoming my second home, with RL and JH, in Hornsea Mere HVWG hide. Again it was raining heavily so there wasn’t much alternative. For a change all the female Greater Scaup were fairly close, in front the hide, although the two drakes remained distant, to the east of the hide. This gave us the chance of getting better photos although the light wasn’t good.

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Female Greater Scaup

Managed nine birds in total, equalling the maximum seen so far this winter. Also had a Great White Egret flying from Kirkholme Point towards Decoy Bay. Only one has been seen recently and even it has often been elusive [see here]. The missing bird may have gone on tour {see here}. No sign of the regular Velvet Scoter or more elusive Long-tailed Duck although both were reported yesterday. Went round to Kirkholme Point but only added the resident and very pushy Black Swan.

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Black Swan

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. Checked Fosse Hill Pond on the way but no gulls due to a jet-ski.

At Tophill Low NR headed to D Wood feeders for brown tits but only had Marsh for definite but had the bonus of a Lesser Redpoll feeding for several minutes on seed-heads by the pond.

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Lesser Redpoll

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Great Spotted Woodpecker

Moved on to Hempholme Meadows for the Eurasian White-fronted Goose.

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Eurasian White-fronted Goose

Ended the day in D reservoir middle hide but, probably due the settled weather, the gulls were disappointing with no white-winger, not even Mediterranean Gull [see here].

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Hornsea Mere and the coast


On Sunday morning went to Hornsea Mere with ML and RL. JH had seen nothing of note from the hide so went straight to Kirkholme Point. Immediately saw a Great White Egret sat in a tree north of the car park with several Grey Herons.

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Great White Egret with Grey Heron off Kirkholme Point

The second Egret was more distance in Decoy Bay. Also heard, then saw 39 Pink-footed Geese flying south. The Danish ringed Black-headed Gull was again around the parked cars.

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Danish ringed Black-headed Gull

Moved to Barmston. Tide well out and a lot of people on the beach. No sign of the Kumlien’s Gull there or in the fields north of the caravan park. Later found the Kumlien’s was on Bridlington North beach all day. Interestingly it had been seen there this time last year. Also at Barmston 7 Little Gulls and 35 Snow Buntings had been seen this morning.

Did a sea watch off Ulrome early afternoon. The highlight was at least 4 adult Gulls as well as a drake Goosander, 6 Red-throated Diver, 12 Guillemots, 4 Goldeneye, 12 Shelduck and a Pink-footed Goose that flew north overhead.

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Erosion at Ulrome caravan park

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Failed coastal defences at Ulrome [Man Proposes, God Disposes-Landseer]. 

Finished the day in the Hornsea Mere hide. Again no interesting gulls but had the female Velvet Scoter and a least 7 Scaup. Saw one of the Great White Egrets flying west to roost late afternoon.

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Female Velvet Scoter

Scaups and Coot Hornsea Mere 050114 RL

Greater Scaup with Coot and Wigeon-RL

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Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Ulrome

Black Redstart at Barmston

JH wasn’t with me when I had the returning Kumlien’s Gull at Barmston 3 weeks ago, so on Sunday morning we head up there. Unfortunately it had been seen flying south earlier so satisfied ourselves with a showy Black Redstart on the cliff face below the car park.
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Black Redstart

Came onto the cliff top but was seen off by a Robin and moved out of view.

Went to Hornsea Mere, starting at Kirkholme Point. Not surprisingly with the Ivory Gull still at Patrington Haven there were a few unfamiliar faces. Unfortunately the Grey Phalarope was distant again. Kirkholme Point seems to be the coldest place in East Yorkshire so quickly moved to the relative shelter of the hide. I found the Velvet Scoter, as before spending most of it’s time between us and Swan Island so tricky to see from Kirkholme Point or the south fields.

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Female Velvet Scoter

Later JH picked up 7 Scaup which had moved into our bay unseen. The Grey Phalarope was visible briefly late afternoon from the hide, near tree island. Both Great White Egrets had been seen earlier but we only had one hidden in the reeds distantly in Decoy Bay. Also seen by others today were the Long-tailed Duck, a female Common Scoter and a Slavonian Grebe, the latter 2 new for today. Also frustratingly a 2nd winter Caspian Gull was seen after we left.

Steve Routledge covered the same ground. Check here for his finds.

For more recent sightings from the mere check here.

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Hornsea Mere-Grey Phalarope and Great White Egrets.

After “tick and running” the Ivory Gull at Patrington Haven with ML and RL on Saturday morning spent the afternoon in Hornsea Mere hide. The Grey Phalarope was still present but again distant, feeding along the edge east of “tree island”.

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The Grey Phalarope was seen in the area to the left

Both Great White Egrets were still around, seen several times in flight above the trees opposite Kirkholme Point then flying to the west end, again taking a route that passed close in front of the hide.

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Great White Egret

One returned to Kirkholme Point, feeding in the north east corner. The second bird could be seen roosting low in the Cormorant trees from Seaton Road as we drove home. The Velvet Scoter and Long-tailed Duck were seen in the morning but didn’t show for us.

The Kumlien’s Gull was still at Barmston on Monday.

2 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls at Tophill Low NR this afternoon. For more news see here.


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Solitary Whooper Swan at High Eske NR

Following the presence of Whooper Swans and wild geese at High Eske NR on 4/11 things looked good for another interesting winter but this has so far turned out to be a false hope. I hadn’t been up there for a month but Eric Clubley had and confirmed that the Whooper Swan hadn’t stay on.

14/12 RL and ML visited High Eske NR on Saturday and did find a lone juvenile Whooper Swan and juvenile Pink-footed Goose.

They also visited Hornsea Mere where the Grey Phalarope was again showing well from Kirkholme. Also both Great White Egrets, 2 Egyptian Geese and a Danish-ringed Black-headed Gull.

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Danish ringed Black-headed Gull-RL

RL and I had also seen the Long-tailed Duck and female Velvet Scoter on Friday as well as a very showy Peregrine, repeatedly harassing Carrion Crows on Swan Island. I also managed a distant view of the Grey Phalarope.

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Female Velvet Scoter-RL

Also earlier we had another Peregrine at Swinemoor as well as  410 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 200 Lapwing, 15 Redshank, 2 Dunlin and 5 Golden Plover.

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Peregrine-Swinemoor-RL

A 2nd winter Iceland Gull was seen at Tophill Low NR on Saturday afternoon as well as the regular female Scaup. A Galloway and 2 Belted Galloways are now grazing South Scrub. Told one of the Belted Galloways is very friendly. Unfortunately they seem to like to defecate on the footpath!

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Galloway and Belted Galloways

A Black-throated Diver was off Barmston but no recent news on the Kumlien’s Gull.

15/12 I made it to High Eske NR on Sunday morning. Unaware of my friends’ previous visit had the pleasure of finding the Whooper with the Mute Swans and the Pinkfoot with the regular Greylag flock at High Eske farm.

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Juvenile Whooper and Mute Swan.

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Juvenile Pink-footed Goose with Greylag

The lack of Great Crested Grebes was of interest, in fact wildfowl hasn’t reached usual winter numbers yet with only Wigeon approaching them. Had a look at Leven Carrs. A cracking male Marsh Harrier flying west over the river was nice but otherwise only a Kestrel and Common Buzzard.

Did some more birding this afternoon. See here.

The Grey Phalarope at Hornsea Mere was only seen distantly off the Cormorant Trees today. D B noticed a growth on the phalarope’s face but I’ve yet to check RL’s photos for it. Nothing else reported.

No bird reports but Welton Waters was hit hard by the recent floods with detritus including an old fridge washed into Brough Angling Complex.

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Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Swinemoor, Tophill Low NR, Welton Waters

Grey Phalarope at Hornsea Mere.

10/12 A Grey Phalarope was found at Hornsea Mere by Christopher Harris from Kirkholme Point early Tuesday afternoon. Amazingly Christopher also had 5 Waxwings at the Nags Head at Routh on the way home.

11/12 The Phalarope was still there on Wednesday and was again close enough for RL to get some good pictures.

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Grey Phalarope-RL

Lee Ives had the 2nd winter Kumlien’s Gull in the roost again.

12/12 Finally managed to get to Hornsea Mere with RL on Thursday afternoon. Just before we reached Kirkholme Point SG had managed to see the Grey Phalarope, for the 1st time today. However he couldn’t re-find it after telling the other birders on site. SG also had the Long-tailed Duck but RL and I saw neither bird. Went round to the hide do the gull roost. I re-found the female Velvet Scoter, between us and Swan Island, so out of sight from Kirkholme Point. Roy picked up a Great White Egret flying west from Kirkholme Point, then just before we gave up for the day I picked up the 2nd egret also flying to the roost. So dark I could initially only see it through bins. As last Thursday both birds flew close to the hide but again no sign of the Kumlien’s.

For more from the mere check here.

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Blow wind blow.

5/12 On Thursday morning went to Tophill Low NR with RL. A female Scaup had been present on D reservoir since Tuesday, likely the same bird I found on 25/11, and with the strong wind pushing the ducks under the car park hide I was easily able to locate it.

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Female-type Greater Scaup on D res

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Solitary Mute Swan on D res

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Wigeon on D res 

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Common Buzzard struggling with the gale

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Rough weather on D res

Walking south had a Little Egret over North Lagoon.

Went to Barmston this afternoon for a quick look for the Kumlien’s Gull. Had been seen on Wednesday but no sign today. Several Turnstone again showing well on the cliff-top.

Finished at Hornsea Mere. Mark Robinson had had the Kumlien’s Gull in Wednesday‘s roost but didn’t come in today. However with had several distant views of a Great White Egret, which again was feeding at times in the north-east corner of Kirkholme Point, before flying west to roost. It passed close to the hide but too dark to photograph. Also near dusk RL found a Whooper Swan and me a juvenile Velvet Scoter and redhead Goosander.

6/12 The 2nd winter Kumlien’s Gull at Barmston was seen by Martin Garner on Friday.

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Seeing double and kum back?

1/12 Went to Hornsea Mere with RL and ML on Sunday morning. Joined by JH in the hide. I picked out a Great White Egret actually on the edge of Kirkholme Point. We drove round but unfortunately it saw us before we saw it and flew to ‘tree Island’  where it was joined by the 2nd bird which had been previously in trees just to the east.

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Great White Egret flying from Kirkholme Point

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Great White Egrets off ‘tree island’

A first winter Caspian Gull was seen off the ‘cormorant trees’ on Wednesday and six Scaup and the Long-tailed Duck again on Thursday.

Went on to Ulrome where only a few Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe were seen, much the same as RL had  on Saturday. We did have a Grey Seal close offshore though.

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Grey Seal

Went to Barmston and walked to the outfall for waders but were beaten by the tide. I continued to the car park. Just as I got there a white-winged gull flew north. I moved quickly to opposite the caravan park. Initially no sign but then I picked it up pretty close eating on a small flat fish. Immediately realised it was an Iceland Gull then looking closer saw the primaries had greyish brown centres with white edges confirming my suspicions that it was the returning Kumlien’s Gull.

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Second winter Kumlien’s Gull eating a flatfish.

Flew off as ML arrived.

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Turnstone

As the tide was pushing up we went to look for it with the other gulls in the fields north of the caravan park. No sign but as we walked back I saw it back where I originally had it. Watched it for a while and were able to pick out the darker wedges on the outer webs of the outer primaries when it flew a short distance onto the sea where it lingered before flying north a few hundred metres to join a few other gulls on the beach.

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Second winter Kumlien’s Gull taking off

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Second winter Kumlien’s Gull over the sea-RL

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Oystercatcher

The Snow Buntings at Paull were last seen on Tuesday. For more from Paull see here. Also includes an account of the Gyr Falcon.

Roy and JH had 26 Goosander including 9 drake on East Park Lake in Hull on Wednesday.

Goosanders East Park Hull 271113a RL

 

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Also a ringed Black-headed Gull.

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Danish ringed Black-headed Gull-East Park-RL

For the latest from Tophill Low NR check here.

For more in the Hull Valley recording area check here.

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Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, East Park, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire