Tag Archives: Arram Carrs

Crane in vain

17/10 Went to High Eske NR on Friday morning. Wildfowl number still low with only 2 Goldeneye new in since Sunday. The female present since late 2006 hasn’t been seen for a few week so must be assumed dead, but 8 years isn’t bad for a flightless bird. Hadn’t seen the Common Crane since last Thursday and no reports of it since Saturday. Walked south but no sign near Arram Grange. Walked round the back of the pit and was surprised to see the Terrapin hauled out on a dead tree in the pond in the north-west corner. An indication of how unseasonably mild it is.

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 Red-eyed Terrapin/Slider-High Eske NR 

Walking north along the river there were six Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs, presumably part of the flock from Sunday.

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Whooper Swans-Arram Carrs

After the recent rain there is a lot of water on Arram Carrs although not at 2012 level. However along with the Lapwing there were several Mallard, Wigeon, Teal and best of all 3 Pintail.

Walked as fair as Leven Carrs but still no sign of the Common Crane. If it has finally gone I wonder whether it has flew south or linked it with the flocks in the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

Went to Hornsea Mere this afternoon. Started in HVWG Hide but saw nothing of interest. Moved to Kirkholme Point where a few other birders were viewing the grebes. The Red-necked Grebe was off the jetties but distance. Only 2 Slavonian Grebes were reported today and late afternoon they were close into the south side. Again didn’t see the female Scaup. Went to the south side and got reasonably close to to Slavs from the corner of 2nd field from where the Spotted Crake was viewed a year ago.

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 Slavonian Grebes-Hornsea Mere

Heard a Water Rail but the water level is too high this year to have a chance of seeing it. Walking back met a birder looking for the Red-necked Grebe with only a pair of compact Leica bins. Managed to showed him it through my scope although even through it it was very distant.

Had a quick look at Swine Moor at dusk but again barren.

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

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

Common Crane-still north of Beverley but mobile.

8/7/14 After performing for at least a few birders on Arram Carrs on Monday the Common Crane was a no show for Geoff Dobbs early on Tuesday but was seen again early evening in the same area as yesterday.

9/7/14 The Common Crane remained on Arram Carrs until at least late morning on Wednesday.

Went to High Eske late afternoon with the intention of checking for the Common Crane from the other side of the river for friends heading for it in the evening. Had a good look at the nature reserve below heading north. Three Little Egrets were showing well.

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 Little Egret-High Eske NR

Also a Little Ringed Plover on the east shore. Flushed a small wader. which didn’t fly like a plover and wasn’t surprised on ‘scoping it in the north-west corner that it was a Common Sandpiper. Also at least two Common Terns were still feeding on the reserve then flying north, possibly to Tophill Low NR. Three pairs of Great Crested Grebes were again attempting to nest on the same mounds they had been washed off last week.

Couldn’t see the Common Crane in the usual fields with the Mute Swans but there are at lot of hedges it could hide behind. Thought I had it the next field south but on closer view it was a Grey Heron! However on reaching Leven Canal had the Common Crane back on Leven Carrs. Very close to the path by Leven Canal so walked towards it keeping low. Got as close as I dared then took a few picture although the tall vegetation got in the way.

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First summer Common Crane-Leven Carrs

Retreated again keeping low to avoid flushing it [although some might have thanked me if it returned to the west of the river]. Met Richard Jennings and walked back south together. Had a tatty cream-crown Marsh Harrier over the river and a Kingfisher over the nature reserve.

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Filed under Arram Carrs, Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Leven Carrs, Nature in East Yorkshire

Common Crane-now on Arram Carrs

6/7/14 Sunday afternoon with no further news on the Common Crane since Tuesday evening, when it was elusive due to disturbance from machinery working on Leven Carrs, I headed to High Eske. Had been threatening to rain all day and as I got onto Hull Bridge Road, Beverley recent heavy rain was apparent and beyond Swinemoor roundabout it started, getting progressively heavier, however it petered out shortly after reaching High Eske farm. At the nature reserve were a Little Egret and Common Tern again. On reaching Leven Canal started scanning the carrs. Not obvious so kept walking north to see if it was out of view along the northern edge where I’d last seen it. Also checked the newly excavated drain for waders. However a quick look to the west located the Common Crane on the opposite side of the river, near a flock of Greylag Geese, on Arram Carrs. Looked pretty settled so had a quick scan of Leven Carrs for raptors before heading back south. Had none but did have four Common Snipe in flight. Back at High Eske NR had several sighting of at least two Kingfishers. Also flushed several Snout moths.

7/7/14 Went to Tophill Low NR on Monday morning. Walked the full reserve but little of note, the best being Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper, both on South Marsh West. A Wigeon summering on Watton NR. Did have my first Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moths and as well a few Marbled White butterflies over North Scrub. DSCN3997

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

Also several shield-bug on the outside of D res car park hide. DSCN3990

Forest Bug-Pentatoma rufipes

The Common Crane had already been seen in the general area I’d seen it last night so after consulting the OS map headed to Aike late afternoon. Had a Barn Owl hunting the verge just before the village. In Aike I took the footpath to the river bank where I joined Tim Cowley who was already watching the Common Crane along Mute Swans in a field west of Barmston Drain and further west than where it had been last night. Walked along the drain to get closer along what is marked as a footpath but hadn’t been walked recently. A tractor and trailer was working the far edge of the field and although not flushed it did cause to the Common Crane to walk north and closer to me.

DSCN4014  Common Crane-Arram Carrs-“shaken but not stirred” 

DSCN40161st summer Common Crane-Arram Carrs

Walking back I had a look from the river bank again. Wasn’t initially on view but walking south saw it again having walked to the north corner of the field. DSCN4025

Arram Carrs from R.Hull bank

Had a look at Swinemoor this evening where I had three Little Ringed Plover as well as two Little Egret roosting in a tree in the south-east corner. DSCN4030

Little Egrets roosting on Swinemoor

For more news from Swinemoor check Beverley Birding.

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Filed under Arram Carrs, Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Swinemoor, Tophill Low NR

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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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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