Tag Archives: Bewick’s Swan

Ring-necked Duck back at High Eske NR

18/2 Only managed to get out late afternoon for a walk in Cottingham along Priory Road but had a nice surprise in the form of a immature male Peregrine over fields between Priory Road and Wood Lane heading for Haltemprice Farm.

19/2 A Common Crane flew south over Hornsea Mere late Tuesday morning, later seen at Kilnsea and presumably the bird seen at Filey on Monday. Also Great Northern Diver [presumably the bird seen over the weekend at Tophill Low NR], Black-necked Grebe and 4 Eurasian White-fronted Geese.

Great Northern Horns Mere 190213 Leo

Great Northern Diver-Hornsea Mere-R.Lyon

The Bittern was still in the northeast reeds from Kirkholme Point and a pair of Oystercatcher on the point.

Bittern Horns Mere 190213 Leo

Bittern-Hornsea Mere-R.Lyon

Last decent day for a while so made the effort to get out to High Eske NR this afternoon. Had a Pink-footed Goose with the Greylag Geese. It flushed before the others and although circling a few times didn’t return so had good credentials to not be one of the Pinks that rang around all year. With the floods receding fast the wildfowl numbers were up. Had plenty of time so did a count. Great Crested Grebe 2, Little Grebe, Greylag Goose 200, Wigeon 270, Mallard 140, Redshank 48, Gadwall 46, Shoveler, Goldeneye 11, Tufted Duck 19, Pochard 10 and Coot 6.

Wasn’t surprised to come across the first winter drake Ring-necked Duck.


Ring-necked Duck and Wigeon-High Eske NR.

With the lower water levels did the full circuit for the first time since November. 100+ Teal on Pulfin NR.

Continued north. The 8 Bewick’s Swan and 12 Whooper Swans were showing well on Arram Carrs opposite Leven Carrs.


Bewick’s and Whooper Swan-Arram Carrs

Checked the latter for raptors but only had the regular female Marsh Harrier flying south.

Back at the NR hung around till late hoping for Little Egrets coming in to roost but only had one in the trees at the south end which flew north and dropped out of sight by the “terrapin pool” where it probably joined others.


Little Egret in High Eske NR pre-roost.

Had seen 4 earlier and another birder had seen up to 8 over Molescroft Carrs.


air-sea rescue flushing High Eske NR!

“Cuckoo Jack” was at Welton Waters and had 2 Otters, one giving prolonged but quite distant views. Also Smew and Short Eared Owl.

Check Dave Tucker’s blog for local Roe Deer and flowers.

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Hornsea Mere and High Eske NR

11/2 On Monday Stuart Griffiths fail to see the Ring-necked Duck at Tophill Low NR but saw the 1st winter drake Scaup and 2 aythya hybrids.
12/2 Went to Hornsea Mere with Martin L and Roy late Monday morning. Started at Kirkholme point for another look at the Water Rails in the wet field by the gate. Had at least 3.


Water Rail-Hornsea Mere

Again no sign of the Bittern that had shown well last week in the north east corner but seen later by Stuart Griffiths as well as 5 Water Rails.

Went round to the hide where I picked out a Black-necked Grebe close to the south shore. This meant driving round to Mere View Avenue then a tramp through the “Somme”. Fortunately the grebe was still close in from the 2nd field.


Black-necked Grebe-Hornsea Mere

Also there were 68 Barnacle Geese, spoiling their claim of wildness by being a bit too approachable.


Barnacle Geese-Hornsea Mere

Went to High Eske this afternoon. Had a Little Egret flying along the river to the south. 2 drake Pintail on the NR with c1000 Wigeon and small numbers of Tufted Duck, Goldeneye and Mallard. Walking north the swans were showing well on Arram Carrs with 8 Bewick’s and 12 Whoopers again. Barn Owls feeding over Arram and Leven Carrs. Walking back had the 5 Eurasian White-fronted Geese and a Pink-footed Goose with Greylags at High Eske Farm.


Eurasian White-fronted Geese-High Eske Farm.

The Kumlien’s Gull was again at Barmston.


Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Nature in East Yorkshire

8-10th February

8/2 Ring-necked Duck again at Tophill Low NR Friday. Also redhead Smew, ‘Lesser Scaup’ type hybrid, Barn Owl, pair of Pintail and 2 Little Egrets, and 3 Woodcock at the vis centre. Check Steve’s blog and Tophill Low blog for more news.

c13 Waxwings still in Beverley on Mill Lane opposite Murco petrol station at midday.

103 Waxwings in Cottingham on Canongate mid morning. Also a few seen again along Finkle Street, unfortunately they were working on the roof by the berry bush opposite New Finkle Court so they weren’t settling, also feeding on apples viewable from Blue Kangaroo car park. Despite riding up and down a few times didn’t connect today.

Juvenile Iceland Gull at the east end of Hornsea Mere mid afternoon. Click here for more from here.

9/2 6 Waxwings again in Cottingham on Finkle mid Saturday morning but not seen personally [before or after].

For today at Tophill Low NR click here and here.

8 Bewick’s Swan and 12 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs this afternoon. Nearby 4 Eurasian White-fronted Geese south of Arram Station.

Click here for Bullfinches at Humber Bridge CP.

10/2 Started Sunday morning in the Hornsea Mere hide with Roy and John. Had a good count of 424 Goldeneye. Moved round to Kirkholme Point where 2 Water Rails were again showing in the wet field by the gate. A 3rd was heard from Kirkholme Point. Also another bird seen by John Sadler in a ditch on the south side of the mere.


Water Rails-Hornsea Mere

Spent the afternoon at Tophill Low NR.


“The garages” Tophill Low NR awaiting conversion to temporary Wildlife Centre

The Ring-necked Duck was still on D reservoir as well as a new Scaup, a 1st winter drake, 2 of the Scaup hybrids, 14 Pintail and a Shelduck.


1st winter Greater Scaup-Tophill Low NR


Aythya-hybrid-Tophill Low NR

Also had a Pink-footed Goose flying south with a few Greylags.

Had a well obscured Woodcock from the Wildlife Centre.


Leucistic Wigeon-O res Tophill Low NR

The redhead Smew was on Watton NR, having early been on O reservoir. Returning to car park hide to do the gulls was lucky to get the adult Little Gull. Also 10000 Common Gulls, 3500 Black-headed Gulls, 700 Herring Gulls, 400 Great Black-backed Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

For more from Tophill Low NR today click here and here.

Stuart Noble had 5 Goosander and 28 Shoveler on Bransholme Reservoir.

Fortunately the snow didn’t arrive and although bitterly cold stayed reasonably dry.

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Waxwings in Cottingham

5/2 Riding back from work in Cottingham on Tuesday at lunchtime had 8 Waxwings feeding on berries on Finkle Street. After having something to eat and getting my breath back headed back with my camera on my cycle despite sleet now falling. Now a large number all sat on aerials opposite New Finkle Court. Fire off few shots, trying get them all in so I could count them later, then they “exploded”




Had a quick look around but not many other obvious sites nearby and the weather wasn’t conducive to hanging around so gave up. From the photos there were at least 60 birds. May go out again to show the dog if it does get better! Will be passing that way a couple of times again tomorrow.

The Ring-necked Duck at Tophill Low NR on D reservoir all day also drake Scaup, Scaup hybrids and Pintail.  2 Woodcocks from the wildlife centre. Click here for more from the NR including pictures of the Scaup-hybrids.


Ring-necked Duck-Tophill Low NR-R.Lyon.

Nearby 8 Bewick’s Swan, presumably the Arram Carrs birds, at Wilfholme at the far end of Wilfholme Road with Mute Swans. Also Green Sandpiper.

Roy did Paull Holme Strays/Sands at high tide and had:- 740 Bar-tailed Godwit, one of which in full breeding plumage, 12 Ringed Plover, 166 Grey Plover, 1230 Dunlin. 99 Shelduck, 5 Curlew, two distant Buzzard, 2 Little Egret, 2000 Golden Plover, 97 Lapwing and a Knot.


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Ring-necked Duck at Tophill Low NR

3/2 Had a late start on Sunday so had a chance to have a serious go at my Garden Bird Watch. This paid off with the first Blackcap, a male, for the garden in several years followed by a male House Sparrow. House Sparrow has a strange distribution in Cottingham, in some area like St.Margaret’s Avenue area where I work they are pretty common, however it’s a rare bird in the garden despite a few regularly in hedges only a few hundreds yards up the road.

Just as Roy as about to pick me up late morning to go to Welton Waters, learned that Tony Disley whilst running the In Focus event at Tophill Low NR had found the missing first winter male Ring-necked Duck on D reservoir. Last record for the site was April 2005. Where it’s been for the last 2 weeks is anyone’s guess. Anyway within an hour we were watching it from car park hide. As they do it contented itself by drifting around fast asleep.


Ring-necked Duck-Tophill Low NR

While waiting for it to liven up we check out the 3 male “Scaup’. Eventually came to the conclusion that we had a good one, a close one [more like a giant Lesser Scaup] and a total “no way”.  Also 2 cracking male Pintails. Having sat for 2 hours decided to have a stroll. Started in the wildlife centre. Whilst scanning the meadow for Woodcock we saw 2 flying from the right [possibly flushed by Mandy’s Reggie?]. I quickly picked up one which showed well for a few minutes before walking into cover.


Woodcock-Tophill Low NR

The second was only gave obstructed views. Continued south and found several regulars had just seen Otter on Watton NR. Also missed the redhead Smew However didn’t show for us. Were going to do the gulls on O reservoir but none had come in by late afternoon so went back to car park hide. 17 Pintails were now present. Martin H had a adult Little Gull. For more from the NR click here and here.

Mike Coverdale had 6 Bewick’s and 12 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs this morning.

The Kumlien’s Gull again at Barmston by on the beach by the car park. Check Duffbirder for more info.

Click here for Dave’s report from Humber Bridge CP.

For the latest from Paull Holme Strays click here.

Click here for more recent sightings in HVWG area.

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February begins.

1/2 Roy and Martin L had another ringed Black-headed Gull at East Park, Hull on Friday.

Finnish Ringed Black-headed Gull East Park Hull 010213 M Lonsdale

Finnish ringed Black-headed Gull-East Park-M.Lonsdale

Also had a Short-eared Owl at Paull Holme Strays.

S-e Owl PHS 010213 Leo

Short-eared Owl-Paull Holme Strays-R.Lyon

Bars and Grays Paull Holme Strays 010213 Leo

Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover-Paull Holme Strays-R.Lyon

2/2 Went to Hornsea Mere with Roy late morning. The Goldeneye now displaying well in the sun between the torrential rain.

Coot-Hornsea Mere


Goldeneye-Hornsea Mere

Checked Bewholme Hall where the Wigeon had increased since last visit. Had a Stoat by the road leaving Bewholme. Went looking for geese in the Skipsea area. 2 unringed Barnacle Geese were with the Canada Geese at Skirlington, the usual hybrid was at Far Grange and opposite the 2 Pink-footed Geese were at The Lakes although the Canada Geese were much reduced.


Barnacle Goose with Canada Geese-Skirlington


The Far Grange goose.


Pink-footed Goose with Greylags-The Lakes,Far Grange

8 Bewick’s Swan were reported at Arram Carrs again so we headed to view the site from Aike. The Bewick’s were picked up early on the water but the 12 Whoopers were tricky at first as they were initially in a dip.


Whooper Swans-Arram Carrs

Good number of Greylags but couldn’t pick out anything else. Seems we missed 5 Eurasian White-fronted Geese. Also had a female Marsh Harrier fly over. Went to Arram for a different view but the bulk of the birds were out of sight from there.

Mike Scott had 15 Waxwings in Hull on Chanterlands Avenue.

Kumlien’s Gulls still at Barmston by the car park this afternoon. For more details click here.

From Tophill Low NR Twitter feed: Otter on Watton NR seen on the reserve walk. Golden Plover, Bullfinch and Kingfisher. Knot reported am on Aike-Wilfholme rd [Can’t have been far from there!]. Pintail pair on D reservoir this afternoon. Merlin on Watton Carrs. Water rail ‘showing well’ at Hempholme Meadow. Tawny owl and Willow Tit in D woods.

35 Waxwings at North Feribby on Riverside Walkway.

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One, Smew, three.

21/1 John Bratton had 10 Waxwings, at the southern end of Leven Bypass late Monday afternoon.
Roy and Martin L visited  High Eske NR. No sign of yesterday’s Ring-necked Duck but Jack Snipe flushed, Snipe, Water Rail, 3 Eurasian White-fronted Goose, 700 Wigeon, c12 Goldeneye. c25 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 250+ Greylag Geese, 26 Redshank and 6 Mutes Swans.
On Arram Carrs at least 5 Bewicks Swan and 2 probable Whoopers Swans which refused to wake up.
Also along the river were 18 Mutes and 3 Dunlin.

22/1 The Kumlien’s Gull was again at Barmston early Tuesday afternoon about 2/3ml north of the car park.

For sightings from Wansford Carrs check here.

Roy and Martin L had a redhead Smew off Brough Haven carpark as well  2 Marsh Harriers.


redhead Smew-Brough Haven-M.Lonsdale.

Went round to Welton Waters and had the drake Smew again on Brough  Angling Complex.

Drake Smew Welton Waters 220113 Leo

Drake Smew-Welton Waters-R.Lyon.

The drake Ring-necked Duck was reported again at High Eske NR this afternoon. A possible Scaup/Tufted hybrid was reported by Garry Taylor.

23/1 Roy went to High Eske NR on Wednesday morning but most of the birds flew off and no sign of the Ring-necked Duck. 6 Whooper and 2 Bewick’s Swans on Pulfin NR and Peregrine over fields to the north.

The Kumlien’s Gull was still at Barmston but mobile. Check here for more news from Barmston.

Red-throated Diver at Welton Waters this afternoon and 2 drake Smew on Brough Angling Complex

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Cottingham and Arram Carrs

15/1 Click here for Tuesday at Barmston.

Had a walk round Cottingham KGV rec this morning but was defeated by heavy snow.


Treecreeper-KGV Rec-Cottingham


Millbeck Wildlife area-Cottingham

Ricky Fisher called round early afternoon to tell me about up to 8 Waxwings that had been on Murray Crescent Cottingham in recent days. Drove me there but no sign.

Had a cycle round the area, and some other sites nearby where I have seen Waxwings over the years, mid afternoon, but no sign.

Waxwings also reported in Pearson Park, Hull.

16/1 Iceland Gull again at Barmston early Wednesday morning, now being reported as a Kumlien’s. Unfortunately I’ve only seen this bird in thick fog so can’t say too much about it in the field but even before Martin Garner had ‘thrown the cat among the pigeons’ I had thought in some of the photos I’ve seen it did seem more heavily marked than a typical glaucoides. However it’s not as dark as I remember the 2000 Whitby bird to be and that wasn’t accepted. There is a “scoring” system for Kumlien’s/Iceland Gulls which should be available on the internet. However I’m not going to get too deep into this as I’m  sure there are plenty others happy to pontificate on the subject. In the end Kumlien’s Gull is currently considered [by many?] as a highly variable hybrid between Iceland and Thayer’s Gull so it probably isn’t worth stressing over it too much?!

Went to Aike with Roy this afternoon to view Arram Carrs from a different angle.


fields west of Aike village

Only a short walk from the village to the water so worth a future visit although still everything is distant.  The water was totally frozen but there were still a few swans, with initially 2 adult Bewick’s and an adult Whooper  joined later by 4 more Whoopers, including 2 juveniles, which flew in from the the north.


Family party of Whooper Swans-Arram Carrs


Bewick’s Swans-Arram Carrs.

Only a few Mutes. Also still a few hundred Lapwing with a few tens of Golden Plovers. On the way out 2 Little Egrets flew from the roadside ditch.

If you wonder where the other Bewick’s have got to check the Tophill Blog.


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All White?

10/1 First winter Iceland Gull still Barmston on Thursday morning.

Roy and Martin L had the male Long-tailed Duck on Hornsea Mere and 140 Pink-footed Geese flying north. Also they had 14 Waxwings at Sigglesthorne.

11/1 John Sadler had a flock of Waxwings in North Bransholme at Aberdovey Close on Friday.

12/1 Drake Long-tailed Duck still Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point early Saturday afternoon.

Mike Coverdale had 6 Bewick’s and 7 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs.



High Eske NR.

With the extensive flooding in the “Valley” Roy and I went to High Eske NR to count the wildfowl get a more realistic idea of numbers along the River Hull for WeBs. As before there was very little at High Eske with only 10 Goldeneye, 4 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe of interest with the few Wigeon there of now significance when added to the 1300 on Arram Carrs.


Arram Carrs from river bank.

Also on Arram Carrs were 4 species of Swans! To start with 85 Mutes, then 8 “wild swans” which due the distance and less than perfect light took a while to agree on as 6 Bewick’s [at last!] and 2 Whoopers, and number 4 was a Black Swan! Also present were 500+ Greylags with the regular “white” geese but no other species could be found. Still at least 200 Teal. Waders were represented by a a large flock of Lapwing hiding a small number of Curlew and Redshank. Also a flock of 33 Golden Plovers.

Meanwhile John [and Geoff Dobbs giving himself a birthday treat] had the immaculate male Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere.

First winter Iceland Gull again at Barmston late morning, having been at  Bridlington South Bay on Saturday. Also 27 Snow Buntings. For an interesting discussion on the Iceland Gull click here.

Headed to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. The redhead Smew was back but very mobile, flying between Watton NR and D res, and we only saw it in flight over the car park.


Watton NR-water level well down since Christmas day.

Other wildflowl counts were Tufted Duck 399, Goldeneye 60, Great Crested Grebe 3, Wigeon 88, Pochard 49, Teal 215, Gadwall 83, Mute Swan 3 and Mallard 183. Most of the numbers thanks to Graham Slack.

Gull counts were Black-headed Gull 4000, Common Gull 13000, Great Black-backed Gull 140 and very few Herring Gulls. Mediterranean Gulls in short supply so far this year.

For more Tophill Low NR news click here.

14/1 Just found I am unexpectedly on holiday this week. With the weather it’s going to be relying on others or walking the dog locally. Going for the Great Grey Shrike then North Cave Wetlands this afternoon. Be warned this will appear on another blog as I intend to keep this blog purely for HVWG stuff in future.


The road into South Cave mid afternoon.

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When the levee [nearly] broke.

29/11 4 Bewick’s and 2 Whoopers Swan still on Arram Carrs on Thursday.

30/11 4 Bewick’s and 6+Whoopers Swan reported on Arram Carrs on Friday. Roy and Martin L had 20 Goosanders on East Park Lake,Hull. Also amazing sightings of Otters at Tophill Low NR.

1/12 Stuart Griffiths had c50 Waxwings in Beverley at North Bar Within in the tall trees in St Mary’s Manor Saturday afternoon.

Robert Jaques reports only seeing Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs today plus a Black Swan.

2/12 Went out with Roy and John on Sunday morning. Went through Beverley but no sign of the Waxwings on North Bar Within.

Checked Hornsea Mere and the sea at Barmston but little doing, although c50 Snow Buntings were just out of our area at Fraisthorpe. Headed to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. Checked a previous swan and goose site on North Frodingham Carr. Plenty of water but as with the other “flashes” on the way to Tophill Low NR only gulls present. Had a good flock of plovers along the “approach road” with c70 each of Golden Plover and Lapwing then several hundred Fieldfare and Redwing.

Hare-Tophill Low NR approach rd.


Redwing-Tophill Low NR approach rd.

DSCN4438Fieldfare along Tophill Low NR approach Rd.

A Waxwing had been seen early afternoon along Barmston Drain by John and Mary Morley and Alan Marshall. Also Jay again in D woods seen by Keith Rotherham. Walked north but no sign of the Waxwing. Haven’t been to the reserve since the deluge but still a lot of water about.


Hempholme Meadows now under water.


Swans swim where owls once hunted.

Check the Tophill Low NR blog for Richard’s account of the rising water levels last week. Also Wold Ranger for more shots at Wilfholme. Did the gull roost but numbers were low. No reports from the south end but much of it likely to be frozen as was North Marsh. Compared with this time last year thing are very quiet on the reserve. So far no Smew or white-winged gull, although last year was exceptional for the latter. However the forecast for more cold weather may improve things.

30+Waxwings on Nafferton at Westgate Gardens/Cherry Drive early afternoon.

3/12 7 Waxwings on Nafferton at Cherry Drive on Monday morning.

4/12 Velvet Scoter and 2 Common Scoter at west end of Hornsea Mere Tuesday morning. 2 Waxwings Woodmansey along Hull Road near Plaxton Bridge Road early afternoon.

Checked the regular Waxwing site in Cottingham on Northgate this afternoon then the fields on the corner of Dunswell Road/New Village Road. Had a Green Woodpecker flying towards gardens on New Village Road.


fields off Dunswell Rd,Cottingham-looking toward Orchard Park flats.


Fields off Dunswell Rd,Cottingham-looking towards Northmoor La.

Had few Green Woodpecker in the village over the years including one two years ago in nearby Millennium Wood and an occasional sighting over the years in fields off Priory Road but yet it’s a rare bird in the area without a healthy population nearby from which to move. I’m told there is a pair at Haltemprice cemetery but not I’ve not checked them out.

5/12 2 Waxwings still in Nafferton on Wednesday morning and 15 in Hull at Preston Road/Marfleet Lane junction this afternoon.

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