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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Juvenile Whooper and Mute Swan.
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.