Tag Archives: Common Tern

Flaming June? Not Yet?

3/6/15 Against type I got up early on Wednesday morning to empty the trap. A good idea as the moths are less active and I can beat the birds to them. Against, I get up early five days a week so need my sleep but also the orientation of our garden means the light is poor for photography early on. However paid off. Despite my concerns with last nights wind it was now still. The first moth was Flame Carpet, new for the year, and sitting on top of the trap in full views.

DSCN7144Flame Carpet

Others of note were a Flame Shoulder, 2nd for the year, Heart and Dart, 1st for the year but a common moth, and Waved Umber, 1st trapped this year but already had one while at work recently as well as another that failed to enter the trap, but still only the 3rd for the garden.DSCN7155

Flame Shoulder

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Waved Umber

The best though was Figure of eighty, again outside the trap, and only the 2nd for the garden.

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Figure of eighty

Started the morning with RL at Bewholme Hall. No sign of any wigeon or the drake Garganey but an Avocet was a site tick for me. The Shelduck have somehow managed to hang on to their remaining chicks {see here].

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Avocet with Shelduck chicks-Bewholme Hall

Went to Hornsea Mere Wassand Hide this afternoon.

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The new lock on Wassand Hide-means entry only possible with the code even if the hide is already occupied 

Very quiet except for good views of several Marsh Harriers. Also two Common Terns flew west.

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Common Tern-Hornsea Mere

Several damselflies behind the hide, mostly Common Blue but also my first Blue-tailed. DSCN7202

Common Blue Damselflies-Hornsea Mere

Also had a huge queen Hornet on the along the path back.

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Hornet-Hornsea Mere

MR had a male Ruff in flight at the east end so with that area covered we went to check breeding birds at Heron Lakes. With the Island submerged there were no breeding Common Terns but one flew west. Also a successful Mute Swan pair, several Canada Goose goslings, two juvenile Little Grebes and Little Ringed Plover nesting in a stupid place fortunately known to the work force.

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Little Grebes-Heron Lakes

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Little Ringed Plover-Heron Lakes
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Also got my first Four-spotted Chaser for the year.

Moved on to Tophill Low NR. Had a quick look at D reservoir then went to check the report of a terrapin on South Lagoon.

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♂.Red-crested Pochard-Tophill Low NR on D reservoir

Still present and looked like one I had a few years back. Didn’t look like the usual Red-eared Slider. Seems to have been seen previously although information was suppressed?! Following research by RL identified as Yellow-bellied Slider.

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Yellow-bellied Slider-Tophill NR on South Lagoon.

They are very long lived with a Red-eared Slider present at least 18 years at High Eske NR and well grown when I first saw it.

Went only as far as South Marsh East where everything was much as yesterday.

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Filed under Bewholme Hall, Birds in East Yorkshire, Hornsea Mere, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

Breeding birds at Tophill Low NR

2/6/15 Went to Bewholme Hall with RL mid morning. The Drake American Wigeon was still there with the female Eurasian Wigeon [latest Merebirders blog confirms the ID]. Also had the drake Garganey although not reported yesterday. A Garganey seen in flight with Gadwall at Hornsea Mere yesterday may have been the same bird as it associates with Gadwall at Bewholme. Heavy drizzle prevented taking any pictures but Tony Dixon fared better a short while later.

American Wigeon

♂.American Wigeon-Bewholme Hall-Tony Dixon

JH had the birds late afternoon but no one reported yesterday’s Barnacle Geese or the Whooper Swan but a Bar-headed Goose was seen.

Went to Hornsea Mere with the large number of Common Swifts the only thing of note from HVWG Hide and Kirkholme Point.

Headed to Tophill Low NR. On the way had a Turtle Dove on the road at Whinnyforth Farm.

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Unusually I left my camera in the boot but managed to get it with out flushing the dove. However although close I could only shot through the wind screen so couldn’t get a usable picture. It then flew to wires. Too distant but RL got a few shots from the car.

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Turtle Dove-Whinnyforth Farm.

Then flew towards the farmyard and was lost. Funnily in the summer of 2007 a Turtle Dove was regularly with Collared Doves in a nearby field at Scurf Dyke Farm.

By the time we reached Tophill Low NR the weather had improved and the swifts had dispersed so a plan to find a rare one was off so we walked the south end instead. Informed by the bird-box crew there was a baby Tawny Owl at the entrance to the residences road. Got a few nice shots.

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Fledgling Tawny Owl

Later it or it’s sibling was perched by the owl box.

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Had the first Wall for the year by the lagoons and a second by O reservoir.

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Wall near lagoons.

Oddly the only other butterfly was a male Orange-tip by D reservoir.

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Canada Goose family on O reservoir banking.

Cuckoo calling in South Scrub.

The over summering, presumably unwell, drake Goldeneye was still on South Marsh West as well as the regular drake Red-crested Pochard although no sign of his partner, maybe finally sitting?

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Over-summering ♂.Goldeneye on South Marsh West

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♂.Red-crested Pochard-South Marsh West

Richard and his volunteers work over the recents years seems to have worked for breeding birds at least. A new ditch from the lagoons makes control of levels easier and should help with autumn passage. As expected the usual Black-headed Gull with at least six pair of Common Terns, although the latter aren’t on the raft on Watton NR yet. Also not unusual were a sitting Little Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher but a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls is a first for the reserve.

DSCN7130Little Ringed Plover-South Marsh East

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Nesting Oystercatcher and Black-headed Gull-South Marsh East

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sitting Lesser Black-backed Gull-South Marsh East

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Common Terns-South Marsh East 

Also found a first summer Little Gull. The Black-headed Gulls got up twice as though a predator was passing over. Saw nothing the first time but on the second occasion it was due to a blue kids balloon floating over!

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1st summer Little Gull with Common Gull-South Marsh East

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Dead Mole near lagoons

A male Montagu’s Harrier, likely the Blacktoft Sands RSPB bird, flew south over the Triton Inn in Brantingham this afternoon.

The moth traps out tonight but the wind doesn’t bode well for a good catch.

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Filed under Bewholme Hall, Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

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

12/5/14-Tophill Low NR

Went to Tophill Low NR with RL on Monday morning.

Started checking the trees by the houses for the Tawny Owl chicks seen over the weekend. Had an adult in flight and the Blackbirds could be heard mobbing but no sign of the chick although one was still present earlier.

Did D reservoir from car park hide. As expected at this time of year not much to look through with only a few ducks and gulls to check. Started scanning the sky for raptors. At least 3 Common Buzzards displaying. Found what I initially thought to be one of the resident pale buzzards above Lisset wind-farm, however on higher magnification it clearly wasn’t a pale rumped Common Buzzard but a ring-tail Hen Harrier. Unfortunately it was drifting north-east and was lost to view before RL could connect but while looking for it we had another raptor which was most likely a Goshawk but it too was heading north so we never confirmed the ID.

Headed to Watton NR. The pair of Garganey hadn’t been seen for a few days but we did have a Little Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

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Dunlin-Watton NRDSCN2901Little Ringed Plover-Watton NR

A few damselflies were flying around South Marsh West sump.

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immature Azure Damselfly

Had 5+ Great Crested Newts showing well in the pond by the path to the back-2-back hides.

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Great Crested Newt

Next South Marsh West. Didn’t hear the Cetti’s Warbler but had 7 Common Terns flying south and 1st summer Little Gull dropped in.

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1st summer Little Gull with Oystercatcher

A 1st summer Mediterranean Gull was in the Black-headed Gull colony on South Marsh East. Typical of it’s species it was determined to assert it’s authority over the Blackheads. Wearing a metal ring but too distant to read.

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1st summer Mediterranean Gull with Black-headed Gulls

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Little Grebe

Walking back I disturbed a moth by the old centre. Fortunately it only flew a short way and I was able to locate it on a nearby bush although to the naked eye it just look like a knot or patch of lichen.

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Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet 

The heavy rain this afternoon brought 3300 hirundines low over D reservoir consisting of 1600 Swift, 800 Sand Martin, 550 House Martin and 350 Swallow.

The Hoopoe that had entertained the crowds over the weekend at the Old Barn north of Beverley wasn’t seen this morning.

2 Avocet flew north-west at Hornsea Mere early morning.

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

August 27-Tophill Low NR


Did Tophill Low NR on Tuesday afternoon. Started in car park hide. Had the juvenile Black-necked Grebe and an adult Common Tern but no sign of the 15 Little Gulls present in the morning.

Walked up to Hempholme Meadow. The grass had just been cut. Green Sandpiper on the nearest pool with the regular Grey Heron.

DSCN9351Strangalia maculata

Walked back through D wood. Mixed tit flock near North Marsh including a few Goldcrest but nothing of note from the hide in a brief viewing. Had a looked from middle hide and had better views of the Black-nacked Grebe. Checked the small brick building there and the car park and found the expected Red Underwing.

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Red Underwing

Headed south to check around O reservoir in the hope of Clouded Yellows having missed them on the 16th and 20th. Managed up to 4 but like Monday at Brough they were so mobile even Usain Bolt couldn’t keep up with them.

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Common Blue

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Red Admiral

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Also still plenty of Painted Ladies and Silver Y’s.

Checked South Marsh West from  L-shaped hide. Richard has been dropping the levels, partly to put water in the drained South Marsh East. Plenty of mud showing including a good “crake edge” under the river bank reeds. Two Greenshank and 3 Dunlin present. Went to Watton NR. Viewing difficult in the low evening sun and no sign of the Ruff but could have been hidden among the Lapwings.

Went back to South Marsh West and two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover had joined the Dunlin. Also a Common Sandpiper viewable from back-to-back hide.

DSCN9564Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin

The two juvenile Black Terns and juvenile Black -necked Grebe were still at Hornsea Mere, again joined by a third Black Tern  and 400+ Little Gulls in the evening.

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Juvenile Black tern-Roy Lyon-25/8/13

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Adult +juvenile Common Tern

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Little Gulls

But no news of Whinchats.

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Whinchat-Roy Lyon-25/8/13 

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Year ticking tiny Temminck’s at Tophill Low NR

22/5 Having missed two on Saturday [see here and here] I was glad to get a message of a Temminck’s Stint on at Tophill Low NR on Watton NR on Wednesday morning. Getting there late afternoon it was still present but distant and often difficult to pick out when static. Also a Wood Sandpiper, a tundrae Ringed  Plover, both new for the site year list, Common Sandpiper and 2 1st summer Little Gulls.

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Wood Sandpiper-Watton NR

Little Gull

Little Gull-Tophill Low NR

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Common Tern-Watton NR

Several Marsh Harriers still being seen and the Osprey was over again early morning.

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Marsh Harrier-Tophill Low NR

Checked out the ever present Ring-necked Duck on the way out.

Roy and Martin L went to Paull and had off Saltend 68 Shelduck, 23 Curlew and  4 Oystercatcher. 20 Ringed Plover on Paull Holme Strays and on Paull Sands 55 Ringed Plover, 42 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 35 Turnstone,  720 Grey Plover, 113 Bar-tailed  Godwit, 230 Knot, 5 Avocet, c30 Shelduck, c60 Curlew and 11 Whimbrel. Also a Common Buzzard over.

23/5 Had look round Burton Bushes near Beverley on Thursday morning but no sign of any Spotted Flycatchers.

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Burton Bushes

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Fungi-Burton Bushes

Did Swinemoor this afternoon but no sign of the Ruff seen on Monday but still 2 Little Ringed Plover.

Did Tophill Low NR with Roy. The Temminck’s Stint was still on Watton NR. Also Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 1st summer Little Gulls dropped in again.

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Common Sandpiper-Watton NR

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Little Ringed Plover-Tophill Low NR

The pair of Little Ringed Plover were still on South Marsh East. The Ring-necked Duck was still on D reservoir.

For last weekend at Kelk check here.

For news from Risby Estate nr Skidby check here.

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More like spring at Tophill Low NR

28/4 Went to Tophill Low NR with John on Sunday morning. Started in D reservoir car park hide. Good number of hirundines as well as a small number of Common Swifts. Also a female Marsh Harrier flew south. Seen again later and then 2 seen early evening. Walked up through D woods to Hempholme Meadows. Little Egret there but flew to the river after being flushed to 2 volunteer wardens.

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Little Egret-Hempholme Meadows

Also had my first Whitethroat singing near the hide as well as a showy pair of Blackcap.

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Common Whitethroat-Hempholme Meadows

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Female Blackcap-Hempholme Meadows

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Male Blackcap-Hempholme Meadows

Several tens of Swift over the north end. Walked back along the road.

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Tree Sparrow-Barmston Drain

Had no wagtails but a few on the reservoir wall below car park hide, a brief “channel-type”, 2 more showy Whites and 4 Yellows and a Pied.

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White Wagtail-D reservoir wall

Had lunch in the hide and picked up a Common Tern [a 2nd or 2 more seen after we went south]. Went south this afternoon, first to South Marsh East where a Greenshank was showing.

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Greenshank-South Marsh East

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South Marsh East-now nearly dry

Then went to South Marsh West where the Cetti’s Warbler was in good song but only giving brief views, and Reed Warbler just audible in the wind. Also heard a Cetti’s briefly by North Lagoon. On Watton NR a pair of Little Ringed Plover had been seen copulating. Lesser Whitethroat singing in South Scrub, Ended the day back at car park hide where the Ring-necked Duck was showing up close having dropped in mid afternoon.

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Drake Ring-necked Duck-D reservoir

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR