Tag Archives: Eurasian White-fronted Goose.

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.

GREATER SCAUP-HORNSEA MERE

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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Little Egret in High Eske NR pre-roost.

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

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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.

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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.

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Black-necked Grebe-Hornsea Mere

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

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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.

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Eurasian White-fronted Geese-High Eske Farm.

The Kumlien’s Gull was again at Barmston.

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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.

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Water Rails-Hornsea Mere

Spent the afternoon at Tophill Low NR.

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“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.

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1st winter Greater Scaup-Tophill Low NR

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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.

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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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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.

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redhead Smew-Brough Haven-M.Lonsdale.

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

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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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Boxing Day at High Eske NR.

With Roy in the VIP box at Hull City this afternoon it was my chance to visitor my long time favourite High Eske NR for the first, and probably last time, in several weeks. Got up fairly early and although hardly warm it was frost free and likely to be bearable by the time I got out. As my brother and sister-in-law were visiting this afternoon had to get out pretty quick to get a decent look around. No surprise there was nothing in the moth trap so that was one delay avoided. Next, would the bike start, but like after every winter lay up for the last 10 years, after turning over for a few second, while oil circulated, it started to fire then started up and was warmed up enough to run clean in a few more second. Although I loved both my Moto Guzzis there is nothing like the reliability of my current rice-burner.

Next task was loading up, a bit more than just opening the boot on a bike, followed by getting my gear on, which in winter is only just less of a task than putting armour on.

Setting off, the bike is fine, but am I rusty?   No problem there, helped by not being on a cycle for 5 days. In the past have found getting on bike shortly after getting off a cycle can be a weird experience as your brain doesn’t always switch modes and you can find yourself trying to brake with the clutch or squeeze through cycle size gap.

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The [t]rusty steed.

Ok that enough about bikes as this turning into the type of vanity project that stopped me starting a blog in the past.

Anyway, having seen the floods, just a few mile further north, at Tophill Low NR it was no surprise to see the river level at Hull Bridge. High water usually isn’t good at High Eske NR and with anglers on site it was no surprise there wasn’t much wildfowl with only 2 female Pintail of note.

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High Eske NR.

However walking north of the pit it was immediately apparent the real reason for this as Arram Carrs was now a vast lake with 100’s of Wigeon and Greylag Goose as well as smaller numbers of other things including a few Pintail.

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Looking across R.Hull at Arram Carrs “Lake”.

Quickly picked up 6 “wild” swans but unfortunately they were Whoopers and there was no sign of the Bewick’s. Also a few Mute Swans but nothing like the number usually seen in past winter. 3 adult Eurasian White-fronted Geese with the Greylags.

Leven Carrs wasn’t too wet so chance of raptor and owls again this winter.

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Leven Carrs.

However with the weather looking to change didn’t give it too long and only had a Common Buzzard.

Returning to High Eske NR was unable to do a circuit as I’d learn from an  angler that the bridge at the north inlet was under deep water and checking the south end there a “river” over the bund.

Heard from another birder that a seal had a been seen again during the last cold snap.

Me Kurt and Lewis 271212

Roy with Kurt and Lewis-Who had the better day?

Had a walk late afternoon in Cottingham to check the Waxwing site on Canongate then around KGV rec. In the park saw something falling from a tree and hitting the ground with a good thud, and was surprise to see 2 Blue Tits flying off.

Steve Routledge was at Tophill Low NR today.

“Waterbob” had the Smew and 2 Waxwings at Welton Waters.

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End week of “British Birding Time”.

23/10 Headed to Atwick Tuesday afternoon in the hope of migrants. Started at the church but seemed quiet so went to the coast and walked south. Thick fog so couldn’t see anything on the sea. Large flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare on the cliff face but couldn’t pick out any Ring Ouzels. Interesting find of two Corn Buntings in the set-aside near Hornsea North Cliff Boat club. Checked the bushes nearby which have in the past been productive for chats but nothing except for 2 Reed Buntings. Flock of Goldcrest by the slipway but, apart from an interestingly dark Chiffchaff that didn’t hang around to be scrutinised, nothing else. Walked back along the beach but added nothing to the list.

The rapidly eroding Atwick cliffs in the mist.
Went to High Eske late afternoon. No sign of the Smew {Richard Jennings saw it on Sunday as well as a Lesser Redpoll] but other wildfowl was well up with 240 Wigeon, 6 Pochard and 30 Teal. Also a Pinkfoot with the Greylags but this may be one of the birds that hang around all year, however walking back to the farm in the dark I heard a flock moving south. Also a saw at least one Barn Owl.

24/10 Wednesday had a walk around the Dunswell Road area of Cottingham and had my first inland Redwings in Millennium Wood, as well as the regular Bullfinches.

Did Welton Waters this afternoon. Water Rail calling in the reeds in the southeast corner of the watersports pit. Also 28 Tufted Duck which kept spooking for no apparent reason. Eventually found the reason when I saw an Otter surfacing. Watched it on and off for a few minutes but too distant to bother photographing.

Had 2 brown tits along Common Lane. Didn’t call so as both Marsh and Willow occur left them as that although in the old days would have said Willow. Are we making it too hard for ourselves?

Walking back a man with a dog reported 2 owls on the airfield. Light almost gone but gave it some time and finally saw a Short-eared Owl.
26/10 Went to Paull Holme Stray with Roy, Martin and Pete Scott on Friday morning to check out a probable Olive-backed Pipit seen by Micheal Flowers on Thursday. No sign but had good number of winter thrushes moving west. Also had 2 Swallows over the “fisherman’s carpark”.

A late Common Darter found by Martin Lonsdale at Paull Holme Strays.

Went to Hornsea Mere where a Ring Ouzel had been seen. Checked the usual sites in the southern fields but no sign.

Some of the regular wintering Barnacle Geese at Hornsea Mere. Of unknown origin but have included a Spitzbergen ringed bird.
Ended the day doing a sea watch on Hornsea front. No sign any Little Auks but did have a good number of Red-throated Diver moving as well as 4 Common Scoter, Wigeon and a large flock of Teal. Picked up a Short-eared Owl coming in over the sea that hopefully made landfall somewhere to the south.
28/10 Went to Barmston with John on Sunday morning. Weather much better and actually managed to sit out on the clifftop. The aim was Little Auks and didn’t have to wait long to get one flying north over the breakers. Had another 10 but they were further out. Also Black-throated Diver, 10+ Red-throated Diver, 30 Common Scoter, 11 Goldeneye, 5 Eider, a few Wigeon and a large flock of Teal sat on.

Went to Hornsea Mere early afternoon and found a female-type Scaup.
Met up Roy at Tophill Low NR. Walked down to Watton NR for a Eurasian White-fronted Goose then checked out D res for 2 female-type Scaup.

Eurasian White-fronted Goose-Watton NR-Roy Lyon.

Female-type Scaup on D res-Roy Lyon.

Checked the gulls but only a few Lesser-backed Gulls and the sort of Herring Gulls that get Martin Hodges excited. Left before nightfall but nothing from Martin so didn’t miss anything.

29/10 Didn’t get out today but Roy got to Barmston but only managed 1 Little Auk, which although still in good number off Northumberland  were sparse further south. Also had a good number of Common Scoter, an Eider, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, and Black-throated Diver.

30/10 Couldn’t get out Tuesday but 4+ Waxwings were in Beverley on Lincoln Way which might drag me out tomorrow afternoon. Another 3 briefly at Sigglethorne opposite Spring Garden Centre. Promising to be a good winter after the small number last winter.

Now I’m back at work and the evenings are dark it’s going to be difficult getting out much on works days but I’ll do my best!

Had the trap out again but only 3 moths with Common Marbled Carpet and Garden Rose Tortrix on 23/10 and Juniper Carpet on 25/10, which was new for the garden.

Garden Rose Tortrix.

Juniper Carpet.

Drew a blank on 26/10. May try again on milder nights.

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