Been a good week on the coast but things have been much quieter inland at Tophill Low NR.
13/10 Started promising with a drake Common Scoter found by Doug Fairweather on the Saturday but the following day was only seen by Geoff Barker who had braved the inclement weather and made it to the top D reservoir hide whilst everyone else only got as far as middle hide and then only because car park hide would have been unbearable in the northerly wind. The Scoter reappeared for a few mid week although I hadn’t seen it on the Monday. Geoff also had female-type Goosander and Greater Scaup, both managing to hang for RL, ML and I to reach top hide although the Goosander departed south soon after.
Walking back through D wood had my 1st Brambling since early last year.
I thought I had a dark winged goose flying south with Greylags but no sign of it on Watton NR. However a radio tagged Taiga Bean Goose was in the area recently so maybe?
Greater Scaup with drake Tufted Duck
Jack Snipe were still on the reserve last Sunday, with one utilising the “channels’ dug by Richard and his band of helpers on South Marsh East, likely the one I found on the 8th. This one was elusive when we looked for it late afternoon but I eventually located it very close to the hide, although well hidden behind reeds.
While looking for it I located a 2nd bird much further away although was even more elusive. The rain last week has started to fill South Marsh East and made the Jack Snipes more elusive although the same lucky people had two again mid week.
In the gull roost this evening I found a Common Gull with white primaries, a possible confusion with a Mediterranean Gull for the unwary, then a real 1st winter Mediterranean Gull.
Adult Common Gull with white primaries.
14/1o On Monday the only bird of note for me was Cetti’s Warbler briefly giving it’s explosive song at the lagoon. Richard had another one their favoured site, South Marsh Wast on my next visit, on Saturday.
19/10 Like Monday it was again quiet on Saturday although had a bit of fun when while Doug Fairweather was showing off the highlights of his moth trapping a big spider decided the walk up his arm. Although I’ve not seen one quite like it before, it appears to be just a colour morph of Garden Spider.
The highlight of the moths was Rush Veneer, rare anywhere so a good site tick although will have to wait for Martin’s return from Sagre to get it’s status for the site.
After the good day on Friday only the Black-necked Grebe and a Red-crested Pochard were reported from Hornsea Mere on Saturday.
20/10 Back on the site with RL and ML on Sunday morning. Had a load of Harlequin Ladybirds.
Harlequin Ladybird Larva
Otter had been seen by, amongst others, Eric Clubley, a site 1st for him. We headed through D wood wood checking the tit flocks on the way. Both Willow and Marsh Tit are been seen regularly recently.
This one is definitely a Marsh Tit!
Another Marsh Tit
Gave it a while in North Marsh hide but as usual no Otter. Also no Kingfisher, which have been scarce recently. However still plenty of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darter, including many still ovipositing.
For more news from the reserve check the Tophill Low Blog.