Tag Archives: Garganey

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

Crazy last day of May 2015

31/5/15 After a hard week at work I was happy that it looked like I’d be on my own on Sunday and with rain forecast in the morning I’d have no urge to venture out too early. Under no pressure I approached the moth trap more relaxed than often is the case. This year has so far been very poor but this morning although no great shakes compared to past years saw for the first time this year double figures. Least Black Arches was the best catch with my first ever only a week ago.

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Least Black Arches

Brimstone added some colour and with Common Swift and Mottled Pug firsts for the year.

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Brimstone Moth

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♂.Common Swift

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Mottled Pug

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Not forgetting the regular Cockchafer.

With the rain almost over by late morning I planned an early lunch then off to Tophill Low NR for some shelter incase of further rain. This planned was solidified by the finding of a female Red-necked Phalarope by a visitor on D reservoir. This also got RL to change his plans so early afternoon we were on site. No sign from car park hide so moved to middle hide where fortunately the finder, among others, had it on view. Took a while to get on but once found was fairly easily relocated although it was fairly distant in the middle of the choppy reservoir. Both of us went for our cameras where the best method was just to fire away and hope to catch it above the waves.DSCN7037

♀.Red-necked Phalarope from D reservoir middle hide

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Flew short distances, often when disturbed by a gull, but about c13.45, coinciding with the arrival of a flock of mainly Common Gulls, it flew again and this time couldn’t be relocate. Give it half an hour then went to check O reservoir. The wind made checking the reservoir unpleasant and decided against checking the rest of the site. Wasn’t seen again. Ironically one regular had visited early morning with the hope of finding a phalarope and had to make a return visit, while another long-time regular arrived too late. Fortunately with several previous records, the most recent being 12 June 2011, none of the top site listers  needed it.

For more from Tophill Low NR, including the Lesser Scaup that almost went unnoticed, check here.

Getting in late afternoon went for a walk up Priory Road with Holly. A few Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the paddocks. Started down Woods Lane but only get a short way before receiving a message that Lee Ives had found a pair of American Wigeon along with drake Garganey by Bewholme Hall pond. Thus a brisk walk back, not easy with an obese mockweller, to await RL’s  arrival.

Arrived at Bewholme Hall to have the place to ourselves but I quickly picked up the Garganey by the pond then the first winter drake American Wigeon just left of the pond quickly joined by a female Eurasian Wigeon. A drake American Wigeon flew south at Spurn Point this morning however a drake was at Saltfleetby St.Clement this afternoon just a short jump across the Humber. Unless this drake then went back north we appear to be looking at two drake only a few tens of miles apart. Again apparently paired with a Eurasian Wigeon.

Garganey right Bewholme 310515

♂.Garganey-Bewholme Hall-RL

American Wigeon Pair Bewholme 310515a

Drake American Wigeon with female Eurasian Wigeon-Bewlholme Hall.

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Also interesting that a pair were seen at Tophill Low NR 4 years almost to the day.

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pair of American Wigeon at Tophill Low NR-1/6/11

A pair of Shelduck had 6 small ducklings on the the pond. The drake was constantly chasing off the others ducks, giving good flight views of the Garganey but unfortunately not of the American Wigeon. Despite it’s aggression a Carrion Crow managed to take a chick although did get chased off when it was too late.

Actually weren’t alone as two Merebirders were out of sight at the top of the farm dive. Later found the Whooper Swans with the Canada Geese, which had recently been seen  at Grimston. Birders are asked to view only from the road and not go beyond the farm entrance.

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Over summering Whooper Swan-Bewholme Hall-RL

For more recent news from Hornsea Mere [including more of the above] check here.

Also check here for sightings from Paull Holme Strays.

1/6/15 Drake American Wigeon still at Bewholme Hall today but the female considered Eurasian. Also 3 Barnacle Geese with the Canada Geese this evening. Interestingly a drake American Wigeon was again at Kilnsea. With no sign of any American Wigeons at Saltfleetby St.Clement this morning it looks likely that there are two drakes, but females probably all Eurasians.

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Filed under Bewholme Hall, Birds in East Yorkshire, Cottingham, Moths, Tophill Low NR

Insects taking over?

28/5 Went to High Eske last Tuesday. As expected at this time of year it was pretty quiet but good to see the Oystercatchers with 2 robust chicks and a pair of Common Terns were nesting on the main island. A Little Ringed Plover was still hanging around although no sign of any breeding activity. Didn’t do Swinemoor as Roy and Martin L had already been where they had 3 Tundra Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Redshank. At Bewholme Hall they had 2 Little Ringed Plover. 30/5 On Thursday had a good walk round the Drewton Estate. Best thing was a Red Kite low over Keeper’s Lodge although didn’t hang around long enough for me to get the camera out. Also at least 4 Common Buzzards although the small stuff wasn’t too apparent. DSCN7329

Male Grey Wagtail-Weedley Springs

31/5 Went to Paull with Roy and Martin L on Friday morning. Unfortunalely missed the tide but had c45 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin on Paull Sands. DSCN7516

Ringed Plover and Dunlin-Paull Sands

Also 2 Little Egrets in flight over the Strays. Went round to the Strays car park. Surprised to see a Whooper Swan in the fence off area [John Ward had 3 fly from Sunk Island to Paull late Monday evening]. Image

Whooper Swan-Paull Holme Strays-R.Lyon

Also a Whimbel. Image 1

Four Spotted Chaser-Paull Holme Strays

Late afternoon had a walk in Cottingham to Oppy Wood. Little of significance bird wise although good to hear several Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Also a Sedge Warbler singing in a ditch off Dunswell Road. However with the temperture well up I had plenty of insects including micro moths. DSCN7589 Helophilus pendulus-Cottingham.

1/6 Back at High Eske NR on Saturday afternoon. Good to see the Common Tern still sitting and a least one Oystercatcher chick. The resident female Goldeneye still had an escort.

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Goldeneye-High Eske NR

A pair of Marsh Harriers were displaying over Pulfin NR. At least 3 male and one female Cuckoo in the area. DSCN7620

Leucozona leucorum-High Eske NR

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Azure Damselfly-High Eske NR

DSCN7633   2/6 Went to Paull with Roy on Sunday morning. Started at Saltend. Tide still well out so very few waders but had a Peregrine over. The Whooper Swan was still on the Strays and on Paull Sands were 2 Little Egrets, Bar-tailed Godwit and Avocet as well as good numbers of Curlew and Shelduck. Went to Swinemoor to see a drake Garganey reported to me by Richard Jennings then on to Bewholme Hall where we had 2 Ringed Plover and an Oystercatcher. DSCN7664

Drake Garganey-Swinemoor

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Reed Bunting-Swinemoor

Finished the day with a sea-watch off Atwick. Highlight was a Great Skua. Also 8 Sandwich Terns, 8 Fulmar, numerous Kittiwake and 5 Common Scoter drifting north close inshore. Sand Martin Atwick 020613 Leo

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3/6 Went to Tophill Low NR on Monday afternoon. DSCN7684

Celypha lacunana-Tophill Low NR

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Chrysolina polita-Tophill Low NR

Had 2 of 3 Little Egrets lingering on Watton NR. DSCN7696

Little Egret-Watton NR

Also a pair of Common Terns lingering but no sign yet of nesting. One Little Ringed Plover there with 3 on South Marsh East but again no sign of nesting. A few Marsh Harriers still around the site. The best thing was my [and likely the sites] first Wall Brown for the year, at East Pond. DSCN7706

Wall Brown-Tophill Low NR

Getting in found a male Golden Oriole had been present on in Burton Bushes on Beverley Westwood for 2 days. Found by Ivan Nethercote and confirmed by Geoff Dobbs this evening. Unfortunately it stopped singing as soon as the news got out. Spend an hour forlornly listening with Roy, Stuart Griffiths and Lee Johnson, joined by Stuart Noble and Steve Webb as we were giving up. Again saw no Spotted Flycatchers but at least one pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker and a pair of Mistle Thrush in the area.

4/6 Burton Bushes checked with out luck by at least Roy and Richard Willison early Wednesday morning. A Great White Egret spent the morning at Hornsea Mere in a tree viewable from Kirkholme Point. Stayed long enough for Roy and Martin L but flew toward the west end early afternoon. As I’ve seen 2 there already I wasn’t tempted to go looking for it. Richard Jennings had the drake Garganey on Swinemoor again this evening.

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

Early May

6/5 Did Hornsea Mere from the hide on Monday morning with Martin L, Roy and John. Highlights were a Black-tailed Godwit flying west and a Cuckoo.

John had 2 Avocets at Bewholme Hall.

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. Ring-necked Duck still on D reservoir.

DSCN7053Pair of Little Ringed Plover-Tophill Low NR

Went to catch the tide at Paull Holme Strays late afternoon. Had 10 Whimbrel, 14 Shelduck, 400 Dunlin, 49 Ringed Plover [mostly tundra], 4 Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, 10 Avocet, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and Greenshank.

DSCN7056Paull Holme Strays

Nathan Pickering had a Wood Sandpiper on Swinemoor this morning.

7/5 My first Swifts over Cottingham on Tuesday morning,

Did Swinemoor from Weel Road. Quickly picked up 3 Wood Sandpiper [4 later]. Also 3 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Redshank but most of the wildfowl had moved on.

Went on to High Eske. The resident female Goldeneye was still holding onto a male. Walked north. No waders on Leven Carrs scrape or raptors over but heard a Cuckoo. Returning to the NR had my first Orange-tips. Little Ringed Plover and Wood Sandpiper on the “scrape” but flushed by a Fox.

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Red Fox-High Eske NR

A Common Tern flew in.

Went to look for migrants in Cottingham early evening. Common Whitethroat in fields off Dunswell Road and Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcaps in Oppy Wood. The highlight though was a very approachable Water Vole in a rubbish filled drain at the latter site.

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Water Vole-Oppy Wood-Cottingham

For my recent moth trapping click here.

8/5 2 Arctic Terns at Hornsea Mere on Wednesday

9/5 Osprey over Tophill Low NR late Thursday morning.

Kumlien’s Gull still on Barmston beach.

10/5 Went to Swinemoor with Roy and Martin L on Friday afternoon. Had the 6 Wood Sandpiper reported yesterday [9 reported by Nathan Pickering later]. Also 7 Redshank and 3 Little Ringed Plover.

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Wood Sandpipers-Swinemoor

Went to Tophill Low NR. Had time to day tick the Ring-necked Duck on D reservoir as well as 800+ Swift over before heading to High Eske to collect the 2 tern rafts. Have mixed feelings about this. Managed to get them on High Eske NR 2 years ago when a pair each of Common Tern and Black-headed Gull breed. However they broke free in the winter and we didn’t manage to put them out again last year, probably a good thing as the high water levels during the summer would have been a problem. This year with South Marsh East drained and the logistics of using them again at High Eske NR beyond us they will be put on Watton NR [hopefully very soon!] to  with luck attract any displaced terns.

Moving the tern rafts

Loading the tern rafts at High Eske NR

For recent Tophill Low NR news click here and here.

Drake Garganey at Hornsea Mere early morning.

11/5 First summer Little Gull and 2 Arctic Terns at Hornsea Mere on Saturday.

6 Wood Sandpiper and 3 Whimbrel on Swinemoor.

Ring-necked Duck still at Tophill Low NR as well as drake Garganey and first summer Little Gull. 
For recent new from Barmston click here.

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