Tag Archives: Greater Bittern

2/2/14 Paull and Hornsea Mere

A Firecrest was found by the Martin brothers near Fort Paull on Saturday morning. RL and ML looked for it early afternoon with out success but it was found again after they left showing well along the moat on the south side of the fort. I went back with RL but by then the wind had become too strong and we couldn’t relocate it.

Went back to Paull with RL and ML on Sunday morning and joined JH, the Martin brothers and Pete Scott looking for the Firecrest. Wind much lower and we could actually hear birds calling. Shortly RL located it at the top of a tree west of Fort Paull. Unfortunately flew but I relocated it just a few metres away and eventually everyone was happy with their views.

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Firecrest near Fort Paull-RL

For more news from the Paull area check here.

Went to Hornsea Mere this afternoon. Mike Jackson was already in the hide and had located the Scaup flock. The full nine present including the two drakes.

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Pair of Greater Scaup with Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Wigeon

While watching them I found a nice drake Red-crested Pochard, the first for a few months.

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Drake Red-crested Pochard

Also had the female Velvet Scoter.

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Female Greater Scaup and Velvet Scoter-RL

Mike had had the Great White Egret yesterday [see here]. With the unusually bright conditions compared with the recent times and with the bird quite close we got some of our best pictures [I hope!] for a while.

Had a walk past Wassand Hall later but a Jay was the only bird of interest.

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Looking over Hornsea Mere from near Wassand Hall.

A lot of trees have been felled at the west end of the mere but many saplings have also been planted

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Recently felled timber

Check here for last week at Tophill Low NR including a Bittern on North Marsh.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Paull

Getting the year started

2014 started much as 2013 ended with strong wind and heavy rain. With this in mind RL and I started out in Hornsea Mere hide. With the gate at Kirkholme Point shut and the weather too much for even the Merebirder diehards we had the place to ourselves. Had both Great White Egrets distantly by Kirkholme Point. Went to Barmston. The tide was well up and there was no sign of the Kumlien’s Gull on the beach and it was too foul to look for it in the fields north of the caravan park. Last reported on the 28/12/13. Had a drive round the caravan incase the recent Black Redstart was still around

Went on to Ulrome where we could sea-watch from the car. Managed 5 Common Scoters, 17 Fulmar, 1+ Kittiwake, Lesser Black-backed Gull, 10 Teal, 3 Shoveler and a Red-throated Diver. The coast had suffered badly from last years tidal surge.

On a whim we decided to finished the day back at the mere hide. Just north of Hornsea we had a flock of 117 Greylag Geese with one Pink-footed Goose. Back at Hornsea Mere our decision paid off when I located the female Velvet Scoter, as usual between us and Swan Island. We also managed 4 little Gulls. Could have been more but all the small gulls roosted close in to the south side and were difficult to differentiate in the conditions. Leaving we had both Great White Egrets roosting at the bottom of the cormorant trees close to Seaton Road.

Thursday by contrast was like a spring day. Started at Welton Waters. This area had been badly effected by flooding from the Humber before Christmas. A lot of debris but no sign of any serious damage. Presumably all the fridges etc that had reportedly been floating in the pits had been removed. Wildfowl numbers were low for this time of year. Whether this was a consequence of the flooding I don’t know. However a total of 8 Little Grebes was better than recent winters. On a positive note, although we didn’t see one, an Otter had preformed well on watersports pit earlier. The first report since the herbicide treatment which seems to have put off the birds. Continued to the airfield. A section of the flood bank just west of Brough Angling Complex had been scoured out by the floods.

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Brough airfield marsh

As expected the water level was up on airfield marsh but again little wildfowl although 4 Pochard was new for the day. Scanning the marsh I saw a large brown bird flying from Brough Angling Complex. Common Buzzard and Short-eared Owl were eliminated and I realised it was a Bittern. RL get on it before it dropped into the marsh. Had a few previous records but not an easy bird anywhere.

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Some of the detritus removed from Brough airfield

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Debris on Brough foreshore

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The recent flood defence improvements appear to have saved BAE

Continuing on to the Haven I had 100+ Teal. Checked through them but the Green-winged Teal was still at North Cave Wetlands so didn’t have much optimism. Also had a female Marsh Harrier to the west.

Went on to Tophill Low NR. I had a quick look round the south end, with only a Barn Owl behind Watton NR of note, then joined RL in D reservoir middle hide. RL found an adult Mediterranean Gull. I had a frustrating egret flying south near dusk. Looked too big for a Little but couldn’t clinch it as a Great White. Disappeared over trees before anyone else could get on it. One that got away but neither species is a big deal nowadays. For yesterday on the reserve check here,

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D reservoir at dusk 

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Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR, Welton Waters

Late February summary.

20/2 Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe and Bittern still at Hornsea Mere on Wednesday morning. More recent news from the mere here.

I heard and saw well a Green Woodpecker in Cottingham over fields off Dunswell. Also heard one behind KGV Rec.

The Drake Ring-necked Duck moved to Leconfield, seen at Normandy Barracks late afternoon.

21/2 Stuart Griffiths found 5 Waxwings in Beverley on Queensgate on Thursday morning.

No sign of the Ring-necked Duck at Normandy Barracks, Leconfield today.

Juvenile Glaucous Gull on private land northeast of Brandesburton.

Some interesting sightings from within the Hull boundary by Robert Jacques.

Recent news from Tophill Low NR here.

22/2 Black-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver still at Hornsea Mere on Friday afternoon with the Bittern still off Kirkholme point.

Rough-legged Buzzard reported in a tree by the A165 at Long Riston early afternoon.

23/2 Martin L and Roy at Paull Holme Strays on Friday had 24 Ringed Plover, 72 Knot, 380 Bar-tailed Godwit, 36 Grey Plover, 1000 Golden Plover, 900 Dunlin, 900 Lapwing, 300 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 50 Mallard and 60 Greylag Geese.

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Paull lighthouses-R.Lyon

Grey Plov Paull Holme Sand 230213

Grey Plover-Paull Holme Strays-R.Lyon

Last 2 days at Hornsea Mere here.

24/2 Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe and Bittern still at Hornsea Mere on Sunday afternoon.

11 Waxwings again in Beverley on Queensgate opposite Butt Lane.

One Drake Smew still at Welton Waters on Brough Angling Complex.

Had a male Merlin over fields off Priory Road, Cottingham this afternoon.

For more recent news from Tophill Low NR check here.

25/2 Black-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver still Hornsea Mere early Monday morning.

Juvenile Kumlien’s Gull still on Barmston beach this morning.

Sorry this is a bit sparse. Not done anything other than going out on foot recently and  seen nothing worth photographing.

Off to Spain on Wednesday morning for a few days. Try and write something on my other blog when I get back.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters

Tophill Low NR and Hornsea Mere

16/2 Another mild day so intent on getting out on the bike again, this time High Eske NR. However plans changed on getting home with a message from Martin H that Graham Slack had found a first winter Great Northern Diver at Tophill Low NR. Fighting back sleep with strong coffee I was there mid afternoon. Passed Steve Routledge viewing Lesser Redpolls by the lagoons. Viewed the diver from O reservoir viewing screen. Was distant and looking into the sun but got a few record shots before heading for L-shaped hide, although due to the low water level there was no guarantee it would be on view. However about half way there I saw the diver lift off then flew strongly north.

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First winter Great Northern Diver-Tophill Low NR

Texted Martin to watch out for it but I didn’t see it again, although it might have dropped into D reservoir near dark. Continue round the south end. Smew, Pink-footed Goose and Eurasian White-fronted had been seen on Watton NR earlier and Otter yesterday but not for me. However had an early sign of spring with a returning pair of Osytercatcher.

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Barn Owl-Watton NR

More from Tophill Low NR on the blog.

Dave Tucker had the Kumlien’s Gull at Barmston today.

17/2 Had a call from Stuart Griffiths, just before setting off this morning, that the Great North Diver was again at Tophill Low NR, now on D reservoir. As John had dipped yesterday we made it our priority. Unfortunately distant at the north end of the reservoir. Headed for Hornsea Mere late morning for another go at the Bittern. Arriving on Kirkholme Point it wasn’t showing so I went with Mandy James to look for Water Rails by the gate. Probably due to the amount of traffic they were being elusive and we only had on and off views of one bird. Going back the Bittern had been seen but was in cover and never had the sort of views other had had recently.

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Greater Bittern-Hornsea Mere

The Black-necked Grebe had been seen earlier off 2nd field.

Back at Tophill Low NR the diver was now close from the car park hide so improved on my pictures from yesterday.

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First winter Great Northern Diver-Tophill Low NR

Also picked out the drake Scaup and the “Lesser Scaup” hybrid. Headed south and had the redhead Smew and Pink-footed Goose on Watton NR.

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Pink-footed Goose-Watton NR

Had a look for Woodcock from the wildlife centre late afternoon but no sign. More from Martin here. Also check Wild at Hull.

Kumlien’s Gull still at Barmston.

David Bowes had the 8 Bewick’s and 11 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs this afternoon. The site is drying out quickly.

A Great Northern Diver was seen by Eric Clubley, just outside the HVWG area, at Broomfleet Tile Works on 11-13 February at least.This is a private site.  Seems likely the same bird.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire