Tag Archives: Hornsea Mere

The ex-HVWG Hide

The hide leased by Hull Valley Wildlife group from the Wassand Estate is back in use from 4th April. The hide at Hornsea Mere accessed from Seaton Road will be an add-on to membership of Wassand Hide and Wildlife Group Society. This costs £25 [£35 for married couples] with addition of Seaton Road Hide another £10. There appears to be no option for Seaton Hide alone. As before there will be restrictions on access but no details at present. When we leased the hide, because of limited parking, only 2 cars were allowed. Unlike the Wassand Hide there will be no day tickets. For more details check here. No mention of Seaton Road Hide but does give contact details. Alternatively in person at East Lodge, Seaton, Hornsea HU11 5RJ.  This is the house at the top of the drive to Wassand Hall. Also available on 01964 537474.

10 Comments

Filed under Hornsea Mere, Uncategorized

A Ghost emerges in Cottingham

14/6/15 Again Saturday was another slow night moth trapping with only 10 moths of 8 species, although 2 identified late night had gone. This makes the regular checking during the evening a good idea. Apart from Spruce Carpet, with one previous record in October 2013, everything else was had been already recorded this years. DSCN7418

Spruce Carpet

An over friendly Blackbird had obviously learnt the trapping area was a good place to forage, showing the need to try to get up early to beat the “early bird” to the moth. DSCN7417Spent the afternoon checking Little Wold Plantation for Spotted Flycatcher with out success. 15/6/15 Monday had a look round the fields behind KGV Rec,Cottingham. Apart the common Celypha lacunana I found a very distinctive micro new to me. After posting on twitter and facebook was identified as Ptycholoma lecheana, a fairly rare species for the county. DSCN7423

Celypha lacunanaDSCN7432

Ptycholoma lecheana

16/6/15 Tuesday evening checked the fields on corner of New Village road and Dunswell Road. Found a strange creature crawling in the grass. On closer inspection seemed to be a just emerged moth species. Carefully picked it up and carried it home in my camera case.

DSCN7436 On reaching home and it had pumped up to become a female Ghost Moth. DSCN7438

♀.Ghost Moth

20/6/15 Friday night’s moth haul was again small but varied. Brown Silver-line was a new one but I suspect I may have overlooked this species in the pastSmall Magpie was first for 2015.

DSCN7478

Small Magpie DSCN7472

Brown Silver-line

Also first for the year was dark Minor species.

DSCN7492

Minor agg.

Also 2 Common Marbled Carpets were 1st trapped this year as was Common Carpet.

DSCN7488

Common Marbled Carpet

DSCN7469

Common Carpet

Had a look round Snuff Mill Lane before the rain set in. Plenty of Timothy Tortrix, Straw Dot as well as couple of Meadow Brown, all refusing to pose for a picture. Best was a male Nemophora degeerella, an attractive long-horn moth, the only one I’ve recorded away from Tophill Low NR. DSCN1279

♀.Nemophora degeerella-Tophill Low NR-24/6/12

Sorry to my regular followers more inclined to birds. Locally not much on the bird front but did a bit of twitching recently. The account is on my other blog for those not already following.

DSCN7498

Singing Chiffchaff-Snuff Mill Lane,Cottingham.

For recent bird sighting from Hornsea Mere check here.

For the most recent update of the Tophill Low Blog check here.

For Paull Holme Strays Blog here.

1 Comment

Filed under Cottingham, Moths

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

DSCN7149

Waved Umber

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

DSCN7152

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].

DSCN7166

Avocet with Shelduck chicks-Bewholme Hall

Went to Hornsea Mere Wassand Hide this afternoon.

DSCN7168

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.

DSCN7172

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.

DSCN7209

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.

DSCN7233

Little Grebes-Heron Lakes

DSCN7230DSCN7217

Little Ringed Plover-Heron Lakes
DSCN7212Mute Swan family-Heron Lakes

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.

DSCN7237

♂.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.

DSCN7240

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.

1 Comment

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.

DSCN7082

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.

DSCN7079

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.

DSCN7087

Fledgling Tawny Owl

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

DSCN7137

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

DSCN7091

Wall near lagoons.

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

DSCN7096

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?

DSCN7109

Over-summering ♂.Goldeneye on South Marsh West

DSCN7099

♂.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

DSCN7128

Nesting Oystercatcher and Black-headed Gull-South Marsh East

DSCN7123

sitting Lesser Black-backed Gull-South Marsh East

DSCN7125

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!

DSCN7118

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

DSCN7133

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.

8 Comments

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

Volunteers day.

16/4/15 Haven’t done any volunteer conservation work at Tophill Low NR for quite a while. One of the main reasons recently is that my current work rota means I can’t make the main weekday volunteers day on Thursday. However I ‘m off work this week and with Richard scheduling work on Watton NR I agreed to join RL to work on what has been his baby for decades. No work has been done there for two years due to uncertainty over it’s status since the Environment Agency has been forced to attempt to sell off much of it’s holdings. Led to believe a sale is near although on terms that will guarantee it remains a wildlife sanctuary. Whether despite the imminent sale or as part of the terms of this sale, Richard had obtained permission to do the work necessary to maintain it’s nature reserve status.

RL and I took on the task of clearing brambles obstructing view from the public hide accessible from the footpath to the west of Watton NR. This hide gets little traffic, seemingly largely used by Tony McLean to take photographs in peace.

Watton NR public hideDSCN6387

Before.

DSCN6392

After.

We also chopped down any willows that had grown since our last visit to prevent the reserve becoming willow scrub. Lukas finished off our task using a petrol “brush-basher.” having already cleared other areas of the reserve.

Other work undertaken included harrowing to recreate the bare areas favoured by ground nesting birds. In the past we have used herbicide to keep these area largely free of vegetation. Before the new harrow was risked on it’s first job volunteers walked the area and picked up any larger stones. These stones will be added to the gravel areas previously created for nesting Little Ringed Plover.DSCN6382

Stone collecting.

DSCN6397

Pete Drury having a “harrowing” time.

DSCN6399

The end result. May look like a ploughed field but great for ground nesting birds.

The tern rafts were also floated out for the first time in two years.

DSCN6403

Richard Hampshire commanding his volunteer raft launchers.

Inevitably a large amount of dead wood was generate which as seems the current practise was burned on site. Rl and I prefer to “incorporate” our pile into the remaining scrub.

DSCN6404

There is always plenty of fuel for Cliff Teal’s fire.

However today wasn’t just work as we heard our first Willow Warblers walking to the job along Watton Beck as well as several Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Later had the first Sedge Warbler singing at the back of Watton NR, close to where we were working.

The pair of Black-necked Grebes were still on D reservoir, present since Saturday.

DSCN6363

Black-necked Grebes-Tophill Low NR-12/4/15

Although it’s been a slow spring so far, common migrant are now appearing in good numbers. Also Little Gulls are starting to be seen in small numbers at Hornsea Mere including an adult today. On the warmer days butterflies including Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Brimstone are now on the wing. 
Anyone who follows this blog will note this is my first posting for several weeks. This is down to several reasons including lack of time and energy due to work pressures. Also I just not been inspired by what has been a fairly quiet year so far with most of the interesting stuff covered by Tophill Low and Merebirders blogs anyway. Whether this posting is just a flash in the pan or a restart we’ll just have to wait and see.







2 Comments

Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Conservation volunteering., Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

Little Auk at Barmston

18/11/14 Went to Hornsea Mere with RL on Tuesday morning. Started in HVWG Hide. Had 2 Slavonian Grebes in the middle of the lake west of the hide and a more distance bird close to Kirkholme Point. Went round to Kirkholme Point to get some pictures.

DSCN5674

 Slavonian Grebe-Hornsea Mere

Told a 4th Slavonian Grebe was again off the jetties but couldn’t locate it although we were looking into the sun. Went round to Wassand Hide but added nothing to the day list.

Went to Barmston this afternoon. Had been a good movement of Little Auk recently but the winds had gone east today and judging from the small numbers record so far today didn’t look too promising for us. The easterlies also meant it felt cold, a rare thing so far this autumn. Also the sea rough and only found 3 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver on it. Also little moving. Started looking further afield. RL picked up a dark object bobbing off the outfall marker. We both thought Little Auk, but was it alive? RL saw it put it’s head up so at least still breathing so a year tick. Walked south to get parallel then followed it as it drifted north with tide.

DSCN5745

 Little Auk-Barmston

Although not 100% was still fit enough to dive ahead of the bigger waves and occasionally flapped it’s wings.

DSCN5755

Little Auk showing signs of life-Barmston

Followed it to the north of the caravan park where I got down onto the beach to get closer. The usual fate of flightless Little Auks is to be taken by a large gull but this one was lucky to go unnoticed while we were there at least. With the tide up there were few waders just a small mobile flock containing 4 Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover and a Turnstone.

Went to Tophill Low NR late afternoon to do the gull roost on D reservoir. Nothing unusual but numbers were decent with:-

Black-headed Gull 14000

Common Gull 21840

Great Black-backed Gull 570

Herring Gull 310

The nest box team had seen the regular Scaup but not the Grey Phalarope. Later found a BTO worker, looking for signs of bird flu, had seen the phalarope but not logged it. Fortunately didn’t see any sickly wildfowl! Check here for more on bird flu.

19/11/14 At least one Slavonian Grebe was still at Hornsea Mere on Wednesday morning. The Grey Phalarope was at Tophill Low still in the south west corner of the D reservoir. Also the first bittern of the winter was picked up coming in to roost at Watton NR in the afternoon and couple of jays were seen. For recent news from Tophill Low NR check here. Two Little Auks were on the sea off Barmston caravan park early afternoonGrey Phalarope in fog D res Tophill Low 151114a RLGrey Phalarope-Tophill Low NR-RL

Leave a comment

Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

Grey Phalarope at Tophill Low NR

11/11/14 A phalarope was found by the nest box team at Tophill Low NR late Tuesday morning. RL went to check it out and not surprisingly, considering the number of recent sightings, it was a Grey. However it was at the north end of D reservoir and viewing was difficult.

Grey Phalarope Tophill Low D res 111114c RL

 Grey Phalarope-Tophill Low NR D Reservoir-RL

Didn’t need it for the site or even the year [see here] so didn’t consider it worth the trip that late in the day. Did Welton Waters instead. Again some ducks on the watersports pit but nothing on Brough Angling Complex due to dye used to suppress weed growth which also seems to discourage ducks. A pair of Marsh Harriers roosted on Brough airfield marsh, presumably the pair that I consider to have bred there this year.

14/11/14 Despite no reports between times the Grey Phalarope was seen again by Lee Johnson on Friday afternoon. However may not have been looked for since, not helped by heavy rain on Thursday. Also had a 3rd winter Caspian Gull briefly.

15/11/14 Heavy fog on Saturday meant relocating the Grey Phalarope in the morning was very difficult. It was finally found against the wall below North Hide by RL, much to the relief of a group of hopefuls in the hide and at least one regular who had missed the last one.

Also a Scaup on the reservoir.
Scaup female in fog front ctr D res Tophill Low 151114 RL
Scaup-Tophill Low NR D res-RL

16/11/14 On Sunday finally had enough time to make a trip to Tophill Low NR. Fortunately the Phalarope had already been located by the time I got there. Spend all day feeding either side of middle hide but as it stayed close to the reservoir wall was only viewable from car park or north hide and therefore distant.

DSCN5636

Grey Phalarope-Tophill Low NR D reservoir

Watched it from the car park hide for a while then went to check D wood feeders. Heard and saw several Willow and Marsh Tits.

DSCN5641

Willow Tit-Tophill Low D wood feeders 

Also had a Chiffchaff. Not a drab bird so likely a wintering bird from the near continent.

DSCN5658

Grey Squirrel-Tophill Low NR D wood

Checked D reservoir again from middle hide. The Phalarope wasn’t visible but had a immature drake Scaup.

Report of a Jack Snipe on South Marsh West early afternoon but didn’t show in my two visits but did have a male Marsh Harrier over. Also a large flock of Fieldfare on the river bank from South Marsh East hide.

Up to 3 Slavonian Grebes still seen regularly at Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point with 4 reported this morning.

Slavonian Grebe Hornsea Mere 151114a RL

Slavonian-Hornsea Mere-RL

For more from Hornsea Mere see here.

1 Comment

Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Hornsea Mere, Tophill Low NR, Welton Waters