Tag Archives: Iceland Gull

Two new birds for Paull

8/3 A juvenile Iceland Gull was found by Simon Brebner on Saturday morning at Paull Holme Strays.


Iw Iceland Gull-Paull Holme Strays-Simon Brebner

RL and ML managed to twitch it that afternoon and interestingly had a second immature Iceland Gull flying over Hedon Road towards Alexander Dock on the way. Graham Catley had seen a first winter Iceland Gull at Hull Docks a few weeks back.

10/3 Went to Paull with RL on Monday afternoon. The Iceland Gull was still on the flats off the western inlet of the Strays [Paull tick no.1] . Was quite settled and we were able to creep to the end of the flood bank with out flushing it so getting some reasonable photos, despite my battery failing after a few shots.


1w Iceland Gull-Paull Sands

However a non-birder oblivious to our mission brazenly walked past RL and flushed it. However it only flew a short distance onto the Strays proper.

Finished the day at Hornsea Mere where we had the nine Scaup again.

11/3 Went to High Eske NR on Tuesday afternoon. Highlights were a singing Chiffchaff, a drake Goosander at dusk and the regular Barn Owl over Pulfin NR. More of a ‘lowlight’ was two Mink that climbed out of the river and walked across the causeway in front of me, into the borrow pit. My first sighting for a few years and worrying for Richard Hampshire who seems to be controlling the species further up the river at Tophill Low NR.

Returned on Friday evening when I had a least nine Little Egrets flying in to roost. Again couldn’t locate the roost and have come to the conclusion that they must roost in trees out of sight west of pit. May have missed a few while looking for the roost including any coming from the south so the twelve reported a few week back may be regular.

12/3 Went to Welton Waters on Wednesday afternoon. Duck numbers were up with 47 Tufted Duck and 18 Goldeneye, split between Brough Angling Complex and “watersports pit”. No Chiffchaff along Common Lane but Pete Scott had two this Saturday. My habit of returning to Brough airfield marsh at dusk finally paid off with a close Short-eared Owl and a female Marsh Harrier coming in to roost.


Short-eared Owl-Brough airfield marsh

15/3 Went to Hornsea Mere with ML and RL on Saturday afternoon. Nothing from HVWG hide except the assumed escaped Red-crested Pochard so went to Paull. Started at Saltend where Simon Brebner had seen 122 Avocets on Friday but none for us. However while counting the other waders and Shelduck a passing dog-walker called out “look behind you” and there was a very low Red Kite [Paull tick no.2]. RL and I fired off a few quick shots.

Red Kite Saltend  150314 RL+

Red Kite-Paull-RL

ML had stayed in his car but fortunately had seen it independently. Even tried whistling to get our attention despite the strong wind!

Went to the old lighthouses to count the waders on Paull Holme Strays and Sands. Totals were:- Turnstone 29, Bar-tailed Godwit 2, Shelduck 74, Ringed Plover 5,  Sanderling 17, Dunlin 620, Grey Plover 720, Oystercatcher 5, Golden Plover 1900, Avocet 9, Wigeon 53, Little Egret 2 and Curlew 27. I also had a Peregrine repeatedly putting up the waders on Paull Sands.

16/3 Again on Sunday morning had nothing from HVWG hide at Hornsea Mere except the Red-crested Pochard but Geoff Dobbs fared better from the south side starting with Cetti’s Warbler in 1st field then Long-tailed Duck, Black-necked Grebe and redhead Smew. The Velvet Scoter and 4 Scaup were seen in the afternoon. More from the mere here.

RL and I fared little better on the sea between Atwick and Barmston with only a few Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes and Guillemots, although I did have a Kittiwake off Ulrome. Again no sign of the Kumlien’s Gull at Barmston but did have notable 50 Oystercatchers. Also had a Comma butterfly while looking for migrants at Atwick.

For my recent moth trapping in  Cottingham check here.

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Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Paull, Paull Holme Strays, Ulrome, Welton Waters

Cottingham and Willerby

18/1 Took a walk on “the carrs” late Friday morning. Starting from my home in Cottingham I go up Priory Road, checking the paddocks, then down Wood Lane to Wold Road, Hull. Depending on time and inclination I’ll spend some time on Springhead GC. Usually I look round the scrubby area at the north end but sometime may venture further. Finally I walk back along the footpath back to Abbots Walk in Cottingham, passing the site of Haltemprice Priory.

To be honest in this weather I’d see more looking in the garden. I had a good number of Fieldfare over Priory Road but otherwise few birds except in Springhead GC where it abuts private gardens.


“That looks like fun Holly”-Springhead GC

However the lack of birds was somewhat made up for by great views of Roe deer with one in Springhead GC, a very approachable 5 on farmland behind and a pair with a large fawn nearer Cottingham.



Roe deer-Willerby

Before the recent cold winters Stonechat would winter at Haltemprice farm. Also a Little Owl has been regular on the buildings and both Barn and Short-eared Owl have been seen in past years.

Check here for sightings from Figham Common, Beverley.

Check here for today at Tophill Low NR.

19/1 Went for a walk on my other Cottingham “patch” Saturday afternoon. This centres on KGV Rec including Millbeck Wildlife area and the fields between Park Lane and Dunswell Road.


Millhouse Woods Lane pumping station-Cottingham

It can also include the rough fields on the corner of Dunswell Road/New Village Road and the Woodland Trust reserve “Oppy Wood”, which I previously called Millennium Wood. At this time of year usually go via Canongate to check for Waxwings.

Had good tit flock in St.Mary’s churchyard including a Goldcrest. 3 Tree Sparrows in KGV Rec were not a regular sighting.

Paul Martin had male Hen Harrier, Woodcock and 2 Goosander at Paull. For more from Paull [and Paul] click here.

The Iceland/Kumlien’s Gull was again at Barmston late morning. Click here for further discussion on it’s ID. My only is comment is that nobody mentions taxonomy?

Drake Smew still at Welton Waters on Brough Angling Complex this afternoon.

Click here for more recent HVWG sightings.


Filed under Nature in East Yorkshire

Hornsea Mere and Atwick

17/1 Had a pair of Coal Tit in the garden on Thursday morning.


Blackbird in the back garden.

Went to Hornsea Mere with Roy and Martin L late Thursday morning. The lake was well frozen but still some open water.


Clouds over Hornsea Mere.

Picked out the female Velvet Scoter diving to the west of Swan Island. Later it climbed onto the ice and went for a walk presumably looking for more open water but eventually gave up and went back the way it came.


Female Velvet Scoter on ice-Hornsea Mere

Went round to Kirkholme Point and had a Rock Pipit briefly.

Walked the cliff top from Hornsea NCBC to Atwick. For a change had a good number of birds with 100 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Fieldfare, 30 Meadow Pipit, 5 Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer and 6 Skylark. Roy and Martin did the fields further north but had little to add.


Redwing-Atwick cliff top.

Bloody cold day and we all had feet like blocks of ice. Possibility of more snow tomorrow and no sign of warmer weather before mid February. Not looking forward to returning to work next week!

The Iceland/Kumliem’s Gull was still at Barmston this afternoon north of the car park and the Water Rail was seen again this in a drain.

Check James’ blog for interesting sightings on Wansford Carrs.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire

Cottingham and Arram Carrs

15/1 Click here for Tuesday at Barmston.

Had a walk round Cottingham KGV rec this morning but was defeated by heavy snow.


Treecreeper-KGV Rec-Cottingham


Millbeck Wildlife area-Cottingham

Ricky Fisher called round early afternoon to tell me about up to 8 Waxwings that had been on Murray Crescent Cottingham in recent days. Drove me there but no sign.

Had a cycle round the area, and some other sites nearby where I have seen Waxwings over the years, mid afternoon, but no sign.

Waxwings also reported in Pearson Park, Hull.

16/1 Iceland Gull again at Barmston early Wednesday morning, now being reported as a Kumlien’s. Unfortunately I’ve only seen this bird in thick fog so can’t say too much about it in the field but even before Martin Garner had ‘thrown the cat among the pigeons’ I had thought in some of the photos I’ve seen it did seem more heavily marked than a typical glaucoides. However it’s not as dark as I remember the 2000 Whitby bird to be and that wasn’t accepted. There is a “scoring” system for Kumlien’s/Iceland Gulls which should be available on the internet. However I’m not going to get too deep into this as I’m  sure there are plenty others happy to pontificate on the subject. In the end Kumlien’s Gull is currently considered [by many?] as a highly variable hybrid between Iceland and Thayer’s Gull so it probably isn’t worth stressing over it too much?!

Went to Aike with Roy this afternoon to view Arram Carrs from a different angle.


fields west of Aike village

Only a short walk from the village to the water so worth a future visit although still everything is distant.  The water was totally frozen but there were still a few swans, with initially 2 adult Bewick’s and an adult Whooper  joined later by 4 more Whoopers, including 2 juveniles, which flew in from the the north.


Family party of Whooper Swans-Arram Carrs


Bewick’s Swans-Arram Carrs.

Only a few Mutes. Also still a few hundred Lapwing with a few tens of Golden Plovers. On the way out 2 Little Egrets flew from the roadside ditch.

If you wonder where the other Bewick’s have got to check the Tophill Blog.


Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire

All White?

10/1 First winter Iceland Gull still Barmston on Thursday morning.

Roy and Martin L had the male Long-tailed Duck on Hornsea Mere and 140 Pink-footed Geese flying north. Also they had 14 Waxwings at Sigglesthorne.

11/1 John Sadler had a flock of Waxwings in North Bransholme at Aberdovey Close on Friday.

12/1 Drake Long-tailed Duck still Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point early Saturday afternoon.

Mike Coverdale had 6 Bewick’s and 7 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs.



High Eske NR.

With the extensive flooding in the “Valley” Roy and I went to High Eske NR to count the wildfowl get a more realistic idea of numbers along the River Hull for WeBs. As before there was very little at High Eske with only 10 Goldeneye, 4 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe of interest with the few Wigeon there of now significance when added to the 1300 on Arram Carrs.


Arram Carrs from river bank.

Also on Arram Carrs were 4 species of Swans! To start with 85 Mutes, then 8 “wild swans” which due the distance and less than perfect light took a while to agree on as 6 Bewick’s [at last!] and 2 Whoopers, and number 4 was a Black Swan! Also present were 500+ Greylags with the regular “white” geese but no other species could be found. Still at least 200 Teal. Waders were represented by a a large flock of Lapwing hiding a small number of Curlew and Redshank. Also a flock of 33 Golden Plovers.

Meanwhile John [and Geoff Dobbs giving himself a birthday treat] had the immaculate male Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere.

First winter Iceland Gull again at Barmston late morning, having been at  Bridlington South Bay on Saturday. Also 27 Snow Buntings. For an interesting discussion on the Iceland Gull click here.

Headed to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. The redhead Smew was back but very mobile, flying between Watton NR and D res, and we only saw it in flight over the car park.


Watton NR-water level well down since Christmas day.

Other wildflowl counts were Tufted Duck 399, Goldeneye 60, Great Crested Grebe 3, Wigeon 88, Pochard 49, Teal 215, Gadwall 83, Mute Swan 3 and Mallard 183. Most of the numbers thanks to Graham Slack.

Gull counts were Black-headed Gull 4000, Common Gull 13000, Great Black-backed Gull 140 and very few Herring Gulls. Mediterranean Gulls in short supply so far this year.

For more Tophill Low NR news click here.

14/1 Just found I am unexpectedly on holiday this week. With the weather it’s going to be relying on others or walking the dog locally. Going for the Great Grey Shrike then North Cave Wetlands this afternoon. Be warned this will appear on another blog as I intend to keep this blog purely for HVWG stuff in future.


The road into South Cave mid afternoon.

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Filed under High Eske NR, Nature in East Yorkshire

Waxwings and scarce ducks

7/1 Waxwing briefly at Trent Walk, Brough again Monday morning . Also 30 in Bransholme on Lothian Way late morning and 20 in Routh late afternoon.

Click here for today at Barmston.

Click here and here for up to date news from Tophill Low NR.

8/1 Steve Mulligan found 4 Waxwings on Tranby Lane, Anlaby early Tuesday morning.

Roy had the drake Smew back on Brough Angling Complex at Welton Waters but it flew off late morning. Also Kingfisher, Marsh Tit and Bullfinch. The Otter was also seen again.

9/1 First winter Iceland Gull again at Barmston [Richard Willison’s picture here] on Wednesday morning and Jack Snipe by the marsh.

Had a quick look at Swinemoor with Roy early afternoon. Again no waders or wildfowl, just gulls. Headed for Hornsea Mere. Checked the bushes on the way and was not surprised to see a flock of c30 Waxwings by Heron Lakes, presumably the birds reported in Routh on Monday.


Waxwing-Heron Lakes-R.Lyon.

At Hornsea Mere managed to locate the male Long-tailed Duck then the female Velvet Scoter, the latter a mere hide tick for me.


Female Velvet Scoter-R.Lyon.

Ended the day at Arram Carrs. 1000 Wigeon, 300 Teal, pair of Pintail, 25 Redshank and 10 Curlew but no wild swans or geese other than Greylags.


Arram Carrs looking east.


Barn Owl-Leconfield-R.Lyon.

Waxwing in Beverley on Victoria Road near Jocks Lodge mid afternoon. Passed the spot later but probably had gone to roost by then. Another in Leven late morning.

Pete Scott had the drake Smew at Welton Waters on Brough Angling Complex again this afternoon.


Filed under Nature in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters

Fag end of the year.

For the latest update on Gullmass at Tophill Low NR click here.

For recent sightings in the Kelk area click here

For recent sightings at Paull Holme Strays click here

The drake Smew seen again at Welton Waters on Wednesday was reported back at Far Ings NR on Thursday.

28/12 Roy and Martin L had a first winter Iceland Gull at Barmston on Friday afternoon. This bird had previously been reported as a Glaucous Gull. Also Guillemot, 30+ Turnstone and 150 Sanderling. At Atwick they had Knot, 15 Great Crested Grebe. Nothing of note at Hornsea Mere.

29/12 Went to back to Barmston with Roy and Martin L early Saturday afternoon with hope of getting some decent photos. Nathan Pickering had had the Iceland Gull late morning but it had flown north. Large congregation of gulls well north but despite prolonged grilling in the constant rain didn’t find it even with the expert help of Brett and Cynthia Richards. However did manage Purple Sandpiper and Grey Plover as well as 200 Sanderling, 40 Knot, 18 Ringed Plover and 85 Turnstone. Checked the gull roost at Hornsea Mere.

Mike Coverdale had a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull on Wilfholme Carrs this afternoon and an Egyptian Goose on Arram Carrs but no White-fronted Geese.

30/12 Went back to Barmston with Roy on Sunday morning. Hundreds of gulls as far north as Bridlington but no sign of the Iceland Gull, with in our area at least. Checked the beach at Ulrome just in case then did Hornsea Mere from the hide.


Teal-Hornsea Mere.

This afternoon checked Fossehill Pond and Dacre Lake, the latter having 6 Great Crested Grebes. Look around Brandeburton Ponds and near Leven airfield for geese and wild swan.



Flooding behind Greengrass fisheries-Brandesburton. The pumping station barely coping!? 

Had a quick look at Swinemoor but had no waders or wildfowl. However Little Egret and 8 Crossbills had been seen earlier.


Swinemoor-plenty of water but flew birds.

Ended the day with a quick looked round Weel.

Well the last full day’s birding of 2012 was a bit disappointing. Hopefully 2013 will start better. See if I can find something for you or you for me?

Check here for the latest from Tophill Low NR.

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Filed under Nature in East Yorkshire