Tag Archives: Jack Snipe

Brown Tits and Ladybirds at Tophill Low NR

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?

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Greater Scaup with drake Tufted Duck

Image 2 Goldeneye-RL

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.

DSCN0402Jack Snipe

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.

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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.

DSCN0467Agonopterix alstromeriana-commonly seen in hides around the reserve-14/10/13

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.

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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.

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Harlequin Ladybirds

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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.

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This one is definitely a Marsh Tit!

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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.

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Migrant Hawker

For more news from the reserve check the Tophill Low Blog.

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Goodbye Pectoral Sandpiper?

5/10 On Saturday afternoon went for my 4th [and last?] view of the Swinemoor juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper found a week ago. As before it was on it’s favoured pool just south east of the humpback bridge, accompanied by the usual Ruff. Again both stupidly approachable. Nearly flushed by a dog but by luck [or decency on the part of it’s owner]  it decided not to run through the water.

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Pectoral Sandpiper and Ruff-Swinemoor

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Pectoral Sandpiper-Swinemoor-4/10/13 

The other remaining pool further north which had held the Ruff and Dunlin on Sunday was nearly dry.

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Nettle-tap-Anthophilia fabriciana-Swinemoor-4/10/13

Moved to High Eske NR. Walked directly to Leven Canal in hope of owls and other birds of prey but nothing doing.  Timed my return south so that having completed the circuit of High Eske would be in place to see any waders arriving to roost. However despite Tim Cowley reporting both waders missing to the south neither arrived. Also no reports of either roosting further north at Tophill Low NR during the week.

The wildfowl numbers were approaching winter numbers including 400+ Greylags but nothing unusual yet.

6/10 Went to Tophill Low NR with ML and RL on Sunday morning. A Great White Egret was seen earlier over North Marsh by, among others, Dave Tucker who’d also struck lucky with an Otter. The Egret was seen again late morning.

Joined JH in car park hide. 11 Pintails on the reservoir. Walked south to Watton NR. Still a good number of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters on the wing, as well as a few Speckled Woods.

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Met Geoff Barker as we approached the hide and were assured there was nothing of interest. However on immediately opening the flaps 12 Pink-footed Geese were seen with the Greylags then while trying for a Garganey, among the Teal, I found a Jack Snipe bobbing at the back.

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Pink-footed Geese-Watton NR

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Jack Snipe-Watton NR

Also another 3 Pintail and 2 late Swallows. While we were in the hide RL was on the opposite side of Barmston Drain with Hull Daily Mail photographer Kate Woolhouse. He had done an interview with Hull Daily Mail’s James Campbell about HVWG’s concerns regarding the sale of Watton Nature Reserve, during the week. For details on the sale check here.

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RL with Kate Woolhouse on Watton NR

Moved to Atwick this afternoon for a look for migrants but the only thing of notes was Harlequin Ladybird I found on JH’s car’s bonnet as he pulled up. A first for RL.

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Harlequin Ladybird-Atwick

Moved to Far Grange which was also quiet but had a Kingfisher at The Lakes which was good for the site.

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Pair of Migrants Hawkers-The Lakes at Far Grange

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The regular “Heinz” Goose-Far Grange

Did a sea watch from the east end of Far Grange golf course but only a Red-throated Diver and a juvenile Gannet of interest.

Both Richard Jennings and Tim Cowley had only the Ruff on Swinemoor this morning. Richard also had an interesting pale Buzzard over Leven Carrs but thought only Common. I am not working this week so should get a chance to look for it.

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Spring?


28/3 Went to Welton Waters with Roy and Martin L on Thursday afternoon. The drake Smew was still on Brough Angling Complex although distant due to the number of anglers on site.

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Drake Smew-Welton Waters

The northern extension now has a big screening banking. Why bother? Block the view of something and the obvious reaction is “wonder what’s behind this, I’ll climb up and have a look.” It’s a fishing pit so unlike a nature reserve there’s no problem with disturbance. Anyway actually a great place to view the area from. Very little on the “watersports pit” so move onto the river bank where Roy picked up a Short-eared Owl although it dropped into the reeds in front of the airfield. Also 7 Bar-tailed Godwits with c60 Curlew.

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Bar-tailed Godwits-Welton Waters

Too cold to bother checking the airfield further.

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29/3 Had a walk round Cottingham KGV Rec on Friday morning. The Redwing were still in the area but more spread out. Possible Blackcap sub-song but couldn’t get on it. No sign  of the Fieldfare flock in the fields to the north I’d seen earlier in the week.

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Lesser Black-backed Gulls-KGV Rec

The Ring-necked Duck still at New Arram.

Did Hornsea Mere with Martin L, Roy and John this afternoon. Roy had a Red Kite but lost to view before anyone else got on it. Went to Barmston and walked to the reedbed but had no pipits and only 2 Common Snipe.The gulls were too distant. For what we missed at the latter site check here.

Back home had a fly over by the remaining Orange-winged Amazon.

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Orange-winged Amazon-Cottingham

Walking Priory Road this evening, like the park this morning, still 100+ Redwing but no Fieldfare.

Check here and here for news from  Tophill Low NR.

30/3 Drake Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere. Kumlien’s Gull and Adult Mediterranean Gull still at Barmston. Ring-necked Duck still at New Arram

Check here for today at Tophill Low NR.

Been a non starter moth wise so far but Roy had a White-shouldered House Moth in his kitchen on Tuesday.

Moth My Kitchen 260313a Leo

White-shouldered House Moth-R.Lyon.

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Bronze Monkeys.


23/3 For Saturday at Tophill Low NR check here.

24/3 2 adult Little Gulls at Hornsea Mere on Sunday.

25/3 Little Gull again at Hornsea Mere on Monday morning.

Kumlien’s Gull still at Barmston this afternoon. Also 2+ Adult Little Gulls and 3 Jack Snipes in the reedbed north of the car park.

26/3 Headed for Barmston with Martin L and Roy on Tuesday morning following the report of a Black Redstart around the caravans. Had a walk then a drive around but only came up with 2 Robins, 9 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush. Weather still arctic so wimped out on the other birds in the area and went to Tophill Low NR. The 3 Goosander were still on D reservoir.

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Kestrel on D reservoir wall. 

Walked south for little gain except for 23 Curlews commuting between Watton NR and Carrs. When will we hear warblers or see Little Ringed Plover and Sand Martin? Had another look at D reservoir from middle hide and had closer views of 2 of the Goosander.

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Drake Goosander-Tophill Low NR.

Ended the day confirming that the Ring-necked Duck was still on the fishing pond at New Arram. Still with c100 Tufted Duck and added Pochard and Greylag Goose to my site list.

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Ring-necked Duck-New Arram. 

Richard Jennings tells me that there have been 23 Pink-footed Geese in recent days in fields on the other side of the river from High Eske NR.

For recent new from the Kelk area check here.

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One, Smew, three.

21/1 John Bratton had 10 Waxwings, at the southern end of Leven Bypass late Monday afternoon.
Roy and Martin L visited  High Eske NR. No sign of yesterday’s Ring-necked Duck but Jack Snipe flushed, Snipe, Water Rail, 3 Eurasian White-fronted Goose, 700 Wigeon, c12 Goldeneye. c25 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 250+ Greylag Geese, 26 Redshank and 6 Mutes Swans.
On Arram Carrs at least 5 Bewicks Swan and 2 probable Whoopers Swans which refused to wake up.
Also along the river were 18 Mutes and 3 Dunlin.

22/1 The Kumlien’s Gull was again at Barmston early Tuesday afternoon about 2/3ml north of the car park.

For sightings from Wansford Carrs check here.

Roy and Martin L had a redhead Smew off Brough Haven carpark as well  2 Marsh Harriers.

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redhead Smew-Brough Haven-M.Lonsdale.

Went round to Welton Waters and had the drake Smew again on Brough  Angling Complex.

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Drake Smew-Welton Waters-R.Lyon.

The drake Ring-necked Duck was reported again at High Eske NR this afternoon. A possible Scaup/Tufted hybrid was reported by Garry Taylor.

23/1 Roy went to High Eske NR on Wednesday morning but most of the birds flew off and no sign of the Ring-necked Duck. 6 Whooper and 2 Bewick’s Swans on Pulfin NR and Peregrine over fields to the north.

The Kumlien’s Gull was still at Barmston but mobile. Check here for more news from Barmston.

Red-throated Diver at Welton Waters this afternoon and 2 drake Smew on Brough Angling Complex

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Waxwings again and much more!

9/11 330 Waxwing at in Hull at Hessle road Asda late afternoon.

10/11 Had the trap out for the first time in 2 weeks. Only a Juniper Carpet Saturday morning but will give it another try tonight.

Checked the sea between Barmston and Atwick with Roy and Martin L this afternoon. Roy had 3 Waxwings over Leven bypass on the way to Barmston. Total counts were 21 Red-throated Diver, 24 Great Crested Grebe, 69 Common Scoter. Also a female Goosander off Barmston.

Had a look, with out luck, for geese around Skipsea.

The hybrid goose at Far Grange,Skipsea.

Finished at Hornsea Mere but couldn’t find the drake Smew found this afternoon by “Merebirders”.

300+ Waxwings still in Hull at Hessle road Asda late afternoon. Another 12 flew over Driffield Road. Beverley.

11/11 Went to Hessle Road Asda with John this morning. Had a flock of Waxwings by the entrance to the car park and should have grabbed a few shots out of the window as by the time we’d park up they’d flown and were then very mobile and only managed to get them static long enough to photograph briefly.

Waxwings-Asda Hessle Rd, Hull.

Went for a quick look at Welton Waters.

Watersports pit-Welton Waters-from Common Lane.

Went to North Cave Wetlands where we  quickly managed at least one Jack Snipe from the South Hide.

Jack Snipe-North Cave Wetlands. It can show better!

Went for a quick look at Drewton Manor but only managed a Common Buzzard.

Met up with Roy at Paull Holme Strays this afternoon.

Paull Holme Strays from riverbank.

Highlights were a female Peregrine scattering the waders regularly then finally catching a wader which amazingly not only escaped it talons but even appeared to fly away unharmed, 3 Short-eared Owls and a Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Also 11000 Golden Plover, 28 Ringed Plover, 80 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 32 Knot, 21 Sanderling, 4 Turnstone, 120 Shelduck, 9 Grey Plover and 2 Little Egrets.

12/11 Went to Tophill Low NR with Roy on Monday morning. 15 Waxwings on Sunday but not seen by the regulars and no sign today. Had 5 Siskin by the Lagoons. 2 Little Egrets roosting on Watton NR. 2 Barn Owl showed well over North Scrub. Kingfisher performed well over the nearest pool on Hempholme  Meadows but a bit distant for good pictures.

Kingfisher-Hempholme Meadows.

Agonopterix heracliana on South Marsh East “back-to-back” hide.

Good numbers of thrushes with 400 Redwing and 600 Fieldfare.

The reason South Lagoon hide was closed over summer!

Did the gull roost on D reservoir then ran to count the gulls on O reservoir at dusk.Total counts were:- Black-headed Gull 14000, Common Gull 12800, Great Black-backed Gull 1700, Herring Gull  490 and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Apologies to the lady who was passed by 2 mad men running around the reserve in the dark! I had a quick look at South Marsh East where at least 50 Curlew were roosting. Several Tawny Owls calling in the car park as we were leaving.
13/11 Went to High Eske on Tuesday afternoon. Wildfowl numbers seemed down on the nature reserve. Walked to Leven Carrs and checked Arram Carrs on the way but no Whoopers Swans yet.

The new wind-farm NE of High Eske.

Had a Common Buzzard over Leven Carrs then a female Peregrine zoomed in from the east crossing the floodbank at close range then scattering the corvids on Arram Carrs. As usual didn’t have the camera ready. Staked out the reserve until well dark but no Little Egrets or anything else came in.

17/11 Went to Welton Waters Saturday afternoon. Very little wildfowl but had some “brown” tits which actually called.

Marsh Tit-Welton Waters.

Timed it so I finished at the airfield near dusk but had no Short-eared Owls.

Brough airfield marsh at dusk from the river bank.

18/11 Went to Tophill Low NR with Roy on Sunday morning. A fairly quiet day but up to 4 Willow Tits in D woods and 2 Marsh Tits calling. The Jays seem to have moved on.

Willow Tit at D woods feeders.

Waxwings Many were seen in the HVWG area last week. In Hull the numbers at Hessle Road Asda declined but a large flock appears on Park Street and a few along Holderness Road. Nearby a decent flock was a Hessle Sainbury’s but weren’t around for Eric Clubley. A large flock seen much of the week in Sigglethorne and nearby another smaller flock in Hornsea on Hull Road. However on Sunday the only report was 3 in Skirlaugh. Have they moved on or did everyone “fill their boots” last weekend?

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