Tag Archives: Little Egret

Common Crane-still north of Beverley but mobile.

8/7/14 After performing for at least a few birders on Arram Carrs on Monday the Common Crane was a no show for Geoff Dobbs early on Tuesday but was seen again early evening in the same area as yesterday.

9/7/14 The Common Crane remained on Arram Carrs until at least late morning on Wednesday.

Went to High Eske late afternoon with the intention of checking for the Common Crane from the other side of the river for friends heading for it in the evening. Had a good look at the nature reserve below heading north. Three Little Egrets were showing well.

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 Little Egret-High Eske NR

Also a Little Ringed Plover on the east shore. Flushed a small wader. which didn’t fly like a plover and wasn’t surprised on ‘scoping it in the north-west corner that it was a Common Sandpiper. Also at least two Common Terns were still feeding on the reserve then flying north, possibly to Tophill Low NR. Three pairs of Great Crested Grebes were again attempting to nest on the same mounds they had been washed off last week.

Couldn’t see the Common Crane in the usual fields with the Mute Swans but there are at lot of hedges it could hide behind. Thought I had it the next field south but on closer view it was a Grey Heron! However on reaching Leven Canal had the Common Crane back on Leven Carrs. Very close to the path by Leven Canal so walked towards it keeping low. Got as close as I dared then took a few picture although the tall vegetation got in the way.

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First summer Common Crane-Leven Carrs

Retreated again keeping low to avoid flushing it [although some might have thanked me if it returned to the west of the river]. Met Richard Jennings and walked back south together. Had a tatty cream-crown Marsh Harrier over the river and a Kingfisher over the nature reserve.

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Filed under Arram Carrs, Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Leven Carrs, Nature in East Yorkshire

Common Crane-now on Arram Carrs

6/7/14 Sunday afternoon with no further news on the Common Crane since Tuesday evening, when it was elusive due to disturbance from machinery working on Leven Carrs, I headed to High Eske. Had been threatening to rain all day and as I got onto Hull Bridge Road, Beverley recent heavy rain was apparent and beyond Swinemoor roundabout it started, getting progressively heavier, however it petered out shortly after reaching High Eske farm. At the nature reserve were a Little Egret and Common Tern again. On reaching Leven Canal started scanning the carrs. Not obvious so kept walking north to see if it was out of view along the northern edge where I’d last seen it. Also checked the newly excavated drain for waders. However a quick look to the west located the Common Crane on the opposite side of the river, near a flock of Greylag Geese, on Arram Carrs. Looked pretty settled so had a quick scan of Leven Carrs for raptors before heading back south. Had none but did have four Common Snipe in flight. Back at High Eske NR had several sighting of at least two Kingfishers. Also flushed several Snout moths.

7/7/14 Went to Tophill Low NR on Monday morning. Walked the full reserve but little of note, the best being Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper, both on South Marsh West. A Wigeon summering on Watton NR. Did have my first Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moths and as well a few Marbled White butterflies over North Scrub. DSCN3997

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

Also several shield-bug on the outside of D res car park hide. DSCN3990

Forest Bug-Pentatoma rufipes

The Common Crane had already been seen in the general area I’d seen it last night so after consulting the OS map headed to Aike late afternoon. Had a Barn Owl hunting the verge just before the village. In Aike I took the footpath to the river bank where I joined Tim Cowley who was already watching the Common Crane along Mute Swans in a field west of Barmston Drain and further west than where it had been last night. Walked along the drain to get closer along what is marked as a footpath but hadn’t been walked recently. A tractor and trailer was working the far edge of the field and although not flushed it did cause to the Common Crane to walk north and closer to me.

DSCN4014  Common Crane-Arram Carrs-“shaken but not stirred” 

DSCN40161st summer Common Crane-Arram Carrs

Walking back I had a look from the river bank again. Wasn’t initially on view but walking south saw it again having walked to the north corner of the field. DSCN4025

Arram Carrs from R.Hull bank

Had a look at Swinemoor this evening where I had three Little Ringed Plover as well as two Little Egret roosting in a tree in the south-east corner. DSCN4030

Little Egrets roosting on Swinemoor

For more news from Swinemoor check Beverley Birding.

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

Two new birds for Paull

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Kumlien’s grip back at Tophill Low NR and other late February highlights

23/2 Started Sunday morning at Paull. Just as RL and I got into the “fisherman’s car park” Nick Morgan pulled up beside us. He was short of counters for the Estuary Counts so RL volunteered to do the section covering Paull Holme Strays. In fact this just meant forwarding numbers from the the count we planned to do anyway. Positioned ourselves behind the old lighthouse near the western inlet to the the Strays which provides surprisingly good shelter from the strong wind. Our counts were:- Teal 40, Golden Plover 6600, Wigeon 682, Shelduck 234, Grey Plover 37, Lapwing 930, Oystercatcher 3,  Bar-tailed Godwit 400, Redshank 52, Dunlin 892, Ringed Plover 20, Curlew 66 and Turnstone 5. More Paull area news here.

Went to meet JH at Hornsea Mere early afternoon. Had an adult Little Gull as well as the usual Scaup and female Velvet Scoter. Again no sign of any Great White Egrets. I’m not aware of any sighting for c2 weeks.

Went to Tophill Low NR with RL late afternoon to do the gull roost on D reservoir. For a change we had Middle Hide  to ourselves. RL picked a winter adult Mediterranean Gull, probably the same bird we had on Friday.

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Adult winter Mediterranean Gull-RL

While watching it RL called out an assumed Kumlien’s Gull. Only saw it briefly before it flew south and was only able it say it was an immature Iceland-type. Fortunately it only flew a short distance and it slowly drifted back north and closer to us over the next hour and a half and we were clearly able to tell it was a 2nd winter Kumlien’s Gull -although paler than the last time I’d seen it well- and most likely the Barmston bird. Most of the regulars on site managed to see it but only from Car Park Hide so didn’t get the close views we eventually got.

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2w Kumlien’s Gull

Having been seen late last year and then again on Monday we were relieved to grip it back. It eventually flew off near dark. While watching the Kumlien’s Gull I picked up a second, near summer plumaged, Mediterranean Gull. Also again had 2 Little Egrets flying south at dusk. For more Tophill Low NR news check here.

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Little Egrets flying south over D reservoir

25/2 On Tuesday afternoon went to Welton Waters. Again very little wildfowl with only 16 Tufted Duck and 11 Goldeneye on the 2 larger pits.  Presumably due to the mild winter. With few Smew in the area and the previously regular drake not at Far Ings it’s looking unlikely one will appear this winter. However with a Long-tailed Duck at Barton-on-Humber GPs there is still the possibly of something interesting before spring. As usual ended the day overlooking Brough airfield marsh. Yet again no Short-eared Owls but did have an immature male Marsh Harrier coming in to roost. 

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Roe Deer-floodback by Brough airfield marsh

27/2 Went to Hornsea Mere with ML and RL on Thursday morning. Again had 8 Scaup, including 2 drakes, and the female Velvet Scoter, all from the HVWG hide.

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Greater Scaup

Velvet Scoter female Hornsea Mere 270214 RL

Female Velvet Scoter-RL

Moved round to the Kirkholme Point where ML picked up the long staying Long-tailed Duck, feeding close to Swan Island. First time I’ve seen it this year but ML and RL had seen it on Saturday. For more news from Hornsea Mere check here.

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Long-tailed Duck-RL

Went to High Eske NR late afternoon. Like Welton Waters, wildfowl numbers are well down here. Still c200 Wigeon but that’s low compared to previous years. No Tufted Duck. Great Crested Grebe had increased but still only 6. 13 Goldeneye was respectable but lower than in the past. Only 6 Gadwall and even Mallard numbers were low. The breeding pair of Oystercatcher have been back since the 17th with one on the 3rd. Walked to the north of the pit to look for swans. Had seen a juvenile Whooper Swan, presumably the bird from December, with Mute Swans and a Black Swan on Arram Carr twice last week [both bird in the top image but too distant for a better shot]  but today only had a few Mute Swans. Didn’t have time to do Leven Carr but had seen a male Hen Harrier on Monday, presumably the bird seen recently at Tophill Low NR  [see link above]. Usually had several Little Egret flying towards High Eske/Pulfin NR late afternoon, with 7 on Monday, but saw none today. Previous winters Little Egrets have roosted at the south end of High Eske NR but this winter I haven’t seen any actually roosting. Had a look at Pulfin NR where a regular Barn Owl was hunting but couldn’t get close enough for a picture. A Little Egret, the only one seen tonight, flew over from the south but I couldn’t relocate it roosting nearby. Walking south from Pulfin NR kept pushing a small bird which I assumed to be a Robin but when I finally got a clear view turned out to be a Stonechat, my first here for a few years. The light was fading but I had to try for a photo. Kept moving and was usually obscured but I fired off a few shots and miraculously got one reasonably clear shot.

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Stonechat

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

Whooper Swans return to High Eske NR

4/11 With the end of my 3 week holiday coinciding with end of British birding time and the added complication of major changes at work I found it impossible to get out after work last week. Fortunately Monday was a lighter day at work and mid afternoon found me at High Eske NR. Walking towards the pit I was sure I’d seen 2 White-fronted Geese dropping onto Molescroft Carr with Greylag. However with most of the geese obscured by the flood-bank and the position of the sun not helping I was unable to confirm. Reaching the pit I quickly located 14 adult Whooper Swans. One had a red leg but I was unable to read it today.

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Whooper Swans and Greylag Geese-High Eske NR

The geese flock flew in and I was able to confirm my sighting of 2 adult Eurasian Whitefronts as well as a juvenile Pinkfoot. Walked north to Leven Canal in the hope of Short-eared Owls or harriers but only had the regular pair of  Kestrels. Had a Grey Wagtail in the derelict lock on the way back south, Noticed a wake in the river. Too obvious for an Otter and no boats but then I saw the head of a large Common Seal swimming south, the first I’ve seen for a few years, since the end of  the invasion that had annoyed the anglers.

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Grey Wagtail-Leven Canal lock

Getting back to the pit, as the light was fading I located a Green Sandpiper, at the far end of the island. Also 5 Little Egrets had come in to roost in the south west corner.

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Whooper Swans at dusk-High Eske NR

5/11 Only managed a walk on Willerby Carrs on Tuesday. Had Common Buzzard flying west. My 3rd in Cottingham in the same number of weeks.

Hornsea Mere continues it’s purple patch. Check here for details.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Cottingham, High Eske NR, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire

September 14th-Hornsea Mere and Welton Waters [+moths!]

14/9 Roy did Hornsea Mere on Saturday and had the Great White Egret at the east end. Also the Black-necked Grebe was off Kirkholme Point, and Water Rail and Snipe were in the bay. 420 Little Gulls were seen at dusk.

I went to Welton Waters late afternoon. An immature female Peregrine was hitting the 300+ Lapwing on the airfield but with out success whilst I was there. A small area of water was visible on the marsh and picked out a few returning Gadwall, Wigeon and Shoveler. Also at least 9 Grey Herons on the airfield with a few more around “watersports pit”. Good number of Gadwall now on Brough Angling Complex but viewing still very restricted. Mute Swans now numbering 35+ on “watersports pit” but only 2 pairs with young including the one that bred on Brough Angling Complex. Walking up Common Lane the only passerines were 2 Bullfinches and a Chiffchaff and even they were elusive. Walking the the eastern edge of “watersports pit” had 2 Green and a Common Sandpiper.

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Green Sandpiper by “watersports pit” Welton Waters

Water Rail showing well in the south-east corner until disturbed by a dog walker.

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Water Rail by “watersports pit” Welton Waters

Why can’t people realise if someone is using a camera it might be considerate to hang back. Walking back west a late set of water skiers caused an impressive 30+ Cormorants to depart for the river. Pity they choice the time when many birds are thinking of settling down for the night to have their fun. Only counted 3 Little Grebes in the area, a few years ago 60+ could be seen. A Little Egret flew over Brough Angling Complex this evening. An Avocet was on the mud in front of the airfield but apart from the Lapwing on the airfield, over high tide, waders were again in short supply with a small number of Curlew and a solitary Redshank. A few butterflies still on the wing but a bit docile.

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Small Tortoiseshell-Welton Waters

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Green-veined White-Welton Waters

Also on the Lepidoptera front, Saturday night was cold and not surprisingly I had my worst count of moths overnight since spring. Only 3 Light Brown Apple moths, a Rose Garden Tortrix and 4 Lesser Yellow Underwings.

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Garden Rose Tortrix

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Light Brown Apple moth.

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Lesser Yellow Underwing

15/9 On  Sunday morning the Great White Egret was still at Hornsea Mere viewable from Kirkholme Point as well as the juvenile Black-necked Grebe and 14 Little Gulls. A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling flew south from Hornsea North Cliff early morning.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Cottingham, Hornsea Mere, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters

Great, Small and micro

5/6 Had a good walk round the Drewton Estate on Wednesday afternoon. The plan had been to look for butterflies and moths but the low cloud that plagued the east coast recently hadn’t burnt off so ended up seeing, apart from the ever present Nettle-taps, one moth but this was a new one for me, a Cork Moth. A really nice looking micro.

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Cork Moth-Drewton Estate

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View from Drewton Estate.

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Black Swan-Drewton Manor

6/6 Went to look for Dragonflies at Fountain Farm, Watton with Roy and Martin L on Thursday afternoon. Only managed 6 Azure Damselflies but a few other interesting insects.

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Alder Fly-Watton

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Nettle Weevils-Watton

With the Great White Egret reported again this afternoon at Tophill Low NR went to get a site tick for Martin after adding it to his Yorkshire List on Tuesday.

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Sand Martin-Tophill Low NR

Had been seen recently at Struncheon Hill Pond but no sign of it there late afternoon. Split up and Roy and Martin checked the ditches around Hempholme Meadow whilst I checked the area west of Barmston Drain. Shortly got a call from Martin that Roy had seen it dropped onto Hempholme Meadow. We then viewed it from Barmston Drain bank for a few minute before it took off and flew strongly east.

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Great White Egret-Hempholme Meadow

Did return as Lee Johnson had it in the evening from North Marsh. This is the 3rd record for the site [check here]. All seen by Roy and I. More here.

Great White Egret-Tophill Low NR-June 1997-1st record.

Ring-necked Duck had been reported again for the last two days but no sign for us early evening or other regulars earlier.

7/6 The Great White Egret was again at the north end of Tophill Low NR on Friday. Went to High Eske late afternoon. The Oystercatcher still had one very large chick but the Common Terns had abandoned their nest but were still present so could sit again.

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Common Tern-High Eske NR

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Chimney Sweeper-Pulfin NR

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Azure Damselfly-High Eske NR

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Blue-tailed Damselfly-High Eske NR

Had a few Lapwing chicks on Leven Carrs. Good numbers of odonata along Leven Canal earlier but too cold later but I had a few damselflies behind High Eske pit. 3 Ringed Plover were on the temporary Islands when I returned to the NR.

8/6 Went to Swinemoor with Roy and Martin L on Saturday afternoon. I picked out the now tatty drake Garganey. Also 2 Ringed Plover and 4 Little Ringed Plover. Had a look at Bewholme Hall then check the sea between Atwick and Barmston. Had a few Puffin, a Manx Shearwater off Ulrome and a female Eider off Barmston.

9/6 Went to Tophill Low NR with Roy on Sunday morning. Jeff Barker had the Great White Egret on Hempholme Meadow early morning but no further sign although we had it’s smaller cousin flying north from North Marsh, causing some confusion at Hempholme Meadow. We went to Kiplingcotes with John this afternoon. Hoped for the recently seen Turtle Doves but missed out along with several others. Although not exactly warm it was brighter than at Tophill Low NR and we managed a good list of insects. In some way the less perfect weather can help with butterflies and moths as although harder to find are less mobile when located which helped with Dingy Skipper which can be difficult to photograph.

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Cocksfoot Moth-Hudson WayDSCN7895Cinnabar Moth-Kiplingcotes Chalk pit

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Dingy Skipper-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

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Green-legged Sawfly

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Common Blue Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

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Small Heath-Hudson Way

Speckled WoodSpeckled Wood-Hudson Way

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Tenthredo livida

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Nettle-tap-Hudson Way

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For more from Kiplingcotes check here

10/6 Monday afternoon checked out a site at North Newbald. Looked good for Banded Demoiselle but too cold today. Had my first orchids of the year.

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Southern Marsh Orchid-N.Newbald

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