Tag Archives: Marsh Harrier

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.

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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.

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Willow Tit-Tophill Low D wood feeders 

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

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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.

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

Med Gull adlt D res Tophill 230214 RL

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.

Long-tailed Duck Hornsea Mere 270214a RL

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

11th August-Tophill Low NR

Went to Tophill Low NR with John on Sunday morning. One of the two juvenile Black-necked Grebes present for a week now, was still on D res.

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Juvenile Black-necked Grebes-7 August 2013

Walked up to Hempholme Meadow where we witnessed a female Marsh Harrier carrying a decent size rabbit over Struncheon Hill pond to two juveniles on the east side of the River Hull. Whether this is the fledged family from South Marsh East or an additional brood is up for debate but they have been in the area for a least a week.

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Juvenile Marsh Harrier on South Marsh West-20 July 2013 

Had a brief view of a Kingfisher on North Marsh but missed a mother Water Vole with a young in tour.

This afternoon did the some end and had a Ruff on Watton NR then Greenshank and Green Sandpiper on South Marsh West. Volunteers were working to create wader areas on South Marsh East.

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Greenshank

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Green Sandpiper

Good day for butterflies with at least 4 Painted Ladies reported.

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Comma

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Wall Brown

Also a few moths.

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Dingy Footman

Good number of hawker dragonflies on the wing.

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Southern Hawker

Swinemoor continues to dry out with no sign of any serious rain in the near future but some decent pools still remain where Roy and I had Little Egret, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and Redshank on Wednesday.

Trapped a Star-wort moth at home in Cottingham overnight. Previous records in Yorkshire have been confined Spurn Point.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Cottingham, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

Insects taking over?

28/5 Went to High Eske last Tuesday. As expected at this time of year it was pretty quiet but good to see the Oystercatchers with 2 robust chicks and a pair of Common Terns were nesting on the main island. A Little Ringed Plover was still hanging around although no sign of any breeding activity. Didn’t do Swinemoor as Roy and Martin L had already been where they had 3 Tundra Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Redshank. At Bewholme Hall they had 2 Little Ringed Plover. 30/5 On Thursday had a good walk round the Drewton Estate. Best thing was a Red Kite low over Keeper’s Lodge although didn’t hang around long enough for me to get the camera out. Also at least 4 Common Buzzards although the small stuff wasn’t too apparent. DSCN7329

Male Grey Wagtail-Weedley Springs

31/5 Went to Paull with Roy and Martin L on Friday morning. Unfortunalely missed the tide but had c45 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin on Paull Sands. DSCN7516

Ringed Plover and Dunlin-Paull Sands

Also 2 Little Egrets in flight over the Strays. Went round to the Strays car park. Surprised to see a Whooper Swan in the fence off area [John Ward had 3 fly from Sunk Island to Paull late Monday evening]. Image

Whooper Swan-Paull Holme Strays-R.Lyon

Also a Whimbel. Image 1

Four Spotted Chaser-Paull Holme Strays

Late afternoon had a walk in Cottingham to Oppy Wood. Little of significance bird wise although good to hear several Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Also a Sedge Warbler singing in a ditch off Dunswell Road. However with the temperture well up I had plenty of insects including micro moths. DSCN7589 Helophilus pendulus-Cottingham.

1/6 Back at High Eske NR on Saturday afternoon. Good to see the Common Tern still sitting and a least one Oystercatcher chick. The resident female Goldeneye still had an escort.

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Goldeneye-High Eske NR

A pair of Marsh Harriers were displaying over Pulfin NR. At least 3 male and one female Cuckoo in the area. DSCN7620

Leucozona leucorum-High Eske NR

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Azure Damselfly-High Eske NR

DSCN7633   2/6 Went to Paull with Roy on Sunday morning. Started at Saltend. Tide still well out so very few waders but had a Peregrine over. The Whooper Swan was still on the Strays and on Paull Sands were 2 Little Egrets, Bar-tailed Godwit and Avocet as well as good numbers of Curlew and Shelduck. Went to Swinemoor to see a drake Garganey reported to me by Richard Jennings then on to Bewholme Hall where we had 2 Ringed Plover and an Oystercatcher. DSCN7664

Drake Garganey-Swinemoor

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Reed Bunting-Swinemoor

Finished the day with a sea-watch off Atwick. Highlight was a Great Skua. Also 8 Sandwich Terns, 8 Fulmar, numerous Kittiwake and 5 Common Scoter drifting north close inshore. Sand Martin Atwick 020613 Leo

Sand Martin-Atwick-R.Lyon

3/6 Went to Tophill Low NR on Monday afternoon. DSCN7684

Celypha lacunana-Tophill Low NR

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Chrysolina polita-Tophill Low NR

Had 2 of 3 Little Egrets lingering on Watton NR. DSCN7696

Little Egret-Watton NR

Also a pair of Common Terns lingering but no sign yet of nesting. One Little Ringed Plover there with 3 on South Marsh East but again no sign of nesting. A few Marsh Harriers still around the site. The best thing was my [and likely the sites] first Wall Brown for the year, at East Pond. DSCN7706

Wall Brown-Tophill Low NR

Getting in found a male Golden Oriole had been present on in Burton Bushes on Beverley Westwood for 2 days. Found by Ivan Nethercote and confirmed by Geoff Dobbs this evening. Unfortunately it stopped singing as soon as the news got out. Spend an hour forlornly listening with Roy, Stuart Griffiths and Lee Johnson, joined by Stuart Noble and Steve Webb as we were giving up. Again saw no Spotted Flycatchers but at least one pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker and a pair of Mistle Thrush in the area.

4/6 Burton Bushes checked with out luck by at least Roy and Richard Willison early Wednesday morning. A Great White Egret spent the morning at Hornsea Mere in a tree viewable from Kirkholme Point. Stayed long enough for Roy and Martin L but flew toward the west end early afternoon. As I’ve seen 2 there already I wasn’t tempted to go looking for it. Richard Jennings had the drake Garganey on Swinemoor again this evening.

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

Year ticking tiny Temminck’s at Tophill Low NR

22/5 Having missed two on Saturday [see here and here] I was glad to get a message of a Temminck’s Stint on at Tophill Low NR on Watton NR on Wednesday morning. Getting there late afternoon it was still present but distant and often difficult to pick out when static. Also a Wood Sandpiper, a tundrae Ringed  Plover, both new for the site year list, Common Sandpiper and 2 1st summer Little Gulls.

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Wood Sandpiper-Watton NR

Little Gull

Little Gull-Tophill Low NR

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Common Tern-Watton NR

Several Marsh Harriers still being seen and the Osprey was over again early morning.

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Marsh Harrier-Tophill Low NR

Checked out the ever present Ring-necked Duck on the way out.

Roy and Martin L went to Paull and had off Saltend 68 Shelduck, 23 Curlew and  4 Oystercatcher. 20 Ringed Plover on Paull Holme Strays and on Paull Sands 55 Ringed Plover, 42 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 35 Turnstone,  720 Grey Plover, 113 Bar-tailed  Godwit, 230 Knot, 5 Avocet, c30 Shelduck, c60 Curlew and 11 Whimbrel. Also a Common Buzzard over.

23/5 Had look round Burton Bushes near Beverley on Thursday morning but no sign of any Spotted Flycatchers.

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Burton Bushes

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Fungi-Burton Bushes

Did Swinemoor this afternoon but no sign of the Ruff seen on Monday but still 2 Little Ringed Plover.

Did Tophill Low NR with Roy. The Temminck’s Stint was still on Watton NR. Also Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 1st summer Little Gulls dropped in again.

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Common Sandpiper-Watton NR

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Little Ringed Plover-Tophill Low NR

The pair of Little Ringed Plover were still on South Marsh East. The Ring-necked Duck was still on D reservoir.

For last weekend at Kelk check here.

For news from Risby Estate nr Skidby check here.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR