Tag Archives: Snow Bunting

26/11/13-Raywell

26/11 The “toad of work” back in place but barely a tadpole today. Still only a couple of hours to spare and what with the cold thought I’d go just up the road to Raywell to check the Woodland Trust reserve of Nut Wood and Wauldby Scrogs.

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Waudby Sproggs and Nutwood

Started with a look for fungi but only some Candlesnuff.

Candlesnuff Fungus

Candlesnuff Fungus

As usual, and typical of woodland birding, it was initially hard work until I located the tit flock. As expected this was at the back of the wood which was still in sun. All the usual tits including at least 3 Marsh Tits and a Coal Tit as well as a photogenic Treecreeper and a few Goldcrest.

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Common Treecreeper 

The 2 Snow Buntings were still just east of Paull river side car park this morning.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Fungi, Nature in East Yorkshire, Nutwood and Wauldby Scrogs

Paull revisited

25/11 With John Brattan claiming to have photographed an apparent juvenile Gyr Falcon at Paull on Sunday afternoon RL and I were back there again on Monday morning. Started at Paull Holme Strays car park where we met Richard Willison. Had already looked for the falcon but had been beaten by the cold. I picked up 3 Snow Buntings over flying head then heading north west. RL and I braved the bleak conditions to have another look for the falcon and check the waders. With the state of the tide there were plenty of waders in the Strays with 1000’s of Golden Plover, 12 Grey Plover, 24 Ringed Plover and a Knot as well as variable numbers of Dunlin, Redshank and Bar-tailed Godwit. Went round to the riverside car park where Richard had already relocated the pair of Snow Buntings from yesterday. Still along the river side path between the car park and the Strays and again very tame.

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Snow Buntings

Walking back they kept a few yards in front of us, occasionally flying onto the the pilings just off shore.

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Snow Buntings

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. Had been pretty quiet bird wise recently but while having my lunch in car park hide picked up a female Scaup. Went round to Middle hide to get pictures.

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Female Greater Scaup and drake Tufted Duck

Continued as far as Hempholme Lock then did the gull roost late afternoon from top hide. Totals were:- Black-headed Gull 11000, Common Gull 20000, Great Black-backed Gull 1947 and Herring Gull 101. Also good numbers of corvids massing pre-roost with 9000 Jackdaw and 450 Rook. Several Tawny Owls calling in  D wood as we walked back.

The Great White Egret was still at Hornsea Mere this morning. A 2nd bird had been present again up to last Thursday.

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

Snow Buntings at Paull

24/11 Went to Paull with RL on Sunday morning.

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The Yorkshire Belle in Paull boatyard.

Had a quick look at Salt End to check the tide then moved to the riverside car park where we met Pete Martin on his way out. Had just had a Snow Bunting along the path toward the Strays. Had beed found yesterday. The cracking male was still present practically at the feet of Paul Martin. Got a few shots before it was flushed by an inconsiderate walker. Although we heard it call twice couldn’t relocated it.

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Male Snow Bunting

Roy and Paul were heading back to the car park when I re-found it a few yards further east. Was giving what sounded like a contact call and I wasn’t surprise to see a second drabber bird appear. Got some more pictures and this time they were more settled, only moving a short distance when flushed.

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Snow Buntings

Having filled our boots we headed for the old lighthouses to view the foreshore off the Strays. Bird totals were:- Wigeon 450, Dunlin 600, Black-tailed Godwit 10, Bar-tailed Godwit 4, Redshank 12, Turnstone 14, Ringed Plover 12, Golden Plover 8000, Grey Plover 6, Lapwing 200, a few Curlew and single Little Egret and  Knot.

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Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit-RL

The Snow Buntings were still present early afternoon.

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Male Snow Bunting

For more recent news from Paull check here.

Next went to Swinemoor. No sign of last Sunday’s 1500 Wigeon but a good number of Lapwing as well as 5 Dunlin, Common Snipe, 3 Redshank, Golden Plover, 5 Teal and 6 Greylag Geese.

Ended the day at Hornsea Mere. The inevitable Great White Egret was on “tree Island” but a distant male Red-breasted Merganser was new. Unfortunately not at the same range as the drabber bird last month [see here]!

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Paull Holme Strays, Swinemoor

Smew! Getting ‘otter!

14/2 After yesterday’s cold and snow the start of a milder period on Thursday was welcome. Thus with the longer days and a lighter week at work it gave me the chance to get out on the bike for the first time this year. Decided to do Welton Waters to check for the 2 drake Smew as I hadn’t had any news since Eric Clubley’s visit nearly 2 weeks back. I’ll not bore my regular viewers but anyone interested in the rigmaroles of getting out on a bike after a winter lay up can check here. Anyway probably due to the milder weather than Boxing day it wasn’t as bad [also suspect overdid the layers!].

Started at Myrtle Way in Brough so I could walked across the airfield. 100+ Curlew there as well as similar number of Lapwing there and later seen with a good number of Golden Plover behind the pit at Welton Waters. However only a Coot was visible on the marsh. Walking along the flood bank saw a mass of ducks flying from Brough Angling Complex [BAC]. Fortunately they landed on on the river and I was able to count c400 Wigeon, c50 Gadwall and 12 Goldeneye but no Smew among them. The disturbance was likely due to noise from the the machinery excavating the new pit to the north. Still a good number of duck on BAC and with birds quickly returning found it difficult to get a better count however was able to add drake  Smew, Coot and Tufted Duck to the list. Also had a drake Smew on watersports pit but this fly over Common Lane a few minutes later towards BAC where I could again only find one.

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watersports pit-Welton Waters-Ralph Dawson

Walked to the back of the pits to check for anything hiding in the north west section of watersports pit. Common Lane at the north end of BAC was a mess due to the excavation machinery.

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Cormorant-Welton Waters-Ralph Dawson

Walking back south had another quick look at the main section of watersports pit and had a very close Otter, unfortunately I’d forgotten my camera! Had another good look at BAC from the riverbank and finally got 2 drake Smew. Success! Had timed it so as to be back at the airfield for dusk but again no Short-eared Owls.

Black-necked Grebe again at Hornsea Mere off Swan Island.

Click here for an update from Tophill Low NR.

15/2 Friday morning the Bittern was again in the north east corner of Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point. Acting on this information Roy and Martin L had it this afternoon, a tick for Martin. Water Rails were still showing by the gate.

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Greater Bittern-Hornsea Mere-M.Lonsdale.

Kumlien’s Gull again on Barmston beach this morning as well as 6 Snow Buntings.

If you come across any wintering Chiffchaffs this article is worth a read.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters

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.

13/1

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The road into South Cave mid afternoon.

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Filed under High Eske NR, Nature in East Yorkshire

Hornsea Mere and Atwick

New Years day, following a report of a female Velvet Scoter by Mark Robinson headed to Hornsea Mere with Roy. Struggled initially until joined by Mark in 2nd field who picked up the Scoter close to the north side under the “cormorant trees”.

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Looking for the Velvet Scoter on Hornsea Mere.

Constantly diving and mobile but we both eventually were happy with views. of what was a site tick for both of us. Presumably the bird seen late last year. Mark had also had a Marsh Harrier earlier.

Mike Jackson had had a flock of Snow Buntings north of Atwick a few time since Christmas although Mark hadn’t manage to see them. Headed to Atwick. Had the birds distantly about 1/2 mile north of the caravan park but didn’t see them again by the time we reached Low Skirlington so stopped to look at the sea. Had 93 Red-throated Diver, female Goldeneye and Guillemot. Just as we were about to head back south I saw the Snow Buntings flying south over the beach. Had reasonable views on the cliff face then the beach then they disappeared again.

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Snow Bunting on Atwick beach-Roy Lyon.

Didn’t see them on the way back so presumably they’d got back north.

Finished the day in Hornsea Mere hide.

Well that’s not a bad start, hopefully more to come. Forecast to get milder and drier 2nd half of the week so hopefully work-load will allow me to get out.

Check Stuart’s blog for New Years day at Swinemoor and High Eske NR.

Check Tophill Low NR blog for today’s highlights.

Check here for recent sightings at Oak Road, Hull.

Check The Wold Ranger for today at Wilfholme Landing.

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Filed under Nature in East Yorkshire