Tag Archives: Swinemoor

A good day at Hornsea Mere

15/10 Went out with RL on Monday afternoon. Went first to Swine Moor, viewing as usual from Weel Road opposite Corporation Farm. On Sunday afternoon I had found a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper with Richard Jennings. Also had up 7 Ruff and 6 Dunlin along with the usual flock of Wigeon and Teal. Also that day had the 1st 10 returning Whooper Swans north of High Eske NR on Arram Carrs but didn’t see the Common Crane, Had hoped to get back to Swine Moor earlier but the weather on Monday and Tuesday had not encouraged me. However this afternoon the area was deserted with just the regular Little Egret of note.

Went to Hornsea Mere starting at Wassand Hide. Met MR on the way down. Had had the 2 Slavonian Grebes off Kirkholme Point and a 3rd bird towards the west end. Also found a Red-necked Grebe and had seen a dying Gannet on “tree island”. Not long after getting in the hide MR picked up a grebe which turned out to be the 3rd Slavonian Grebe presumably pushed into Decoy Bay by a boat.


 One of the Slavonian Grebes from Wassand Hide-5/10/14 

Also a female Marsh Harrier still present.

Next went round to Kirkholme Point. Scanning the edge of 1st field, where the other 2 Slavonian Grebes had been seen, picked up a female Velvet Scoter, possibly the same bird seen over the previous 2 winters.


 fem Velvet Scoter from last winter but likely the same bird as today

Scanning further east I picked up the 2 Slavonian Grebes, then the Red-necked Grebe.


Red-necked Grebe

Moved to get closer t0 the latter and had a moment of self doubt when I picked up a Little Grebe. However scanning to the right picked up the Red-necked Grebe again. Also 3 Little Gulls, an adult and 2 1st winters. Had texted MR about the Velvet Scoter but before he got to us it was flushed by a boat and we lost track of it. MR had been delayed by a Yellow-browed Warbler calling unseen near Wassand Hall.

Finished the day in HVWG Hide. Had the Gannet on tree island.

Gannet and Juv Mute Hornsea Mere 151014 RL

 Moribund Gannet-RL

Didn’t look too fit but to quote John Cleese it hadn’t yet “fallen off it’s perch and joined the choir eternal”. Started checking the gulls roost and picked up 3 waders in flight. Pale grey with a strong white wing-bar and was thinking Sanderling or Dunlin when RL reminded me that several Grey Phalaropes had been reported by RBA today. The penny dropped and not long after they landed and there identity became obvious. Tried contacting MR but his phone wasn’t on. For the rest of the time we were in the hide they remained on the water mid-mere and with the fading light would have been very difficult to pick up if you weren’t sitting with us.

For more recent sighting in the Hornsea area check here.

Seems to be an influx of Jay at the moment with bird seen coming in on the coast and evidenced myself by Jays around Cottingham and Willerby this week. Seen at Hornsea Mere today but my been just resident birds.



Filed under Arram Carrs, Birds in East Yorkshire, Cottingham, High Eske NR, Hornsea Mere, Swinemoor

Red-breasted Flycatcher-Hornsea Northcliff Boatyard

18/9 On Thursday morning a juvenile Red-breasted Flycatcher was found by Lee Ives in bushes by the slipway at Hornsea Northcliff Boatyard [otherwise known as Atwick Gap]. Managed to get there mid afternoon with RL. Several Merebirders were there and had all had good views but it had been out of views for a while. Walked the bushes by the drain that runs north, flushing a warbler several times which eventually posed long enough to ID as a Garden Warbler [not a Barred!]. Back at the slipway had the Red-breasted Flycatcher in a bare bush long enough for RL to get a few pictures. It then disappeared again and although seen off and on for another hour never show well again partly due to been chased by a Robin but the human traffic didn’t help.

Red-breasted Flycatcher Atwick Gap 180914a RL

Juvenile Red-breasted Flycatcher-Hornsea-RL 

Red-breasted Flycatcher Atwick Gap 180914 RL

Also had a Chiffchaff.

This was a Hull Valley tick for RL and I. The only previous record we are aware of was one in Atwick churchyard c10 years ago. Found by Bill Curtiss it was suppressed because of a funeral service.

Had quick look around Atwick churchyard but had no migrants. Also did Bewholme Hall pond but again no waders.

31 Little Gulls were at Hornsea Mere early evening. Also 5 Red-crested Pochard including at least two juveniles and one bearing a non-BTO ring, believe to be from a local collection, and an un-ringed but approachable Mandarin at Kirkholme Point.

The 1st summer Common Crane was still lingering on Molescroft Carrs by Arram Grange on Tuesday and the female Scaup still on High Eske NR. To view the Crane walk the west bank of R.Hull north for c1ml. It flushes easily so don’t approach too close. Also seen on Swinemoor at least twice including at dusk last Saturday. No reports of it north of High Eske NR recently although has been seen flying over the nature reserve when flushed.


Recent picture of 1s Common Crane near Arram Grange


Female Scaup and Tufted Duck-High Eske NR

Also at dusk on Tuesday a Wood Sandpiper and 6 Ruff were on Swinemoor.

For recent sightings at Tophill Low NR check here.

A Nightjar was recently seen in West Hull. A Wryneck was also in Hull late August.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Hornsea Northcliff Boatyard, Molescroft Carrs, Nature in East Yorkshire, Swinemoor

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.


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

Solitary Whooper Swan at High Eske NR

Following the presence of Whooper Swans and wild geese at High Eske NR on 4/11 things looked good for another interesting winter this has so far turn out to be a false hope. I hadn’t been up there for a month but Eric Clubley had and conformed that the Whooper Swan hadn’t stay on.

14/12 RL and ML visited High Eske NR on Saturday and did find a lone juvenile Whooper Swan and juvenile Pink-footed Goose.

They also visited Hornsea Mere where the Grey Phalarope was again showing well from Kirkholme. Also both Great White Egrets, 2 Egyptian Geese and a Danish-ringed Black-headed Gull.

Danish-ringed Black-headed Gull  Hornsea Mere 141213b RL

Danish ringed Black-headed Gull-RL

RL and I had also seen the Long-tailed Duck and female Velvet Scoter on Friday as well as a very showy Peregrine, repeatedly harassing Carrion Crow on Swan Island. I also managed a distant view of the Grey Phalarope.

Velvet Scoter Hornsea Mere 121213 RL

Female Velvet Scoter-RL

Also earlier we had another Peregrine at Swinemoor as well as  410 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 200 Lapwing, 15 Redshank, 2 Dunlin and 5 Golden Plover.

Peregrine Swinemoor 131213 RL


A 2nd winter Iceland Gull was seen at Tophill Low NR on Saturday afternoon as well as the regular female Scaup. A Galloway and 2 Belted Galloways are now grazing South Scrub. Told one of the Belted Galloways is very friendly. Unfortunately they seem to prefer to defecate on the footpath!


Galloway and Belted Galloways

A Black-throated Diver was off Barmston but no recent news on the Kumlien’s Gull.

15/12 I made it to High Eske NR on Sunday morning. Unaware of my friends’ previous visit had the pleasure of finding the Whooper with the Mute Swans and the Pinkfoot with the regular Greylag flock at High Eske farm.


Juvenile Whooper and Mute Swan.


Juvenile Pink-footed Goose with Greylag

The lack of Great Crested Grebes was of interest, in fact wildfowl hasn’t reached usual winter numbers yet with only Wigeon approaching them. Had a look at Leven Carrs. A cracking male Marsh Harrier flying west over the river was nice but otherwise only a Kestrel and Common Buzzard.

Did some more birding this afternoon. See here.

The Grey Phalarope at Hornsea Mere was only seen distantly off the Cormorant Trees today. Dave Bryan noticed a growth on the phalarope’s face but I’ve yet to check RL’s photos for it. Nothing else reported.

No bird reports but Welton Waters was hit hard by the recent floods with detritus including an old frig washed into Brough Angling Complex.


Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, High Eske NR, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Swinemoor, Tophill Low NR, Welton Waters

Snow Buntings at Paull

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


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.


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.


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.

Bar-tailed and Black-tailed  Godwits Near Paull Holme Strays 241113 RL

Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit-RL

The Snow Buntings were still present early afternoon.


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

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.


Pectoral Sandpiper and Ruff-Swinemoor


Pectoral Sandpiper-Swinemoor-4/10/13 

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


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.


Pink-footed Geese-Watton NR


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.


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.


Harlequin Ladybird-Atwick

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


Pair of Migrants Hawkers-The Lakes at Far Grange


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.


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

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.


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.


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.




Green Sandpiper

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





Wall Brown

Also a few moths.


Dingy Footman

Good number of hawker dragonflies on the wing.


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.



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