2/6/15 Went to Bewholme Hall with RL mid morning. The Drake American Wigeon was still there with the female Eurasian Wigeon [latest Merebirders blog confirms the ID]. Also had the drake Garganey although not reported yesterday. A Garganey seen in flight with Gadwall at Hornsea Mere yesterday may have been the same bird as it associates with Gadwall at Bewholme. Heavy drizzle prevented taking any pictures but Tony Dixon fared better a short while later.
♂.American Wigeon-Bewholme Hall-Tony Dixon
JH had the birds late afternoon but no one reported yesterday’s Barnacle Geese or the Whooper Swan but a Bar-headed Goose was seen.
Went to Hornsea Mere with the large number of Common Swifts the only thing of note from HVWG Hide and Kirkholme Point.
Headed to Tophill Low NR. On the way had a Turtle Dove on the road at Whinnyforth Farm.
Unusually I left my camera in the boot but managed to get it with out flushing the dove. However although close I could only shot through the wind screen so couldn’t get a usable picture. It then flew to wires. Too distant but RL got a few shots from the car.
Turtle Dove-Whinnyforth Farm.
Then flew towards the farmyard and was lost. Funnily in the summer of 2007 a Turtle Dove was regularly with Collared Doves in a nearby field at Scurf Dyke Farm.
By the time we reached Tophill Low NR the weather had improved and the swifts had dispersed so a plan to find a rare one was off so we walked the south end instead. Informed by the bird-box crew there was a baby Tawny Owl at the entrance to the residences road. Got a few nice shots.
Fledgling Tawny Owl
Later it or it’s sibling was perched by the owl box.
Had the first Wall for the year by the lagoons and a second by O reservoir.
Wall near lagoons.
Oddly the only other butterfly was a male Orange-tip by D reservoir.
Canada Goose family on O reservoir banking.
Cuckoo calling in South Scrub.
The over summering, presumably unwell, drake Goldeneye was still on South Marsh West as well as the regular drake Red-crested Pochard although no sign of his partner, maybe finally sitting?
Over-summering ♂.Goldeneye on South Marsh West
♂.Red-crested Pochard-South Marsh West
Richard and his volunteers work over the recents years seems to have worked for breeding birds at least. A new ditch from the lagoons makes control of levels easier and should help with autumn passage. As expected the usual Black-headed Gull with at least six pair of Common Terns, although the latter aren’t on the raft on Watton NR yet. Also not unusual were a sitting Little Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher but a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls is a first for the reserve.
Little Ringed Plover-South Marsh East
Nesting Oystercatcher and Black-headed Gull-South Marsh East
sitting Lesser Black-backed Gull-South Marsh East
Common Terns-South Marsh East
Also found a first summer Little Gull. The Black-headed Gulls got up twice as though a predator was passing over. Saw nothing the first time but on the second occasion it was due to a blue kids balloon floating over!
1st summer Little Gull with Common Gull-South Marsh East
Dead Mole near lagoons
A male Montagu’s Harrier, likely the Blacktoft Sands RSPB bird, flew south over the Triton Inn in Brantingham this afternoon.