Tag Archives: whooper swans

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

Ring-necked Duck back at High Eske NR

18/2 Only managed to get out late afternoon for a walk in Cottingham along Priory Road but had a nice surprise in the form of a immature male Peregrine over fields between Priory Road and Wood Lane heading for Haltemprice Farm.

19/2 A Common Crane flew south over Hornsea Mere late Tuesday morning, later seen at Kilnsea and presumably the bird seen at Filey on Monday. Also Great Northern Diver [presumably the bird seen over the weekend at Tophill Low NR], Black-necked Grebe and 4 Eurasian White-fronted Geese.

Great Northern Horns Mere 190213 Leo

Great Northern Diver-Hornsea Mere-R.Lyon

The Bittern was still in the northeast reeds from Kirkholme Point and a pair of Oystercatcher on the point.

Bittern Horns Mere 190213 Leo

Bittern-Hornsea Mere-R.Lyon

Last decent day for a while so made the effort to get out to High Eske NR this afternoon. Had a Pink-footed Goose with the Greylag Geese. It flushed before the others and although circling a few times didn’t return so had good credentials to not be one of the Pinks that rang around all year. With the floods receding fast the wildfowl numbers were up. Had plenty of time so did a count. Great Crested Grebe 2, Little Grebe, Greylag Goose 200, Wigeon 270, Mallard 140, Redshank 48, Gadwall 46, Shoveler, Goldeneye 11, Tufted Duck 19, Pochard 10 and Coot 6.

Wasn’t surprised to come across the first winter drake Ring-necked Duck.

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Ring-necked Duck and Wigeon-High Eske NR.

With the lower water levels did the full circuit for the first time since November. 100+ Teal on Pulfin NR.

Continued north. The 8 Bewick’s Swan and 12 Whooper Swans were showing well on Arram Carrs opposite Leven Carrs.

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Bewick’s and Whooper Swan-Arram Carrs

Checked the latter for raptors but only had the regular female Marsh Harrier flying south.

Back at the NR hung around till late hoping for Little Egrets coming in to roost but only had one in the trees at the south end which flew north and dropped out of sight by the “terrapin pool” where it probably joined others.

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Little Egret in High Eske NR pre-roost.

Had seen 4 earlier and another birder had seen up to 8 over Molescroft Carrs.

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air-sea rescue flushing High Eske NR!

“Cuckoo Jack” was at Welton Waters and had 2 Otters, one giving prolonged but quite distant views. Also Smew and Short Eared Owl.

Check Dave Tucker’s blog for local Roe Deer and flowers.

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

8-10th February

8/2 Ring-necked Duck again at Tophill Low NR Friday. Also redhead Smew, ‘Lesser Scaup’ type hybrid, Barn Owl, pair of Pintail and 2 Little Egrets, and 3 Woodcock at the vis centre. Check Steve’s blog and Tophill Low blog for more news.

c13 Waxwings still in Beverley on Mill Lane opposite Murco petrol station at midday.

103 Waxwings in Cottingham on Canongate mid morning. Also a few seen again along Finkle Street, unfortunately they were working on the roof by the berry bush opposite New Finkle Court so they weren’t settling, also feeding on apples viewable from Blue Kangaroo car park. Despite riding up and down a few times didn’t connect today.

Juvenile Iceland Gull at the east end of Hornsea Mere mid afternoon. Click here for more from here.

9/2 6 Waxwings again in Cottingham on Finkle mid Saturday morning but not seen personally [before or after].

For today at Tophill Low NR click here and here.

8 Bewick’s Swan and 12 Whooper Swans on Arram Carrs this afternoon. Nearby 4 Eurasian White-fronted Geese south of Arram Station.

Click here for Bullfinches at Humber Bridge CP.

10/2 Started Sunday morning in the Hornsea Mere hide with Roy and John. Had a good count of 424 Goldeneye. Moved round to Kirkholme Point where 2 Water Rails were again showing in the wet field by the gate. A 3rd was heard from Kirkholme Point. Also another bird seen by John Sadler in a ditch on the south side of the mere.

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Water Rails-Hornsea Mere

Spent the afternoon at Tophill Low NR.

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“The garages” Tophill Low NR awaiting conversion to temporary Wildlife Centre

The Ring-necked Duck was still on D reservoir as well as a new Scaup, a 1st winter drake, 2 of the Scaup hybrids, 14 Pintail and a Shelduck.

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1st winter Greater Scaup-Tophill Low NR

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Aythya-hybrid-Tophill Low NR

Also had a Pink-footed Goose flying south with a few Greylags.

Had a well obscured Woodcock from the Wildlife Centre.

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Leucistic Wigeon-O res Tophill Low NR

The redhead Smew was on Watton NR, having early been on O reservoir. Returning to car park hide to do the gulls was lucky to get the adult Little Gull. Also 10000 Common Gulls, 3500 Black-headed Gulls, 700 Herring Gulls, 400 Great Black-backed Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

For more from Tophill Low NR today click here and here.

Stuart Noble had 5 Goosander and 28 Shoveler on Bransholme Reservoir.

Fortunately the snow didn’t arrive and although bitterly cold stayed reasonably dry.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Nature in East Yorkshire