23/8/16 No news from Tophill Low NR on Monday and as I in needed of a more relaxed day the multiply hide on the reserve seemed a good idea on Tuesday morning. When I’d gone for the Pectoral Sandpiper the previous Tuesday the one man road patching truck had been along the road from Watton. The road to High Eske had been treated the same for a few weeks back and there was still a lot of loose gravel about therefore I wasn’t looking forward to my next trip to Tophill Low NR by bike. The road isn’t fun at the best of times being narrow with lots of blind bends. You try to keep well in on the corners to avoid ‘out of control’ oncoming traffic, a large proportion being overconfident Yorkshire Water vans, but this is where many of the patched wre so forcing you into the middle of the road. Things weren’t too back until the last bend before the Cranswick junction where there was so much loose gravel it was like riding on ball hearings.
No surprise there was nothing in the reserve log from yesterday. Started at North Lagoon. Much as on Sunday with all three Curlew Sandpiper, 13 Ruff, two Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover.
Common Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon.
The terrapin was out on South Lagoon.
Yellow-bellied Slider at Tophill Low NR on South Lagoon
Knowing how elusive the Pectoral Sandpiper could be I put in lot of time in both South Marsh East hides. No sign and only five Ruff, two Green Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plover. Kingfisher continue to show well below South Marsh East 1st hide.
Added another Greenshank on South Marsh West.
Mouse Moth at Tophill Low NR in L-shaped hide
Watton NR was packed with hundreds of Greylag and Canada Geese but the only waders were c100 Lapwing.
Good numbers of butterflies, mainly on fleabane, in South Scrub and O reservoir ditch.
Painted Lady at Tophill Low NR in South Scrub
Brimstone butterfly at Tophill Low NR in South Scrub
Small Copper at Tophill Low NR by O reservoir
Common Blue butterfly at Tophill Low NR by O reservoir
Had lunch in the car park hide, while checking D reservoir. Couldn’t see the Scaup. Good numbers of gulls but found nothing unusual. Did the north end for the first time in several weeks. Nothing much on North Marsh or Hempholme Meadow but did give me a chance to look again for the Scaup for the other two hide. Vague claim of the Pectoral Sandpiper again on South Marsh East. I had intended on another circuit of the south end anyway. Gave South Marsh East another good grill but only added Ringed Plover and a few Snipe.
Green Sandpiper and Snipe at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East.
A Green Sandpiper was on South Marsh West. Ended the trip early evening in North Lagoon. No change but the Curlew Sandpipers were closer and got a few shots before the light started to go.
Curlew Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon
Ruff at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon
The trip back wasn’t as bad as traffic seemed to have cleared some of the worst gravel. Always find the trip back along the Watton road less as gruelling anyway. Whether this is real or just psychological I’m yet to decide.