The first winter Black Brant was reported still at Kilnsea by RBA as we were just finishing counting the waders over high tide at Paull Holme Strays. As ML needed it and we were it was only c20mls away thought it worth a try.
Entering Kilnsea could see a few swans below Long Bank. Stopped and picked out 3 Bewick’s Swan and at least 5 Whoopers [8 seen earlier] among the Mute Swans.
Continue into the village but couldn’t see the Brent Geese flock. Went to the north end of Long Bank and started walking south. Saw c200 Brent Geese circling then appearing to drop near Kilnsea Wetlands NR. Headed back to the car. If we’d looked at the sea we might have seen a Grey Phalarope flying north. No sign of any geese from the road or on the Wetlands so continued to the top of Long Bank where we found the flock opposite the listening disk. As there was only a 1/3 of the Brents present in the area it was no surprise that the Black Brant wasn’t among them.
Dark-bellied Brent Geese
Anyway the wild swans and Dark-bellied Brent Geese were a year tick and ML has many weeks yet for another chance with the Brant.
A redhead Smew was reported at North Cave Wetlands on Carp Lake early afternoon. Didn’t bother with the one this time last year but with a total lack of the species on my regular sites this winter this one tempted me. Heading out of Cottingham on Harland Way had a car pull up behind me. Kept him behind as far as Hunsley Beacon. As usual left him for dead on the straight but with the mud on the road beyond Little Weighton he would catch me up on the corners. Fortunately wasn’t annoying enough to get any response except an initial light touch on the brake to say “you’re going to fast” when he originally caught me up. Fortunate, as when me parted company at the Hunsley Beacon x-road I realised it was a guy I worked with. Don’t think he knew it was me though!
Getting into North Cave I had a look at the lake behind the church where I had at least 6 Goosander.
At the Wetlands the Smew was still on Carp Lake but never came close.
Redhead Smew on Carp Lake
Also a good number of Gadwall. Heard a few Lesser Redpoll by the lake but flew out of view. As on my last visit a good few Shelduck on site.
Shelduck on Island Lake
A few Tree Sparrow showing well on the feeders by the maize field.
Tree Sparrow below feeders
Great Tit on feeder
A Little Egret had been seen earlier on Island Lake but no sign late afternoon. At least 17 Redshank roosting on the raft on Main Lake and again a good number Pochard with a smaller number of Tufted Duck.
Carp Lake at dusk