Trying to look up.

28 Jun

Preface

Today marks the end of Hull Valley Wildlife Group. I’ll not go into details here [but intend a last posting on the Hull Valley blog in the near future] but I can’t see the point in continuing a blog solely based on a defunct recording area. For the future I’m blogging on this site. The only exception is moths. I’ve noticed that recent postings largely about moth and in Cottingham don’t interest many of my followers so I’m considering reviving the Cottingham moths site and will not be posting my moth trapping at least on here, with the possible exception of a true mega moth [it does happen as anyone who had followed my moth-ing blog will testify.]

26/6/15 Reading the pager when I got in from work on Friday afternoon saw I’d recently missed a message of a Stone Curlew at Hornsea Mere. Texted RL and were on our way shortly. However on arrival learnt it had flown. Fortunately not a county tick having seen one at Tophill Low NR 19 years ago. As compensation had a pair of Spotted Flycatcher by Wassand estate cottages. A rare bird now and I mostly only see them now during autumn passage. The Stone Curlew wasn’t seen again. For more info including pictures see here,DSCN7671

Spotted Flycatcher-Wassand estate.

27/6/15 Saturday afternoon I went to High Eske NR. Haven’t been much in recent weeks partly due to works pressure but also been put off due to recent trespass by kayakers. To be honest weekends, particularly in summer, are never the best time so I was taking a risk. But today it was very quiet and with little evidence of the supposed anglers who just come to party and leave all their rubbish. Birds weren’t too exciting either with no sign of any wildfowl young although there was a pair of Great  Crested Grebes sitting at the north end. The summer islands were showing although a bit early for waders there were two adult Oystercatchers, likely the resident pair, but no young. Also a Little Ringed Plover there and Redshank on the permanent island. Insects however were in good numbers with large numbers of Meadow Browns.

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Meadow Brown-High Eske NR

Moths were also well represented. Having acquire a new supply of collecting jars I now carry a few to “pot” any I can’t immediately identify and defy my attempts at photography. By this method I identified a Brown China-mark and later back at home a Small China-mark, the latter a new one for me.DSCN7686

Brown China-mark-High Eske NR

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Small China-mark-High Eske NR

Others moths identified in the field included Snout and Silver Y.

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Walked to Leven Canal but didn’t have the time for a proper look for dragonflies only adding Brown Hawker to the various damselflies at High Eske.

Back at the reserve three kayakers were on the water. As I was nearly finished I didn’t let it bother me but the signs warning of the dangers of blue-green algae give me the hope of some schadenfreude.

Walking back towards High Eske farm had my first Painted Lady. The same place and similar time to last year.
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Had a quick look at Swinemoor but the drainage and largely dry weather had done it’s damage and the only visible water was a small area near the drain. Unless we have a rerun of 2007 return wader passage won’t happen although there may be a chance of something on a area not visible from Weel Road as happened two year ago, [see here]

28/6/15 Went to Wassand Hall with JH on Sunday morning. Had a forlorn look at the Stone Curlew field then to the hide. Three pairs of Marsh Harrier and one of Buzzard are on nests viewable from the hide. Otherwise little else although some wildfowl was pushed west by the dinghies.DSCN7767                                                                   Mute Swan family-Decoy Bay,Hornsea Mere

Spent a long while waiting for Hobby but gave up and headed back to the car park. On the way came across a large group of longhorn moths species, Nemophora degeerella. More than my previous life total!

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Nemophora degeerella-near Wassand Hide

As I was taking pictures I got a text from MR that a Hobby had finally put in an appearance. Continued but then the battery failed so followed JH back to the hide where after a few minutes a Hobby flashed by.

Had my first Ringlet back at Wassand Hall where in the less windy conditions the Spotted Flycatchers were showing.

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Ringlet-Wassand Hall

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. Hadn’t been for a while so took the opportunity to check the success of breeding birds on the south marshes since my last visit [see here] . Not surprisingly Black-headed Gulls were doing well.

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Breeding Black-headed Gulls-South Marsh East,Tophill Low NR.

Even better the Common Terns had several chicks, some well on.

DSCN7805Common Terns-South Marsh East Tophill Low NR

The Lesser Black-backed Gulls also had a chick. Felt a bit sorry for them as every-time they return to the nest they have to suffer attack by Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns. No doubt they would take any unattended chick though. Had three Little Ringed Plover on South Marsh East and one on Watton but along with the Oystercatcher pair on South Marsh East could see no young. Failed to see a Bee Orchid.

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