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Eastern Lesser Whitethroat in Cottingham

18 Mar

A Lesser Whitethroat was found in a garden near me last week.

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The garden in Cottingham

As this is a well watched garden it’s interesting to think where it spent the rest of the winter. Following circulation of photographs it was confirmed as a likely Eastern or Siberian race. Following a confrontation with a Robin it lost a feather. A feather, hopefully the same one, was later retrieved and forward to Martin Collinson for gene analysis ,so with luck the exact race will be known. I was lucky to be able to see the bird twice this week.

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Eastern [Siberian] Lesser Whitethroat

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Eastern [Siberian] Lesser Whitethroat

Unfortunately as the bird can only be seen from with in the house and there is no nearby public area where it might be seen I am unable to give anymore information. Even parking for few cars would be very difficult. Fortunately we’re only talking about a race! If I’m ever lucky to find a similar bird in my garden I have the advantage ample parking nearby.

Still present on Tuesday 28th March.

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Birding around Hull

2 Jan

2/1/17 Slow start to 2017 for me, only managing a couple of hours around Cottingham on New Years day and had nothing unusual. Tuesday morning went out with RL with the intention of counting the Goosander in Hull. Started at East Park where we could only find five.

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Goosander on East Park Lake in Hull

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Great Crested Grebe on East Park Lake in Hull

Next to Costello Playing Fields [Peter Pan Park] where we had eleven then to nearby Pickering Park where we had another three.

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Goosander on Costello Playing Fields Lake in Hull

As it was nearby we then checked, with out luck, Hessle Sainsbury’s and Aldi car park for Waxwing. Thirty had been on Spring Street early but had flown off but headed that way incase they had returned. Hadn’t got far when twelve were reported off Hessle Road at Strickland Street/Goulton Street junction. Arriving, there was SM who had again found them. Got a quick record shot then joined him under the trees.

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Waxwings Strickland Street/Goulton Street in Hull

There were no nearby berries but Steve had been getting them coming down to a puddle in the road. Managed to get a few clear shots of one through branches before they all flew off east and didn’t return.

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O

While hoping for their return we had a Peregrine over several times before disappearing off east in close pursuit of a feral pigeon. However it returned ’empty handed’ and sat on a distant lighting gantry.

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Peregrine from Goulton Street in Hull

Five Waxwings were seen a little later at Hessle Sainsbury’s.

Getting in manage an hour with dog in Cottingham KGV Rec and fields behind and added a few to the year list including Reed Bunting and Fieldfare.

Year List: 45

2016 in 12 picture

31 Dec

Intro

Most of this year, due to having more free time, I’ve managed to blog when I’ve had the inspiration and a few photographs. I’ve rarely left Yorkshire though so most of the highlights will inevitably be local. I’ve kept going with Cottingham Moths but still wonder whether it’s worth the effort. However viewing figures have doubled since last year. See how I feel when I start trapping again in 2017.

January

My first picture for 2016 is the returning Barmston Kumlien’s Gull, seen on the 31st. It proved tricky this year [more here].

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Kumlien’s Gull on Barmston Beach

February

An Early Moth found in Cottingham on Travis Road on the 6th was a new one for me [see here].

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Early Moth

March

March was poor for photographs so I’ll settle for my first picture of a Small Tortoiseshell of the year taken at Far Grange.

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Small Tortoiseshell at Far Grange, Skipsea

April

My best photograph of the month was a very showy Cetti’s Warbler at Tophill Low NR that performed close to North Marsh Hide for several days.

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Cetti’s Warbler at North Marsh-Tophill Low NR

May

This month’s photograph is the two Glossy Ibises at North Cave Wetlands NR, taken on the 29th. A site tick for most regulars.

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Glossy Ibises on Dryham Ings-North Cave Wetlands NR

June

This month it’s a Dingy Skipper taken at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit near Market Weighton on the 5th. A difficult species to see locally and even more to photograph [Full account here].

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Dingy Skipper at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

July

Perversely my picture for July is an escaped/released Corn Snake found at High Eske NR on the 25th but it survived to provide material for a light hearted posting in August [see here].

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Corn Snake-High Eske NR

August

August was a good month for waders at Tophill Low NR, had a site tick in the form of Spotted Crake at North Cave Wetlands and some good insects. All these are covered in the blog but the choice goes to the Western Swamp-hen at Minsmere RSPB on the 1st [see here].

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Western Swamp-hen-Minsmere RSPB

September

This month I go for a moth. My first Brick on the 17th.

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Brick-Cottingham

October

October was a mad month, said to be the best rarity wise ever. Oddly I never left Yorkshire but the best bird, for me at least, was the Siberian Accentor at Easington seen the same afternoon as my first Yorkshire Paddyfield Warbler [full account here].

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Siberian Accentor-Vicar’s Lane, Easington

November

November was a waterbird month and represented by this Black-necked Grebe I found at Tophill Low NR on the 22nd [See here].

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Black-necked Grebe on D res at Tophill Low NR

December

The last photograph should have been Dusky Thrush at Beeley but didn’t see it long enough to get a picture on my 1st attempt and not at all on the 2nd [see here]. Therefore the space is filled by Eastern Black Redstart at Skinningrove, with in the historic borders of Yorkshire [see here].

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Eastern Black Redstart-Skinningrove

Top 10 posts of 2016 [viewing figures]

1 The Flamborough/Easington twitch-Paddyfield Warbler and Siberian Accentor

2 Migrants-Kilnsea/Easington including Olive-backed Pipit

Putative Stejneger’s Stonechat at Spurn PointSince confirmed

31/1/16 Kumlien’s Gull at Barmston [for the 4th year?]

Waxwings at last-Hessle Sainsbury’s

Alkborough Flatspre-Western Swamp-hen

The Grey Phalarope at Tophill Low NR

Spotted Crake at North Cave Wetlands

North Cave Wetlands YWTBirds and insects

10 2015 in 12 pictures

Waxwings at last

27 Dec

26/12/16 Haven’t seen a Waxwing since the big influx of 2012/13 during which I stumbled on several flocks. My last been in Cottingham on Southwood Road on April 6th. There have been small numbers in the intervening years no long stayers locally in East Yorkshire. This autumn there has been a big influx but no had so far locally. Early Boxing Day afternoon a got a report from RL of one found in Hull on Boothferry Road by EC. Unfortunately it was that time of year when family gets in the way of birding. Fortunately had had a good walk round Cottingham with the dog earlier, the highlight being a Woodcock flushed by Wilbur in fields off Dunswell Road.

27/12/16 A larger flock of Waxwing had been found at the regular site at Hessle Sainsbury’s later on Monday afternoon. Headed there Tuesday morning with ML and RL. The flock was immediately visible in trees by the car park, although perversely most photographers at least were standing under a empty berry tree in the hope of the classic berry eating shot. dscn3712

Waiting for the Waxwings on berries at Hessle Sainsbury’s

Anyway we got several shots with out any competition before trying for the berry shot but although I did get a few the birds were very nervous there.

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Waxwings at Hessle Sainsbury’s

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And finally on berries

Next back tracked to Costello playing fields where we’d seen several Goosander from the road earlier. fullsizeoutput_1dee

Goosander in Hull on Costello Playing fields lake.

Good a few shots then headed to Hornsea Mere Seaton Road Hide. Had a Long-tailed Duck although again distant being nearer the southern shore. Also had a cream-crowned Marsh Harrier over.

A flock of Snow Bunting had been regular at Barmston last week so went there next. Walked nearly as far as Fraisthorpe wind-farm but saw no Snow Bunting but did have good numbers of Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer and Skylark, as well two Stonechat.fullsizeoutput_1def

One of two Stonechat at Barmston

Also had one of the two Hooded Crow in the area although only in flight at a distance. Had had better views of Hooded Crow there earlier this month.fullsizeoutput_1df4

Sanderling on Barmston beach.

Pectoral Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR

16 Aug

16/8/16 Tuesday had arranged to go out with RL and ML late morning. Had time for a quick walk in Cottingham to the fields on the corner of Dunswell Road and New Village Road. Had an adult Green Woodpecker again as well family parties of Willow Warbler and Whitethroat.

A Pectoral Sandpiper had been seen by visitors at Tophill Low NR on Monday evening. Its continued presence on South Marsh East was reported just as my friends arrived so we headed that way.

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South Marsh East at Tophill Low NR

Located it pretty quickly from the 1st hide but was distant so after getting a few records shots went round to back-to-back hide where it was closer.

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Pectoral Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

It was in company with 3 Ruff. Also 3 Greenshank and at least 4 Green Sandpiper.

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Greenshank at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

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Ruff at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

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Green Sandpiper with Teal at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

A Peregrine was circling ominously to the east. A bit worrying as the last Pectoral Sandpiper on 23/9/10 had been taken by a Sparrowhawk while RL and I watched and before RH got there. This one will be a site tick for him! This is my first since one on Swine Moor in October 2014. Last year was my first blank, probably since I first ticked one at Tophill Low NR in September 1990.

Walking back had a few Common Blue Butterflies near South Lagoon, a rare find this year.DSCN2402

Common Blue Butterfly [male above. Female below]

DSCN2406Had a drink in car park hide but nothing of interest on D reservoir. Did North Lagoon on the way out where there were another 3 Green Sandpiper.

Next was High Eske NR. Initially didn’t look good with with all the rocks, old field drains and mummified tree trucks providing plenty of cover but eventually the Little Stint was located along with two Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and a too brief Ruff. We all took loads of pictures but mine were no improvement on yesterday.

10/4/16-Nice ‘start to spring at Tophill Low NR

10 Apr

Spring for me has been slow so far. After a good start over Easter weekend adding Chiffchaff, Little Ringed Plover and three hirundines I have struggle since only managing to add Blackcap in Cottingham this Saturday evening.

Year list 134

Early Sunday morning I was messaged about a male Redstart at Tophill Low NR by South Marsh West. A rare bird for the site and I’ve only seen two in over twenty years. RL had intended visiting the reserve anyway but this would be a nice bonus. However on arriving mid morning it seemed it may not have been seen since early on. Walking south had our first Willow Warbler, singing weakly near East Pond. Fortunately nearing L-shaped hide were told by the “workers” that the Redstart was showing again. Joined DV and although more distant than when first seen did manage to get some usable shots.

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♂.Redstart-Tophill Low NR-South Marsh West

Also a pair of Little Ringed Plover on South Marsh West, the male aggressively keeping a Redshank off it’s territory.

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Little Ringed Plover-Tophill Low NR-South Marsh West

Eventually got bored of trying to get better pictures of the chat and moved to Watton NR hide. Had another two Willow Warblers in South Scrub. Unfortunately no sign of the Egyptian Geese seen earlier, present since last Sunday and maybe the same birds previously at North Cave Wetlands. Did have 58 Curlew, a good count in spring. Also 2 Little Egrets.

Moved on to South Marsh East, starting in ‘back2back’ hide. Picked up the Ruff that had been lingering for a few days. It was walking around with one of 6 Redshank.DSCN0180

Ruff with Redshank-Tophill Low NR-South Marsh East

Also another Little Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher. Had a Little Gull flying in from the north. Joined by RL, who had hadn’t seen the Redstart since I left it, and moved to the other hide where the Little Gull was much closer.

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First winter Little Gull-Tophill Low NR-South Marsh East

Surprised, at this early date and it still being quite cool, that there were several Marsh Frogs in the aquatic vegetation below the hide.

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Marsh Frogs-Tophill Low NR-South Marsh East

ML arrived and we went back to L-shaped hide where the Redstart showed again shortly. Had the Little Gull high over the marshes.

Had lunch in carpark hide. Nothing special on D reservoir but a good number of Sand Martin with two Swallow feeding over it.

Went to check a local Little Owl site.

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Little Owl-East Yorkshire

Finally did Swine Moor. Nothing new but still good numbers of Teal and a few Redshank and Golden Plover. Still early and plenty of water so a good spring passage should be expected. Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of last years drainage.

Year List 136.

 

10/1/16 In a higher gear at Hornsea Mere

10 Jan

5/1/16 Back to work on Tuesday and no chance of getting out. Did add Sparrowhawk to the year list on Cedar Drive though. This year I intend birding at work during the winter months at least and submitting interesting things like Starling numbers to Birdtrack.

Year list 66.

9/1/16 Saturday was the only easy day of the week and manged a ride up to Wauldby Sprogs but saw very few birds except a possible Marsh Tit that kept it’s distance.

10/1/16 Went to Hornsea Mere with RL on Sunday morning to meet JH at Kirkholme Point. The Slavonian Grebe was again showing well but still a bit distant for a good picture.

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Slavonian Grebe-Hornsea Mere

Had a look from the tip but no sign of anything interesting and the colder weather wasn’t making it fun so moved to the shelter of the old hide. Haven’t spent much time there recently but in the past has proved a good place to view from. Proved so today with the drake Long-tailed Duck been found, followed by a first winter Little Gull then the Red-necked Grebe. All proved difficult to see and even more to photograph, with the duck and gull always staying distant but the grebe did manage to drift to just off Swan Island. Also had a male Marsh Harrier flying west in front the hide. Later had the same bird from Wassand Hide.

Had some interesting fungi leaving the hide.

{Mention of the “old hide” is not intended as a invitation to use it!!! but see here}

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Velvet Shank-Hornsea Mere

Moved round to Wassand Hall carpark early afternoon. Walking towards the hide noticed a tit flock in a large tree near the first gate. One larger bird was sat in a branch junction tapping at a nut. I immediately called “Nuthatch” to JH who was able to see it before it flew off. RL had unfortunately gone to get air in a soft tyre. Texted him but although seen again he couldn’t get on it. Nuthatch has been seen in recent years usually on private feeders at the hall, but this was my first sighting. As it seems to like this area maybe putting some nuts near the gate might make it more visible.

Nothing new from Wassand Hide but did have an adult Little Gull flying west.

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Male Marsh Harrier from Wassand Hide

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View to the west of Wassand Hide.

Year list 75

For more recent news from Hornsea Mere check the blog.