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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

Barmston/Fraisthorpe

8 Dec

8/12/16 Started Thursday morning with RL and ML at Hornsea Mere. Three Long-tailed Ducks and a Smew had been reported on Monday. With the Watton NR likely to have frozen over seems likely the Smew was from there. It hasn’t been reported at either sites since. With the clearing heavy rain it was visibility rather than the sun that made viewing difficult. Again we had nothing scarce so moved on to Bewholme Hall. Good numbers of Wigeon and Teal by the pond. Had a look for geese in the Skipsea area. A good flock near The Lakes at Far Grange but were all Greylags but did have a male Marsh Harrier over. Had look at the sea first from Atwick caravan park. where we had a few Red-throated Divers, then Ulrome and finally Barmston. Had a Purple Sandpiper on the rocks below the car park, joined by a Turnstone. fullsizeoutput_1aa5

Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone on rocks below Barmston car park

Headed north hoping for the Kumlien’s Gull. My first scope of distant gulls on the beach found the intermittently report Hooded Crow with Carrion Crows just beyond. A year tick at least. I had talked about going for the Masked Wagtail in south Wales today, which currently wouldn’t even be a year tick [unless you subscribe to the UK500 taxonomy]. Walking up had a circa forty Ringed Plover with a smaller number of Dunlin and a Sanderling. Eventually drew close to the Crows, now in fields just south of Fraisthorpe wind-farm. fullsizeoutput_1aa7

Hooded and Carrion Crow near Fraisthorpe wind-farm

Got a few photos although they would fly if we got too close. Also had a Marsh Harrier over. Walking back had the Hoodie again on the beach.fullsizeoutput_1ab1

Hooded Crow on Barmston beach

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Rainbow over the sea off Barmston

Migrants

11 Oct

9/10/16 Started Sunday morning with RL and ML looking for a Yellow-browed Warbler at Paull church [see here]. No luck but had a few Chiffchaff including one singing. Also a few Redwing.

Next headed for Atwick but report of a possible Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler in the potato field at Spurn Point made us retrace our route then continue to Kilnsea. Parking near Crown and Anchor there was no sign of any real interest so just walked the road east. Good numbers of Robin. Also had a Redstart in the hedgerow  where I’d seen the Masked Shrike as well as my first Fieldfare of the autumn.

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Fieldfare-Kilnsea-RL

Next walked Beacon Lane. Had  small flock of Brambling.

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Brambling-Beacon Lane, Kilnsea-RL

Also a acrocephalus warbler but couldn’t make it anything other than Reed.

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Reed Warbler-Beacon Lane, Kilnsea-RL

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Chiffchaff-Beacon Lane, Kilnsea-RL 

Back at Bluebell Corner several Goldcrest were showing well in weeds.

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Goldcrest-Bluebell Corner, Kilnsea

Got back to the car as the Olive-backed Pipit was reported again along Vicars Lane. Showed well eventually, at close range behind the gas terminal fence although it made photography awkward.

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Olive-backed Pipit-Vicars Lane, Easington

Went into Easington but there was no further sign of the Pallas’s Warbler behind White Horse Inn. Headed to the cemetery where a Firecrest had been seen. No sign of it but had a nice male Red-breasted Flycatcher.

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Male Red-breasted Flycatcher-Easington Cemetery-RL 

10/10/16 Monday out again with RL. Started at Hornsea Mere. Nothing of note although there was a solitary Pink-footed Goose on Kirkholme Point.

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Pink-footed Goose-Hornsea Mere on Kirkholme Point.

Checked the trees around Atwick churchyard where a Blackcap and a few Redwing and Goldcrest were the best of it. At Far Grange added a Chiffchaff. Finally after a look on D reservoir had a look for migrants at Tophill Low NR. Found nothing but with the continuing mild weather there were still plenty of dragonflies on the wing.dscn3130

Migrant Hawker-Tophill Low NR

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Common Darter-Tophill Low NR

Black Terns are like buses……

2 Sep

30/8/16 A Western Purple Swamphen was founded found at Alkborough Flats early Tuesday afternoon. The thought of getting straight off and beating the crowds passed my mind but having already seen the Minsmere bird at the start of the month and a juvenile Black Tern present since this morning at Hornsea Mere, a bird I’d not seen for nearly three years, proved more tempting. I’d actually done Alkborough Flats on Sunday with JH anyway and as he and ML both need the Swamphen it’s likely on the agenda for Sunday if it doesn’t repeat the Minsmere bird and leave overnight on Friday. Anyway back to Hornsea Mere. Arriving at Kirkholme Point there was no sign of any {real] birders nor the tern. Fortunately met up with ST and assured it did go missing for long times and eventually and picked it up distantly behind tree island and wasn’t too long before it flew back to Kirkholme Point with four Little Gulls [number of the later still well below previous years with a hundred times that number not usual at this time in the past. Don’t know if anyone is counting the evening pre-roost currently.

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Juvenile Black Tern at Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point 

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Little Gull at Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point

Next went to North Cliff Boat Club. First checked the set-aside to the north for migrants then did a sea-watch but not really the right winds for either. Strangely did have a Black Tern followed shortly by another two that lingered for a while giving me time to be sure I wasn’t ‘moulding birds’ [RL will understand this term!]. Like buses…. Otherwise a single Fulmar was the best bird, although a few years back they would have been a common sight.

Paid a quick visit to the Seaton Road Hide [see here for access details to keep GB off my back] but couldn’t see the tern or any Little Gulls, in fact couldn’t see much. Some guerrilla conservation may be needed if Wassand Estate don’t do something soon. The only notable ‘wildlife’ was a young couple ‘at it’ in the adjacent field. Decency  and the real possibility they were underage kept my hand from the camera.

1/9/16 Had another look at the Black Tern with RL on Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately it was frequenting the south side and only came close to Kirkholme Point while RL was buying an ice cream. We finished the day doing a sea-watch with JH off Far Grange. Although nothing special the number of Common Terns early evening were impressive. 14125702_1159611220762191_2063226160474370919_o

Sandwich Tern [above]. Gannet [below] off Far Grange-RL 

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Red-throated Diver off Far Grange-RL 

Insects at Tophill Low NR/Little Gulls at Hornsea Mere

17 Aug

17/8/15 Went back to Tophill Low NR with RL and ML on Monday morning, Both Wood Sandpipers were still on North Lagoon with a Greenshank and four Green Sandpipers. Not going to improve on yesterday’s pictures but Brimstone on Buddleia in the insect garden gave a good photo opportunity.

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Brimstone on Buddleia-Tophill Low NR

A second seemed to prefer the red flowers of Montbretia or Crocosmia.

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Brimstone on Crocosmia Buddleia-Tophill Low NR

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Red Admiral on Buddleia-Tophill Low NR

Went for to see a Bees nest by O reservoir and had a few more butterflies.

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Gatekeeper-Tophill Low NR

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Meadow Browns-Tophill Low NR

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Bees nest-Tophill Low NR

Also had a few dragonflies by O reservoir.

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Southern Hawker-Tophill Low NR

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Migrant Hawker-Tophill Low NR

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Common Darter-Tophill Low NR

Checked Bewholme Hall Pond early afternoon. No sign of the juvenile Caspian Gull seen this morning but had four Black-tailed Godwits and eight Ruff.

Did a fruitless sea-watch off Far Grange GC then ended the day at Hornsea Mere where five Little Gulls were roosting on the jetties.DSCN9058 DSCN9053 DSCN9056

Also had two Ruff distantly on the south shore as well as a Dunlin on Kirkholme Point. A possible juvenile Greater Scaup flew before we could make a definitive identification.

Little Gulls at Hornsea Mere

28 Jul

Seems to have rained constantly since late yesterday morning but fortunately when RL picked me up early Tuesday afternoon the rain was easing. Took the opportunity to have a look at Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point. Maybe as a result of the recent weather a few Little Gulls were roosting on the jetties with Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns.

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Little Gull-Hornsea Mere

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Common Tern-Hornsea Mere

Walking the edge we flushed two Common Sandpipers.

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Colour-ringed Mute Swan-Hornsea Mere

Moved to Far Grange to do a sea watch from the end of golf course. Had a pale-phase Arctic Tern to the south but otherwise only seven Common Scoter flying north and a few Sandwich Terns. Plenty of feeding Sand Martin but no sign of any active nests on the cliff-face. Weather deteriorated so moved to Ulrome to continue our sea watch from the car. Had nothing new and the visibility deteriorated. Thought about a look at Bewholme Hall pond but the rain became torrential. However wasn’t raining approaching Beverley so stopped for a look at Swinemoor from Weel Road. Hoped the recent rain would have had some effect but little surface water in evidence.
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A dry Swinemoor over the R.Hull.

Wasn’t a total disappointment as a Kingfisher flying along the river carrying a large fish was nice. Also several Reed Warblers in the reeds.

Reed Warbler River Hull Swinemoor Beverley 280715 RL

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Finally managed an insect free blog but anyone missing moths should check my moth blog. Done late June and July is in “draft” will be “published” in a few days.