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2016 in 12 picture

31 Dec


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.


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


Kumlien’s Gull on Barmston Beach


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


Early Moth


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


Small Tortoiseshell at Far Grange, Skipsea


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.


Cetti’s Warbler at North Marsh-Tophill Low NR


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


Glossy Ibises on Dryham Ings-North Cave Wetlands NR


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].


Dingy Skipper at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit


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].


Corn Snake-High Eske NR


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].


Western Swamp-hen-Minsmere RSPB


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




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].


Siberian Accentor-Vicar’s Lane, Easington


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


Black-necked Grebe on D res at Tophill Low NR


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].


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

Insects at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

5 Jun

Spend the morning at Tophill Low NR with RL and ML. With spring wader passage over and everything down to breeding there wasn’t much bird wise of interest to see. A Common Sandpiper on South Marsh East was the only ‘vagrant’.Expected to see a few insects but even they were disappointing with the only Painted Lady refusing to settle and even the recent mass invasion of Diamond-back Moths failing to show. However had a few teneral damselflies with one proving to be our first Red-eyed of the year from a photo ny RL.DSCN9050

Teneral Red-eyed Damselfly-Tophill Low NR-RL

Dingy Skipper had been recently seen at Kiplingcotes so with good temperatures finally after recent dull days thought it worth a punt. Parked at the official reserve car park to save the long walk I usually take from Kiplingcotes Station. A bit windy in the quarry itself but quickly picked up a small brown butterfly which a settling was confirmed as Small Heath.


Small Heath-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Next, although not rare, was a nice Peacock which kept up with us the length of the quarry.


Peacock Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Heard the familiar mewing of Common Buzzard and look up see not one but five drifting over.

Next had a male Common Blue but this just wouldn’t stop and eventually pushed it into the north-east corner where it finally gave itself up.


Common Blue Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Walking back we were joined by MJ just in time to see our first Cinnabar Moth of the year.


Cinnabar Moth-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Reached the west end and were beginning to give up on Dingy Skipper but we saw a stout dragonfly. Initial thoughts were Four-spotted Chaser but had some suspicion it might be a Broad-bodied Chaser. Fortunately it ‘hung up’ allowing us to confirm it as the latter and all to get good pictures.


Female Broad-bodied Chaser-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Had an interesting butterfly which fly out of the reserve to the footpath but couldn’t be relocated and we were near to leaving when it or another landed on the bank below me. Ran back down to get a closer view and although initially unable to see it RL relocated it and I managed to get one clear shot to confirm it as Dingy Skipper before it flew towards ML and MJ then disappeared again.


Dingy Skipper-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Like Tophill Low NR Diamond-back Moths were scarce but had my first Straw Dot of the year.

Just after parting company with MJ she called and looking up had two low flying Red Kites.


Red Kite over Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT