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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

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Snake rescue at High Eske NR

10 Aug

10/8/16 Wednesday morning went to High Eske NR. Although this is the site I visit most on my own I have a sense of trepidation during the summer holidays and weekends. Although it can a paradise, at this time of year it can be invaded by the barbarians. Canoes, unruly fishermen, swimmers and even speed boats can spoil your day. For August this was a cold day so hopefully this would put off some anti-social activities. Had it to myself initially but wasn’t much to see with just the now common Little Egret and a Greenshank that I couldn’t see and may have just been a fly over. Having checked the pit walked south to check hedge at Eske Manor that often attracts the sort of commoner migrant that appears at this time of year. Only had a few Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat that were likely just local breeders. However scanning the fields had a small covey of Grey Partridge. A year tick having yet to see any along Tophill Low NR approach road. Walked back north and round the back of the reserve. Spent some time on Pulfin NR but no sign of the family of Marsh Harrier that had nested in the area. Had a few butterflies including a Painted Lady. Also several Brown and Southern Hawkers.

Two weeks ago I seen a Corn Snake. Had no chance of rescuing it and thought I’d be lucky even to see it again. Amazingly in the same area, near the bridge over the north outlet, there it was again. Initially thought it was likely to be dead, but getting closer it was still moving. Despite it being cold it was more active than the first time.

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“Haven’t I seen you before?” Corn Snake at High Eske NR

Seemed to think it was a Rattlesnake, presumably a survival technique, as if I bothered it it drew it head back as though to strike and ‘rattled’ its tail. This wasn’t purely mimicry as I later found. Now I was stuck what to do as I had nothing to put in. However when I’d posted pictures on Facebook before my friend Mandy had said she could home it if I could catch it. Sent her a text.

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Minutes later Mandy phoned back and was shortly on the way with her father. The snake wasn’t showing any sign of fleeing so I went to look for a bag or somethings, never a problem at this litter strewn ‘beauty spot’. Found a bag but just couldn’t get it in. This is when it proved to be not just kidding.

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Snake bite.

Thought best to give up and wait for Mandy. Gently held it in place with my foot after covering its head with my hat. Although it did try to get away a few times, eventually relaxed was able to leave it unmolested. Shortly Mandy arrived and put me to same by just grabbing it behind the head and although it put up a fight into it in a pillow case.

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Mandy and the Serpent. Clearly an experienced snake wrangler.

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Snake in the bag

Walking back to the farm thought I saw an Otter swimming into the opposite bank of the river but didn’t reappear.