Tag Archives: Bewholme Hall

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

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Curlew Sandpipers at Tophill Low NR

21 Aug

2o/8/16 With the weather forecast bad for Saturday had an early start at High Eske NR. Actually started raining heavily on arrival but braved it out and soon became dry and remain that way until I left mid morning but the wind got up to the point where it was no-longer fun. Waders particularly Curlew Sandpipers are on the move but only managed two Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin.

As predicted yesterday Curlew Sandpipers appeared at Tophill Low NR during the afternoon but by then the wind was strong with the occasional heavy shower so hoped they would stay until Sunday.

21/8/16 Sunday morning started at Hornsea Mere with JH. The site has been very disappointing recently and as yet no sign of the regular Little Gull built up. From Kirkholme Point only managed two Little Ringed Plovers, which like most waders flew around few times in the vain hope of finding some exposed mud.

Next to Bewholme Hall Pond. There best there was a Common Sandpiper and Pink-footed Goose.

Finally made it to Tophill Low NR midday. Played it cool and did D reservoir but did find the Scaup that had eluded me earlier in the week.

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Scaup among Tufted Duck at Tophill Low NR on D reservoir

Getting to North Lagoon there were three Curlew Sandpiper along with two Greenshank [increasing to three on the second visit], twelve Ruff, Common Sandpiper Ringed Plover and 3 Grey Wagtails.

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Curlew Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

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Ruff at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

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Greenshank at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still on South Marsh East, again best from back-to-back hide. DSCN2537

Pectoral Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

Also on the marsh were Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover.

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Green Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

RL picked up an Osprey flying south over the river, my first here for a few years.

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Osprey at Tophill Low NR over South Marsh East-RL

Changes at Tophill Low NR

8 Aug

7/8/16 On Sunday morning with RL and ML had a chance to look round the building site of the new Tophill Low NR visitors centre.DSCN2192

RL and ML at the foot of the access rump to the future visitors centre.

The newly excavated visitors centre pond was already filling with a perceptible flow from the direction of the reservoir, whether a leak or groundwater we’re yet to know.

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RH and LR by the already filling visitors centre pond.

Turf uncovered by the excavation can be dated to 1958 as the original ground level of Tophill Low farm buried by earth from the excavation of D reservoir.

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RH pointing to preserved turf dating from 1958 when the waterworks was built.

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The beginning of the walk way from the future visitors centre. Still under construction this will change the way we navigate the reserve.

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Footings of the future visitors centre.

From the top of the access rump you can get a good view over D reservoir which reassured us that the new visitor centre would be at least as good as the current car park hide which will be removed.

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View of D reservoir from the top of the future visitors centre ramp.

Best to check the official Tophill Low blog for more information and future updates.

Bird-wise there was no real change since my visit on Wednesday. Had a Greenshank, 5 Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper on North Lagoon and another Green Sandpiper on South Marsh East.

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One of two Kingfishers on South Lagoon.

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Little Grebe feeding one of two chicks on South Lagoon.

Again didn’t challenge the Little Egret record, now standing at 24. One individual didn’t make it way under it own steam as after being found exhausted next to the road at Bewholme it was treated at Peel veterinary clinic at Hornsea before being released on the reserve.

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The released Little Egret on South Marsh East now looking a lot cleaner. 

Windy, but had a good number of butterflies in the shelter of O reservoir ditch including my first Small Copper this year.

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Small Copper in O reservoir ditch.

Also of note were two Painted Ladies and a Silver Y.

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Silver Y in O reservoir ditch.

Had sea watch at Atwick this afternoon followed by a quick look at Bewholme Hall pond. Neither produce anything of note. Looked at Swine Moor on the way home but no sign of last weeks Wood Sandpiper with only a Dunlin in it’s place.

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.

More waders at Tophill Low NR

16 Aug

16/8/15 Went to Hornsea Mere with JH on Sunday morning. A Little Stint had been seen on Kirkholme Point earlier but no sign late morning but the the regular Dunlin.

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Dunlin-Hornsea Mere

Had a least five Little Gulls including two on the jetties but disturbed before we got in camera range.

Went round to Wassand Hall. Had a Common Frog was along the woodland walk to the hide.

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Common Frog-Hornsea Mere.

No sign of yesterday’s Red-necked Grebe or little else of notice. A row boat that had somehow missed the boundary signs, after been shown the error of our their ways, gave the cue to leave.

Went on the Bewholme Hall. Had had four Black-tailed Godwit, seven Ruff and 3 Dunlin yesterday and all but the Dunlin seemed to be present today.

Finished the day at Tophill Low NR. Started in car park hide. Found a drake Redhead-like duck, either a hybrid or aberrant Pochard on D reservoir. Also the over summering drake Goldeneye was sat on the steps and a Common Sandpiper flew over.

Next was North Lagoon, the current highlight of the reserve. After missing them last Sunday were glad to see two Wood Sandpipers.

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Wood Sandpipers-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Also a Greenshank and at least eight Green Sandpipers but no Ruff.

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Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Greenshank-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Wood Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR [above and below]

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Green Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

The juvenile Water Rail was still impersonating a Spotted Crake.

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juvenile Water Rail-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Short of time so had a quick look around the south end. Post breeding South Marsh East was quiet but a Wood Sandpiper was seen by friends after I left. Likely from North Lagoon as there were few waders left on a quick visit on the way back south. Did have a large swimming Grass Snake below the first South Marsh East hide but too obscured by vegetation to photograph. One Green Sandpiper on South Marsh West. Little Egret on Watton NR. Also a herd of cattle. This reserve, adjacent to but not part of Tophill Low NR, has finally been sold, by the Environment Agency, to a sympathetic owner who has handed management to the warden Richard Hampshire and his volunteers. As part of this management, cattle from the adjacent farm will be allowed on as conservation grazers as the Belted Galloway do on Hempholme Meadows and South Scrub.
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Cattle grazing Watton NR

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Harlequin Ladybird on Ragwort-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR

Back to the future at Tophill Low NR

5 Aug

5/8/15 Did Tophill Low NR with RL and JH on Wednesday. The new water management is paying dividends on North Lagoon with plenty of wader attracting mud for the first time in many years and certainly since the new water works opened. Like what I remember when I first visited in the 80’s. We had 4 Greenshank, 2 Ruff, 3 Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and Dunlin. Looking forward to a decent rare wader and also hopeful for Spotted Crake soon.

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Ruff-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Greenshank-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Kingfisher-S.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

All the breeding Common Terns and most of the Black-headed Gulls have now left South Marsh East. In there place were c100 Lapwing and 6 Black-tailed Godwits. All were put to fight briefly by a passing Hobby.

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Common Darter-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR

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Small Tortoiseshell and Comma-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR

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Black-tailed Skimmer near lagoons-Tophill Low NR

Returning to the car park heard a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was on the Buddleia in the insect garden
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Hummingbird Hawkmoth-Tophill Low NR

Did a sea-watch on Atwick late afternoon. Pretty quiet with c100 Common Scoter flying north and a few Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Gulls and 10 Knot flying south. Also had a Whimbrel on the beach.

Had 6 Black-tailed Godwit with c100 Lapwing by Bewholme Hall pond.