Tag Archives: birding.

Shag at East Park, Hull

17 Dec

17/12/18 Apart from twitching the Royal Tern on Anglesey last Tuesday the only birding I’ve done recently had been locally with the dog.

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Royal Tern-Traeth Lligwy, Anglesey

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Raven-Traeth Lligwy, Anglesey

This doesn’t mean I don’t get to see much, as a Little Egret has been seen on the north side of Cottingham a few times recently with another lingering in fields north of Springhead GC. Even better last Wednesday managed to see Peregrine, Merlin, Little Owl and Green Woodpecker.

This morning the dog wasn’t interested in going out so with a Shag in Hull at East Park Lake since at least late last week and the weather better, got out on the bike for the first time in a while. From the feeding area [although ‘feeding’ is no longer encouraged] the bird was visitable and although the guy I spoke to seemed to think it was a Cormorant, on closer inspection it was clearly an immature Shag.

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First winter Shag-East Park Lake, Hull

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Goosander-East Park Lake, Hull

A few Goosander were also in the area and after getting a few pictures set off round the lake to count them. Thirty had been reported earlier and my count was in the same ball park.

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Black-headed Gull-East Park Lake, Hull

Didn’t see them myself but of interest Jay and Mistle Thrush are on site.

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More winter wildfowl

30 Oct

30/10/16 Started Sunday morning at High Eske NR, with RL and ML, hoping to see the recent Long-tailed Duck. Met DH along the track from the farm. Had seen the duck on Saturday evening but no sign today but had had a Smew. The lone Whooper Swan was still present.fullsizeoutput_1a4d

Whooper Swan-High Eske NR

Quickly found the redhead Smew among the Tufted Duck and Pochard at the south end. Also picked out three Scaup. The large flock of Greylags dropped still with the Pink-footed Goose. Next to Hornsea Mere starting in the Seaton Road Hide. A Pink-footed Goose was just in front of the hide. Eleven Whooper Swans were near the entrance to Decoy Bay and another eight flew southwest.fullsizeoutput_1a4a

Whooper Swans at Hornsea Mere

I picked up the two Slavonian Grebe between us and Kirkholme Point, presumably displaced by the boat.dscn3372

What we have to contend with at Hornsea Mere

Eventually came fairly close.

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Juvenile and adult Slavonian Grebes with Mute Swan-Hornsea Mere

Went round to Kirkholme Point where the same or another Pink-footed Goose was just offshore.fullsizeoutput_1a42

Pink-footed Goose at Hornsea Mere off Kirkholme Point

A few Tundra Bean and White-fronted Geese and a Common Scoter had been seen earlier. Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. I found a redhead Smew on D reservoir from car park hide. Likely the same bird we saw this morning as it was also associating with Pochard. Flew to the north end and RL and I went to the North Hide while ML went to North Marsh where a Bittern had been seen earlier. The Smew showed close in before flying off with Pochards eventually coming down below car park hide where it stayed until late afternoon at least. fullsizeoutput_1a3b

Redhead Smew with Pochard at Tophill Low NR on D reservoir

Also had two Green Sandpipers in flight before dropping onto Decoy Fields.dscn3408

The new visitors centre at Tophill Low NR-‘still under wraps’

Did the gulls. Although we didn’t stay until dark, with the clocks now back, we’re likely to start doing the gull roost again. A Tawny Owl was calling in D wood as we left. Had a few Migrant Hawkers. With the forecast of colder nights there won’t be many more.

My “tern” to rock it at Spurn.

26 Apr

25/4 Second time in 10 days I get a Mega Alert while at work. Again it’s East Yorkshire and again a county tick but not a lifer. Today it’s a female Rock Thrush found at The Warren, Spurn. {Had seen the last mass twitched bird at Holme, Norfolk.} Further on than last Monday and feeling more positive. The thrush moved north eventually holing up at Sandy Beaches Caravan Park, with instructions to keep out. Not looking good but get a text from Steve Elliot, just after I got in, that it’s now in the field south of Blue Bell car park and looking settled.  On the road with in an hour and there by late afternoon. Bit of a panic trying to see it for the first time but showed on and off the rest of the afternoon, usually on the concrete fence posts on the seaward edge of the field. Never close but slowly getting nearer. However was flushed by walkers on the flood bank and flew to the field further south. Did again work it’s way back north but never got more than half way. Also a few Northern Wheatear and Yellow Wagtails.

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Female Rock Thrush-Kilnsea-my best shot.

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Rock Thrush-Kilnsea-an un-cropped shot.

With a Firecrest reported at Crown & Anchor car park decided to go for a walk with John Brattan. Saw a group of birder appearing to look into bushes opposite Crown & Anchor car park but in fact were watching a Hobby. Oh well, saw plenty locally last year! No sign of anyone in the car park so after a quick look headed slowly back. Stopped to talk with Dave Britton, mainly about last weeks Baikal Teal. John headed for Sammy’s Point and I intended joining him but as I entered Blue Bell car park a hue and cry went up over a Caspian Tern heading north towards us. Mad scramble over the fence then all eyes looking north. “Close in from the sea-watching hut” comes the message over the radio, all straining to pick it up with out blocking the guy [or girl’s] view behind you. Can see a few larger gulls but none turning into a large tern, then the call goes up “close in, straight out”, and there it is, massive red bill and showing the dark under primaries to rule out Royal. Whooh, my Yorkshire bogey-bird finally unblocked. {Dipped one in Derbyshire on 12 May 1993, then had my throttle cable snap on the way home and left with out transport for it to spend the following day at Southfield reservoir.} Watched it until lost to view. No report further up the coast.

Now on a high decided not to go to Sammy’s Point so as not to upset John. Did a brief sea-watch and had a good number of Dunlin and Grey Plover flying north. Hung around for another 40 mins but the Rock Thrush wasn’t getting any closer and the weather was starting to go off. Heavy rain all the way back but wasn’t bothered.

The thrush became more elusive in the rain before flying off to roost at Southfield Farm.

26/4 Rock Thrush still around today, initially in the field south of Blue Bell car park then at Southfield Farm and at Sandy Beaches Caravan Park this evening. Fortunately for John Hirschfield who couldn’t make it on Thursday. Hopefully it’ll rang around for a mass twitch over the weekend. Suspect the Caspian Tern will turn up again somewhere.

27/4 Unfortunately it’s done that annoying trick of disappearing on Friday night. Hopefully it won’t be another 29 years before the next.