Tag Archives: Common Darter

Insects hang on at Tophill Low NR

5 Nov

4/11/16 Went to Tophill Low NR with RL on Friday morning. As usual started in car park hide. Scanned D reservoir but no sign of the Smew which hadn’t been reported since late afternoon Sunday. Had visited High Eske NR on Wednesday and it hadn’t return there nor was there any sign of the small Pochard flock that it been part of. However as today the Goldeneye had increased including the first adult drakes. Headed south. Although the weather forecast all week have been full of doom about much colder weather I haven’t yet found it too bad but it was still surprising to see several Common Darter and a Migrant Hawker by South Lagoon.

fullsizeoutput_1a5e

Common Darter at Tophill Low NR by South Lagoon.

They were even joined by a Red Admiral.

fullsizeoutput_1a5c

Red Admiral at Tophill Low NR by South Lagoon.

Next Watton NR where there were at least eleven Little Egret. The largest number I’ve seen on the borrow pit and included one with colour leg rings. There was a very pale Buzzard feeding over the back. It had a white rump but the tail was largely black with a white band up the middle. When it perched on a post the legs were clearly unfeathered. fullsizeoutput_1a5a

Pale Common Buzzard at Watton NR

Common Buzzards like this have been present for several years and it’s not surprising that they get claimed as Rough-legged Buzzard as well Osprey and Hen Harrier. The only Pink-footed Goose was a rather sickly individual with almost orange legs. Went to Hornsea Mere Seaton Road Hide this afternoon. One Slavonian Grebe and a Tundra Bean Goose were still around this morning but not for us. Did have fifteen Whooper Swans and RL picked out the female-type Common Scoter, which we’d missed on Sunday, close to the south shore. Finished at Swine Moor. Too late for any serious wader passage but there was plenty of water. Present were circa four hundred Wigeon and a smaller number of Teal. Wondered where the Wigeon had got to as there have been very few at High Eske NR so far this autumn.

Winter wildfowl at High Eske NR

27 Oct

25/10/16 Tuesday was a frustrating day. In a the morning a mobile Pine Bunting was seen at  Spurn Point finally long enough to identify at Westmere Farm before flying off never to be seen again. A bogey bird for me. Then early afternoon a probable Eastern Black Redstart was reported at Easington cemy. Had seen one on Holy Island in November 2011 but missed the Scalby bird in late in 2014.

img_1692

Eastern Black Redstart-Holy Island

Decided to go to Welton Waters so as not to waste the day hanging around but not too difficult to twitch from if confirmed. Unfortunately it was after dark before further news. In the meantime had a fairly quiet afternoon. As of recently Welton Water was a disappointment although as it was still mild I had a few Common Darter.dscn3314

Common Darter near Brough Angling Complex

Walked the full circuit of the pits which meant I got back to the airfield near dusk. On the section of foreshore visible near the airfield I added five Bar-tailed Godwits to the Black-tailed I’d seen earlier as well as two Dunlin. Further on I found to Stonechat roosting in the reeds, a year tick. By this time the Starlings were pouring into the Brough Airfield Marsh reeds. I am useless with anything over a few hundred but met GD coming the other way. having followed the murmuration from North Cave Wetlands, and we agree there were ten of thousands. Unfortunately he’d missed the two Marsh Harriers that had cause some excitement among the Starlings earlier.

27/10/16 Tuesday seems to have been the last blast of the the current east coast migrate extravaganza which was a bit of a relief as I wasn’t feeling to good on Wednesday however on Thursday I felt fit enough to go to High Eske NR mid afternoon. I’d had a solitary Whooper Swan there at dusk on Sunday so wasn’t surprised to see it among the Greylags feeding in the fields as I walked down from High Eske Farm.fullsizeoutput_1a31

Whooper Swan with feral Greylag-High Eske Farm

They all flew onto the borrow pit as I passed then later to fields just south of Leven Canal. Other than the geese the wildfowl number are still low with only Tufted Duck reaching over a hundred with the rest barely in double figures. A redhead Goosander was new in and there were now three Goldeneye. I’d had thirteen Russian White-fronted Geese during the big goose movement mid month. Walked the perimeter but added little then headed to Leven Canal. Passing the goose flock found the single Pink-footed Goose that is currently with them. Had little on Leven Carrs so headed back south to check the pit before it got too dark. Surprised to see the Whooper on it’s own back at the farm then onto the pit. In the fading light was pleased to see a Long-tailed Duck, only my second for the site in thirty years.fullsizeoutput_1a30

Long-tailed Duck in the dark-High Eske NR

Had a few Little Egrets flying in. Didn’t equal the eight from Sunday, all from the south, but did see that they were dropping in at the turtle pool.dscn3330

Sunset at High Eske NR

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.

14542467_1192262060830440_380282301828841699_o

Fieldfare-Kilnsea-RL

Next walked Beacon Lane. Had  small flock of Brambling.

14524982_1192256494164330_3388784526063268775_o

Brambling-Beacon Lane, Kilnsea-RL

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

14566201_1192259487497364_5338811449846748257_o

Reed Warbler-Beacon Lane, Kilnsea-RL

14633334_1192262370830409_3504743926821260454_o

Chiffchaff-Beacon Lane, Kilnsea-RL 

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

dscn3091

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.

dscn3104

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.

14542506_1192262934163686_1712086772629947511_o

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.

dscn3120

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

dscn3126

Common Darter-Tophill Low NR

North Cave Wetlands YWT

5 Aug

5/8/16 Good few weeks since I’ve been to North Cave Wetlands so Friday morning thought it was time to pay a visit. Too be honest the first two hides I wasn’t sure I’d made a good choice. Only a few Common Terns of interest on Village Lake but the young Polish Mute Swan on Island Lake was nice to see again. Interesting how other than size it appears more mature than it’s siblings, having almost acquired an adult-type bill.

DSCN2101

Polish Mute Swan [2nd from left] with family

Although quite warm in sheltered places when the sun was out the wind otherwise made it feel cool. Despite this there were goods of butterflies including a Painted Lady along the walk to Turret Hide.

DSCN2108

Peacock butterfly by Maze Field.

DSCN2114

Honeybee by Maze Field.

DSCN2116

Gatekeeper by Maze Field.

DSCN2120

Painted Lady by Maze Field.

Having already seen Black-tailed Skimmer the first of the nearly rejuvenated dragonfly ponds was impressive and spent a good while watching a Brown Hawker competing with an Emperor for the territory. Also lots of damselflies and darters ovipositing. However only a Four-spotted Chaser posed for it portrait.

DSCN2125

Four-spotted Chaser-Dragonfly Ponds.

DSCN2128

Male Ruddy Darter-Dragonfly Ponds.

By the furthest pond I found quite a few darters on the ground a good number of which Ruddy Darter. While photographing these I heard the now rare jangle of a Corn Bunting and later managed to track it down in the hedge.

DSCN2146

Corn Bunting-North Hedge

Bird-wise things got better on the reedbed. First had a juvenile Little Plover just under the screen.

DSCN2148

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover-Reedbed.

Next an “interesting shape” among the Greylags turn out to be the Egyptian Goose found by SG yesterday.

DSCN2162

Egyptian Goose-“not showing well on Reedbed”.

Unfortunately spent most of the time asleep. Thirdly a Greenshank fly in to the west end but then flew closer.

DSCN2159

Greenshank-Reedbed.

Last as I was about to move everything got up and a Peregrine was quickly picked up.

DSCN2163

Male Kestrel by new workings

Had a few Brimstone along the western path.

DSCN2169

Brimstone by western path.

DSCN2174

Common Darter near Carp Lake

DSCN2178

Blue-tailed Damselfly near Carp Lake

A good number of gulls, mainly Black-headed but also a few Lesser  Black-backed Gulls on the silt pond. Found a sub-adult Yellow-legged Gull among them. Also had a Dunlin but couldn’t find the Bar-headed Goose from the hide.

DSCN2182

Adult and juvenile Common Terns on Cell A

Later looking from Dryham Lane I located the Bar-headed Goose but flew almost immediately.

DSCN2184

Bar-headed Goose about to leave Cell A

After a slow start quite a good day.

Tophill Low NR

3 Aug

3/8/16 Went to Tophill Low NR with JH on Wednesday afternoon. Started in car park hide. Good number of wildfowl on D reservoir mainly Coot and Tufted Duck with smaller numbers of Pochard and Great Crested Grebe. An immature Little Grebe caused a bit of interest but failing to turn it into one of it’s rarer cousins we moved onto North Lagoon. Thanks to Richard’s water management there was plenty of mud and had 2 Green and a Common Sandpiper as well as a Little Egret.

Moving onto South Marsh East failed to beat the recent Little Egret record of 22 finding only 8 although 11 had been seen this morning.

DSCN2070

Little Egret close to South Marsh East hide

Did find 3 Green Sandpiper and a Greenshank and eventually searching the ducks found a Garganey.

DSCN2076

Green Sandpiper on South Marsh East.

DSCN2077

Greenshank on South Marsh East.

Lost the Garganey behind an island then it or a second flew in under hide. Due to the pale belly was an adult, likely a female.

DSCN2067

Garganey on South  Marsh East

Had another look from back-to-back hide and couldn’t see any Garganey so decided to stick with just one. Had Red-crested Pochard on South Marsh West. Nothing of interest on Watton NR but had a Painted Lady in South Scrub. Other butterflies included several Gatekeepers and a few Red Admirals, Peacock and Meadow Browns.

DSCN2083

Painted Lady in South Scrub

Dragonflies seen were a few Southern Hawkers, Brown Hawker and a Common Darter.

DSCN2087

Common Darter by O reservoir.

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.

DSCN8996

Brimstone on Buddleia-Tophill Low NR

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

DSCN9024

Brimstone on Crocosmia Buddleia-Tophill Low NR

DSCN9020

Red Admiral on Buddleia-Tophill Low NR

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

DSCN9034

Gatekeeper-Tophill Low NR

DSCN9042

Meadow Browns-Tophill Low NR

DSCN9031

Bees nest-Tophill Low NR

Also had a few dragonflies by O reservoir.

DSCN9046

Southern Hawker-Tophill Low NR

DSCN9040

Migrant Hawker-Tophill Low NR

DSCN9036

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.

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.

DSCN8654

Ruff-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

DSCN8705

Greenshank-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

DSCN8668

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.

DSCN8678

Common Darter-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR

DSCN8691

Small Tortoiseshell and Comma-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR

DSCN8692pair of Gatekeeper by O reservoir-Tophill Low NR

DSCN8710

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
DSCN8714

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.