Tag Archives: Common Tern

Great White Egret and other stuff at Tophill Low NR

2 Aug

2/8/17 I haven’t been to Tophill Low NR for a few weeks but with rain forecast it seemed a good place to be. Despite the title the big white heron wasn’t too important as I had seen one there in May, which despite their increasing occurrence was my first for almost three years and even longer at this site. More interesting was the report of Spotted Flycatcher at Hempholme Meadows yesterday. They had bred in O Wood but I hadn’t managed to see them there. However no sign up there but did see a Ruddy Darter on the way up and photographed some Little Gulls on the straight wall walking back [had counted at least 12 earlier from the visitor centre].

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Ruddy Darter at Tophill Low NR near “top hide”.

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Little Gulls at Tophill Low NR on D res wall.

Also no Kingfishers but had one walking past South Lagoon.

 

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Red Admiral at Tophill Low NR wildlife garden.

Headed to South Marsh East where the big egret had been earlier, as well as a variety of waders. No sign of the Great but several of it’s Little cousins.

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Little Egret at Tophill Low on South Marsh East.

Also a couple of Black-tailed Godwit and few Green Sandpiper but no sign of the Wood Sandpiper. The Lapwing regularly got up, as is their habit, taking other waders and some Little Gulls with them.

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Green Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East.

Headed for the back-2-back hide in the hope that the missing two would be seen from there but got diverted to Watton NR where as expected an unidentified ‘stint’ was a Dunlin. Nice to see Common Terns feeding young though.

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 Common Terns at Tophill Low NR on Watton NR.

Had a look from L-shaped hide where as often moths provided more interest than bird.

Agonopterix alstromeriana, Copper Underwing and Mouse Moth at Tophill Low NR in L-shaped Hide

Back at South Marsh East where I had just missed the Wood Sandpiper but the Great White flew into view.

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Great white Egret at Tophill Low on South Marsh East.

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Goosander at Tophill Low on South Marsh East.

Back round to the first hide and the Wood Sandpiper was showing but distant. Having opened the visitor centre and with no one else around to past the task on to I went up there with the hope of locking up and going but a had a steady stream of customers. No problem though just made myself a cup of tea and rigged up a ‘scope to show those interested a Little Gull. At least I’ve gone some of my way to paying for my annual permit!

 

Spotted Crake at North Cave Wetlands

18 Aug

17/8/16 A Spotted Crake seen briefly by MU at North Cave Wetlands on Reedbed on Sunday evening then relocated by TC early Tuesday evening. I’d missed the previous twitchable one due to not bothering to go the same evening but fortunately after not been seen again that evening this one was seen again Wednesday morning.  As I wasn’t too fit thought I’d leave it until the afternoon. A Whinchat had been seen yesterday near the maize field so I  had a quick look on the way to the Reedbed. Getting there the crake hadn’t been seen for c2 hours. Joined PW in St.Helen’s Farm viewpoint and wasn’t long before he’d located it.

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St Helen’s Farm viewpoint at North Cave Wetland [“the hide without a back”]

 

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Reedbed at North Cave Wetlands looking toward the western edge which the Spotted Crake inhabits.

Watched it for a good time although always distant, and in cover much of the time, along western edge of the pit. Later joined GD and RH near the seat at the western end where it was a bit closer although the light and distance still made it impossible to get a clear photo.

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The best Spotted Crake shot I got!!

Also on the Reedbed were a Greenshank, 2 Redshank and 2 Common Tern.

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Redshank on Reedbed at North Cave Wetland. A surprisingly scarce inland wader at the moment.

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Yellow Wagtail on Reedbed at North Cave Wetlands

Went for another look for Whinchat with SG but again no sign but had a few Corn Bunting. We went to check the new workings from Crosslands Hide. Two Egyptian Geese, a Common Sandpiper and two Lesser Black-backed Gull were on the slurry lagoon and three Greenshank and the Bar-headed Goose on Cell A.

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Egyptian Geese on slurry lagoon at North Cave Wetlands

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Bar-headed Goose on Cell A at North Cave Wetlands

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Common Tern on the tern raft on Main Lake at North Cave Wetlands

Thanks to a call from SG had two Green Sandpipers and a Ruff from the gate near the entrance before I left.

18/8/26 Had a quick look at High Eske NR on Thursday morning. The ‘summer islands’ were covered and there was sign of the Little Stint. However there were two Green Sandpipers on the main island and two Common Sandpipers on the east shore.

Went back to North Cave Wetlands with JH early afternoon. Hadn’t been seen for a good while but soon after sitting down in the viewpoint I located it and we watched it walk the length of the west side. The light was initially better than yesterday being a bit earlier. Also had three Greenshank and two Little Ringed Plover. MU had seen the the Whinchat on the Snipe field fence. We had a look but no sign however saw it distantly back on the fence from Turret Hide later. Also had the two Egyptian Geese on Village Lake. Had three Snipe and a Green Sandpiper on Dryham Ings from the gate near the entrance.

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.

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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.

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Peacock butterfly by Maze Field.

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Honeybee by Maze Field.

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Gatekeeper by Maze Field.

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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.

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Four-spotted Chaser-Dragonfly Ponds.

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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.

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Corn Bunting-North Hedge

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

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Juvenile Little Ringed Plover-Reedbed.

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

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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.

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Greenshank-Reedbed.

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

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Male Kestrel by new workings

Had a few Brimstone along the western path.

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Brimstone by western path.

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Common Darter near Carp Lake

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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.

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Adult and juvenile Common Terns on Cell A

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

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Bar-headed Goose about to leave Cell A

After a slow start quite a good day.

Little Gulls at Hornsea Mere

28 Jul

Seems to have rained constantly since late yesterday morning but fortunately when RL picked me up early Tuesday afternoon the rain was easing. Took the opportunity to have a look at Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point. Maybe as a result of the recent weather a few Little Gulls were roosting on the jetties with Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns.

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Little Gull-Hornsea Mere

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Common Tern-Hornsea Mere

Walking the edge we flushed two Common Sandpipers.

DSCN8459Male House Sparrow-Hornsea Mere
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Colour-ringed Mute Swan-Hornsea Mere

Moved to Far Grange to do a sea watch from the end of golf course. Had a pale-phase Arctic Tern to the south but otherwise only seven Common Scoter flying north and a few Sandwich Terns. Plenty of feeding Sand Martin but no sign of any active nests on the cliff-face. Weather deteriorated so moved to Ulrome to continue our sea watch from the car. Had nothing new and the visibility deteriorated. Thought about a look at Bewholme Hall pond but the rain became torrential. However wasn’t raining approaching Beverley so stopped for a look at Swinemoor from Weel Road. Hoped the recent rain would have had some effect but little surface water in evidence.
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A dry Swinemoor over the R.Hull.

Wasn’t a total disappointment as a Kingfisher flying along the river carrying a large fish was nice. Also several Reed Warblers in the reeds.

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Finally managed an insect free blog but anyone missing moths should check my moth blog. Done late June and July is in “draft” will be “published” in a few days.

High Eske and Tophill Low NRs

26 Jul

23/7/15 Went to High Eske NR on Thursday afternoon. Water level again low but Lapwing were the only waders on site though had an unseen Greenshank calling several times.

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Comma-High Eske NR

26/7/15 Went to Tophill Low NR with RL and ML on Sunday morning. Common Sandpiper on North Lagoon but no sign of any Little Egrets.DSCN8383

Common Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Most of the breeding Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls on South Marsh East have now left. Also no sign of any Little Ringed Plovers.

Leaving South Marsh East hide had an Emerald Damselfly. My first for a while and possibly a new species for ML.

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Emerald Damselfly-Tophill Low NR

Had my first Lesser Yellow Underwing moth of 2015 in L-shaped Hide.

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Lesser Yellow Underwing-Tophill Low NR

Three Little Egrets were on Watton NR. Also a distant Green Sandpiper before flying off towards Watton Carrs.

Several Shaded Broad-bar moths in South Scrub.

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Shaded Broad-bar-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR.

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Southern Hawker-Tophill Low NR.

Rain started early afternoon so canceled our sea watch and went to Hornsea Mere instead. Again several Common Terns as well as two Little Gulls.

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More breeding birds at Tophill Low NR

8 Jul

8/7/15 Went to Tophill Low NR with RL on Wednesday morning to meet JH. A possible Ring-necked Duck had been on Watton NR yesterday so headed that way first. Although cooler than last week with frequent heavy showers there were still plenty of butterflies around O reservoir including our first Gatekeeper of the year.

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Gatekeeper-Tophill Low NR

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Large Skipper-Tophill Low NR

Having failed to see Bee Orchid so far this year was glad to find one in an area I’d not seen one before.

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Bee Orchid-Tophill Low NR

No sign of Ring-necked Duck on Watton NR and only a small number of Tufted Duck. However there were two Little Egrets increasing to four during a heavy shower.

DSCN7969Little Egrets-Watton NR

Also three Oystercatchers and a pair of Little Ringed Plover.
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Oystercatchers on Watton NR tern raft

A decent flock of Tufted Duck on O reservoir but again no Ring-necked Duck. On to South East where Lapwing numbers were now building up.

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Lapwing-South Marsh East.

Walking to the other South East Hide had an interesting micro moth.
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Argyresthia bonnetella-Tophill Low NR

Recent work on the marsh continues to pay dividends for breeding birds with many young Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns now on the wing.

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Families of Common Terns on South Marsh East.

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Recent Black-headed Gull chick following there parent.

Tophill Low NR’s first Lesser Black-backed Gull chick was looking well.

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Lesser Black-backed Gull adult and chick on South Marsh East.

Best news was the recently hatched family of four Little Ringed Plover chicks performing well just under the hide.

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Little Ringed Plover family on South Marsh East.

No sign of any of the recent Green Sandpipers.

Had a Kingfisher on South Lagoon.

Finally checked D reservoir but again no sign of a Ring-necked Duck among the Tufted Ducks. With the weather having deteriorated from a wet summer day to more like late autumn we called it a day.