4/2/17 Went out with RL and ML early Saturday afternoon. Started at Swine Moor where there was still 1400 Wigeon and 260 Teal but again the only waders were a few Redshank. Next checked Fossehill Pond and nearby roofs but couldn’t find any white-winged gulls. Spent the rest of the day at Hornsea Mere. Started with Wassand Hide where on entering RL called out a Bittern, which we all managed to see before it dropped into the reeds. Had at least five Marsh Harrier, often giving close views.
♀.Marsh Harrier from Wassand Hide at Hornsea Mere
I checked the distant ducks in Decoy channel and found two Long-tailed Ducks. While watching them a second Bittern flew in from the east and again lost it close to where the first had gone in. A second year tick was added when ML called out a Jay flying over. Next round to Kirkholme Point. Found nothing new but on leaving I saw some geese just past the gate.
‘Goose stepping” Greylag with a Tundra Bean Goose and several Russian White-fronted Geese at Hornsea Mere
On a closer inspection we found, among the Greylags, 34 Russian White-fronts, then a Tundra Bean Goose with two Pink-footed Geese.
Russian White-fronted Geese at Hornsea Mere
Tundra Bean Goose with Russian White-fronted Goose at Hornsea Mere
Went round to Seaton Road Hide where ML found a close Long-tailed Duck followed by a second less well marked bird.
Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere from Seaton Road Hide.
Although the original birds were distant it seemed likely these were different birds. Maybe because of the charm conditions the gull roost was very small.
4/1/17 On Wednesday had a walk round Willerby Carrs with the dog. A few minor year ticks but the highlight was a Stonechat by Haltemprice Farm. Unfortunately mobile and difficult to get close to.
Year List: 66
Stonechat at Haltemprice Farm near Hull
5/1/17 Went to Hornsea Mere with ML and RL on Thursday morning. Managed to pick up the two Long-tailed Ducks but distance nearer the south shore. Moved on to Fossehill Pond where there were plenty of gulls but nothing of note. Headed to Tophill Low NR picking up a flock of Grey Partridge near Hutton Cranswick.
Grey Partridge near Little Common Farm, Cranswick
At Tophill Low NR we headed to the feeders where I got Coal Tit for the year. Next North Marsh where we had the regular experience of been told how well the Otters had shown well earlier. Didn’t give it too long but manage a Water Rail at least. Could hear geese on D reservoir so went to check them from Middle Hide. Only could find a Pink-footed Goose among the Greylags. We were intending to do the gulls anyway so decide to stay put. While waiting for the gulls had two Peregrine over Decoy Fields, hitting the large number of Woodpigeon. The Long-tailed Duck hadn’t been seen for a few days and it was on surprise to find it again under where car park used to be.
The now gone car park hide with new centre [for more on latter see here].
Although not in great numbers gulls started dropping in. With several white-winged gulls seen in Yorkshire last night they were on our minds and it wasn’t too unexpected when RL said he had got a Glaucous Gull. The juvenile gull was fortunately quite close and although light wasn’t great we all managed to fire off several shots. My first since almost exactly five years ago, again on D reservoir on 15th January 2012.
Juvenile Glaucous Gull with Common Gull and Greylag Goose on D reservoir-Tophill Low NR
Year List: 74