Tag Archives: Gatekeeper

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.

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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.

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.

Long-horned beetle, Belted Galloway and American Wigeon

13 Jul

9/7/15 Following a possible Ring-necked Duck at Tophill Low NR on Tuesday [see here] thought I’d check for it a High Eske NR on Thursday afternoon. No sign of it and nothing else notable bird wise but good to see the Tufted Duck still had seven chicks. Had to satisfy myself with insect. Rewarded early with my first long-horned beetle of the year. DSCN8030

Four-banded Longhorn Beetle-High Eske NR

Also a distinctive hoverfly. DSCN8032

Volucella pellucens

A small herd of Belted Galloway have been grazing Pulfin Bog for a few weeks. Likely from the same stock as the cattle at Tophill Low NR. Seem tamer than the previous Highland Cattle which could be a bit flighty. Also good that they are contained on Pulfin and not free to roam the whole area as meeting even friendly cattle on the narrow track around High Eske NR isn’t fun. DSCN8040

Belted Galloway on Pulfin NR.

On a negative point wasn’t good to see Himalayan Balsam is in force again this summer. A highly invasive garden escape that grows strongly in wetland habit [see here for more details]. DSCN8048

Himalayan Balsam-High Eske NR.

Fortunately there was evidence that clearance was already underway. DSCN8049

Pulled Himalayan Balsam at High Eske NR

Walking back south had a Black-tailed Skimmer but didn’t rest long enough to photograph. Texted by SG that GED had found a drake American Wigeon at North Cave Wetlands NR. Wasn’t even a year tick for me [see here] but was new for the reserve so thought I better go. Arriving at South Hide the wigeon was currently out of view having moved behind an island. However on arrival GD picked it up in open water with a Eurasian Wigeon. Originally asleep but I could pick out the distinctive white-crown. DSCN8059

♂.American Wigeon with Eurasian Wigeon-Main Lake,North Cave Wetlands.

Fortunately did wake up to give better views. DSCN8064

♂.American Wigeon with Eurasian Wigeon-Main Lake,North Cave Wetlands.

The fact it turned up the day one went missing at Old Moors RSPB would suggest the same bird. There were two American Wigeons in the county six weeks ago though. Didn’t bother with it on my visit to Old Moors RSPB ON Sunday [see here] so can’t comment. Not seen on Friday. 12/7/15 Had another visit to North Cave Wetlands NR on Sunday evening. Nothing of note and only manageD to see one adult Mediterranean Gull on Main Lake. No waders, even plovers, except Oystercatcher and Lapwing on Dryham Ings but dID get an interesting combo from Crosslands Hide. DSCN8116

Oystercatcher and Little Grebe on Dryham Ings.

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Gatekeeper-Dryham Lane.

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.