Tag Archives: Green Sandpiper-

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!

 

Keeping up to date at Tophill Low NR

24 Aug

23/8/16 No news from Tophill Low NR on Monday and as I in needed of a more relaxed day the multiply hide on the reserve seemed a good idea on Tuesday morning. When I’d gone for the Pectoral Sandpiper the previous Tuesday the one man road patching truck had been along the road from Watton. The road to High Eske had been treated the same for a few weeks back and there was still a lot of loose gravel about therefore I wasn’t looking forward to my next trip to Tophill Low NR by bike. The road isn’t fun at the best of times being narrow with lots of blind bends. You try to keep well in on the corners to avoid ‘out of control’ oncoming traffic, a large proportion being overconfident Yorkshire Water vans, but this is where many of the patched wre so forcing you into the middle of the road. Things weren’t too back until the last bend before the Cranswick junction where there was so much loose gravel it was like riding on ball hearings.

No surprise there was nothing in the reserve log from yesterday. Started at North Lagoon. Much as on Sunday with all three Curlew Sandpiper, 13 Ruff, two Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover.

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Common Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon.

The terrapin was out on South Lagoon.

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 Yellow-bellied Slider at Tophill Low NR on South Lagoon

Knowing how elusive the Pectoral Sandpiper could be I put in lot of time in both South Marsh East hides. No sign and only five Ruff, two Green Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plover. Kingfisher continue to show well below South Marsh East 1st hide.

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Mouse Moth at Tophill Low NR in L-shaped hide

Watton NR was packed with hundreds of Greylag and Canada Geese but the only waders were c100 Lapwing.

Good numbers of butterflies, mainly on fleabane, in South Scrub and O reservoir ditch.

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Painted Lady at Tophill Low NR in South Scrub

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Brimstone butterfly at Tophill Low NR in South Scrub

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Small Copper at Tophill Low NR by O reservoir

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Common Blue butterfly at Tophill Low NR by O reservoir

Had lunch in the car park hide, while checking D reservoir. Couldn’t see the Scaup. Good numbers of gulls but found nothing unusual. Did the north end for the first time in several weeks. Nothing much on North Marsh or Hempholme Meadow but did give me a chance to look again for the Scaup for the other two hide. Vague claim of the Pectoral Sandpiper again on South Marsh East. I had intended on another circuit of the south end anyway. Gave South Marsh East another good grill but only added Ringed Plover and a few Snipe.

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Green Sandpiper and Snipe at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East.

A Green Sandpiper was on South Marsh West. Ended the trip early evening in North Lagoon. No change but the Curlew Sandpipers were closer and got a few shots before the light started to go.

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Curlew Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

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Ruff at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

The trip back wasn’t as bad as traffic seemed to have cleared some of the worst gravel. Always find the trip back along the Watton road less as gruelling anyway. Whether this is real or just psychological I’m yet to decide.

Curlew Sandpipers at Tophill Low NR

21 Aug

2o/8/16 With the weather forecast bad for Saturday had an early start at High Eske NR. Actually started raining heavily on arrival but braved it out and soon became dry and remain that way until I left mid morning but the wind got up to the point where it was no-longer fun. Waders particularly Curlew Sandpipers are on the move but only managed two Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin.

As predicted yesterday Curlew Sandpipers appeared at Tophill Low NR during the afternoon but by then the wind was strong with the occasional heavy shower so hoped they would stay until Sunday.

21/8/16 Sunday morning started at Hornsea Mere with JH. The site has been very disappointing recently and as yet no sign of the regular Little Gull built up. From Kirkholme Point only managed two Little Ringed Plovers, which like most waders flew around few times in the vain hope of finding some exposed mud.

Next to Bewholme Hall Pond. There best there was a Common Sandpiper and Pink-footed Goose.

Finally made it to Tophill Low NR midday. Played it cool and did D reservoir but did find the Scaup that had eluded me earlier in the week.

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Scaup among Tufted Duck at Tophill Low NR on D reservoir

Getting to North Lagoon there were three Curlew Sandpiper along with two Greenshank [increasing to three on the second visit], twelve Ruff, Common Sandpiper Ringed Plover and 3 Grey Wagtails.

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Curlew Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

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Ruff at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

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Greenshank at Tophill Low NR on North Lagoon

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still on South Marsh East, again best from back-to-back hide. DSCN2537

Pectoral Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

Also on the marsh were Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover.

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Green Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

RL picked up an Osprey flying south over the river, my first here for a few years.

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Osprey at Tophill Low NR over South Marsh East-RL

Pectoral Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR

16 Aug

16/8/16 Tuesday had arranged to go out with RL and ML late morning. Had time for a quick walk in Cottingham to the fields on the corner of Dunswell Road and New Village Road. Had an adult Green Woodpecker again as well family parties of Willow Warbler and Whitethroat.

A Pectoral Sandpiper had been seen by visitors at Tophill Low NR on Monday evening. Its continued presence on South Marsh East was reported just as my friends arrived so we headed that way.

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South Marsh East at Tophill Low NR

Located it pretty quickly from the 1st hide but was distant so after getting a few records shots went round to back-to-back hide where it was closer.

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Pectoral Sandpiper at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

It was in company with 3 Ruff. Also 3 Greenshank and at least 4 Green Sandpiper.

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Greenshank at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

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Ruff at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

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Green Sandpiper with Teal at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

A Peregrine was circling ominously to the east. A bit worrying as the last Pectoral Sandpiper on 23/9/10 had been taken by a Sparrowhawk while RL and I watched and before RH got there. This one will be a site tick for him! This is my first since one on Swine Moor in October 2014. Last year was my first blank, probably since I first ticked one at Tophill Low NR in September 1990.

Walking back had a few Common Blue Butterflies near South Lagoon, a rare find this year.DSCN2402

Common Blue Butterfly [male above. Female below]

DSCN2406Had a drink in car park hide but nothing of interest on D reservoir. Did North Lagoon on the way out where there were another 3 Green Sandpiper.

Next was High Eske NR. Initially didn’t look good with with all the rocks, old field drains and mummified tree trucks providing plenty of cover but eventually the Little Stint was located along with two Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and a too brief Ruff. We all took loads of pictures but mine were no improvement on yesterday.

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.

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Little Egret close to South Marsh East hide

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

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Green Sandpiper on South Marsh East.

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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.

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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.

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Painted Lady in South Scrub

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

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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.

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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.

More waders at Tophill Low NR

16 Aug

16/8/15 Went to Hornsea Mere with JH on Sunday morning. A Little Stint had been seen on Kirkholme Point earlier but no sign late morning but the the regular Dunlin.

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Dunlin-Hornsea Mere

Had a least five Little Gulls including two on the jetties but disturbed before we got in camera range.

Went round to Wassand Hall. Had a Common Frog was along the woodland walk to the hide.

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Common Frog-Hornsea Mere.

No sign of yesterday’s Red-necked Grebe or little else of notice. A row boat that had somehow missed the boundary signs, after been shown the error of our their ways, gave the cue to leave.

Went on the Bewholme Hall. Had had four Black-tailed Godwit, seven Ruff and 3 Dunlin yesterday and all but the Dunlin seemed to be present today.

Finished the day at Tophill Low NR. Started in car park hide. Found a drake Redhead-like duck, either a hybrid or aberrant Pochard on D reservoir. Also the over summering drake Goldeneye was sat on the steps and a Common Sandpiper flew over.

Next was North Lagoon, the current highlight of the reserve. After missing them last Sunday were glad to see two Wood Sandpipers.

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Wood Sandpipers-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Also a Greenshank and at least eight Green Sandpipers but no Ruff.

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Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Greenshank-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Wood Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR [above and below]

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Green Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

The juvenile Water Rail was still impersonating a Spotted Crake.

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juvenile Water Rail-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Short of time so had a quick look around the south end. Post breeding South Marsh East was quiet but a Wood Sandpiper was seen by friends after I left. Likely from North Lagoon as there were few waders left on a quick visit on the way back south. Did have a large swimming Grass Snake below the first South Marsh East hide but too obscured by vegetation to photograph. One Green Sandpiper on South Marsh West. Little Egret on Watton NR. Also a herd of cattle. This reserve, adjacent to but not part of Tophill Low NR, has finally been sold, by the Environment Agency, to a sympathetic owner who has handed management to the warden Richard Hampshire and his volunteers. As part of this management, cattle from the adjacent farm will be allowed on as conservation grazers as the Belted Galloway do on Hempholme Meadows and South Scrub.
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Cattle grazing Watton NR

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Harlequin Ladybird on Ragwort-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR