Tag Archives: Kingfisher

Mid summer at Tophill Low NR

2 Jul

2/7/18 After the heat of Sunday I had an early start at Tophill Low NR. Unlike last Tuesday, when the reserve was in thick fog, it was fine and already feeling warm. Having caught up with Kingfisher on North Marsh last week I headed south.

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Kingfisher at Tophill Low NR on North Marsh-26/6/18

No birds on O reservoir. On Watton NR three pairs of Common Tern were still sitting on the raft although still no sign of any chicks. No sign of yesterday’s eleven Black-tailed Godwits on South Marsh East but had twenty-two, mostly adult, Little Gulls roosting.

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Little Gulls at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

Also found a Snipe, my first on site this year, with another three seen from the other hide. Met DV and JB manning the visitor’s centre. JB had had a Black-necked Grebe at the far end of D reservoir. Eventually re-found it but was more a ‘can’t be anything else’ than a good view so moved round to Middle hide where though still distant at least the ID was not in doubt.

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Black-necked Grebe with Tufted Duck at Tophill Low NR on D res.

Had a quick look at North Marsh where Kingfishers had been seen earlier then moved on to Hempholme Meadows where there was nothing of note. Walked back along the straight road but saw no Yellow Wagtail. Back at the centre I discovered that I had missed an Osprey while I had been in Hempholme Meadows hide. Better news was a few of the Black-tailed Godwits had returned. Headed back to South Marsh East where six godwits were close to back-to-back hide but the Little Gulls had gone.

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Black-tailed Godwit at Tophill Low NR on South Marsh East

They weren’t feeding over the reservoir but may had been nearby over the river. Managed to see my first Common Tern chick of the year. Had seen a few dragonflies earlier mainly Black-tailed Skimmer and now it was truly warm added Four-spotted Chaser, South Hawker and Emperor.

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Male Black-tailed Skimmer at Tophill Low NR

Plenty of butterflies including Common Blue, Ringlet, Meadow Brown and Small and Large Skipper. Also had my first Six-spot Burnet Moth of the year.

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Six-spot Burnet Moth at Tophill Low NR

 

 

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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.

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

DSCN8692pair of Gatekeeper by O reservoir-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.