Tag Archives: Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

2016 in 12 picture

31 Dec


Most of this year, due to having more free time, I’ve managed to blog when I’ve had the inspiration and a few photographs. I’ve rarely left Yorkshire though so most of the highlights will inevitably be local. I’ve kept going with Cottingham Moths but still wonder whether it’s worth the effort. However viewing figures have doubled since last year. See how I feel when I start trapping again in 2017.


My first picture for 2016 is the returning Barmston Kumlien’s Gull, seen on the 31st. It proved tricky this year [more here].


Kumlien’s Gull on Barmston Beach


An Early Moth found in Cottingham on Travis Road on the 6th was a new one for me [see here].


Early Moth


March was poor for photographs so I’ll settle for my first picture of a Small Tortoiseshell of the year taken at Far Grange.


Small Tortoiseshell at Far Grange, Skipsea


My best photograph of the month was a very showy Cetti’s Warbler at Tophill Low NR that performed close to North Marsh Hide for several days.


Cetti’s Warbler at North Marsh-Tophill Low NR


This month’s photograph is the two Glossy Ibises at North Cave Wetlands NR, taken on the 29th. A site tick for most regulars.


Glossy Ibises on Dryham Ings-North Cave Wetlands NR


This month it’s a Dingy Skipper taken at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit near Market Weighton on the 5th. A difficult species to see locally and even more to photograph [Full account here].


Dingy Skipper at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit


Perversely my picture for July is an escaped/released Corn Snake found at High Eske NR on the 25th but it survived to provide material for a light hearted posting in August [see here].


Corn Snake-High Eske NR


August was a good month for waders at Tophill Low NR, had a site tick in the form of Spotted Crake at North Cave Wetlands and some good insects. All these are covered in the blog but the choice goes to the Western Swamp-hen at Minsmere RSPB on the 1st [see here].


Western Swamp-hen-Minsmere RSPB


This month I go for a moth. My first Brick on the 17th.




October was a mad month, said to be the best rarity wise ever. Oddly I never left Yorkshire but the best bird, for me at least, was the Siberian Accentor at Easington seen the same afternoon as my first Yorkshire Paddyfield Warbler [full account here].


Siberian Accentor-Vicar’s Lane, Easington


November was a waterbird month and represented by this Black-necked Grebe I found at Tophill Low NR on the 22nd [See here].


Black-necked Grebe on D res at Tophill Low NR


The last photograph should have been Dusky Thrush at Beeley but didn’t see it long enough to get a picture on my 1st attempt and not at all on the 2nd [see here]. Therefore the space is filled by Eastern Black Redstart at Skinningrove, with in the historic borders of Yorkshire [see here].


Eastern Black Redstart-Skinningrove

Top 10 posts of 2016 [viewing figures]

1 The Flamborough/Easington twitch-Paddyfield Warbler and Siberian Accentor

2 Migrants-Kilnsea/Easington including Olive-backed Pipit

Putative Stejneger’s Stonechat at Spurn PointSince confirmed

31/1/16 Kumlien’s Gull at Barmston [for the 4th year?]

Waxwings at last-Hessle Sainsbury’s

Alkborough Flatspre-Western Swamp-hen

The Grey Phalarope at Tophill Low NR

Spotted Crake at North Cave Wetlands

North Cave Wetlands YWTBirds and insects

10 2015 in 12 pictures


Insects at Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

5 Jun

Spend the morning at Tophill Low NR with RL and ML. With spring wader passage over and everything down to breeding there wasn’t much bird wise of interest to see. A Common Sandpiper on South Marsh East was the only ‘vagrant’.Expected to see a few insects but even they were disappointing with the only Painted Lady refusing to settle and even the recent mass invasion of Diamond-back Moths failing to show. However had a few teneral damselflies with one proving to be our first Red-eyed of the year from a photo ny RL.DSCN9050

Teneral Red-eyed Damselfly-Tophill Low NR-RL

Dingy Skipper had been recently seen at Kiplingcotes so with good temperatures finally after recent dull days thought it worth a punt. Parked at the official reserve car park to save the long walk I usually take from Kiplingcotes Station. A bit windy in the quarry itself but quickly picked up a small brown butterfly which a settling was confirmed as Small Heath.


Small Heath-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Next, although not rare, was a nice Peacock which kept up with us the length of the quarry.


Peacock Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Heard the familiar mewing of Common Buzzard and look up see not one but five drifting over.

Next had a male Common Blue but this just wouldn’t stop and eventually pushed it into the north-east corner where it finally gave itself up.


Common Blue Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Walking back we were joined by MJ just in time to see our first Cinnabar Moth of the year.


Cinnabar Moth-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Reached the west end and were beginning to give up on Dingy Skipper but we saw a stout dragonfly. Initial thoughts were Four-spotted Chaser but had some suspicion it might be a Broad-bodied Chaser. Fortunately it ‘hung up’ allowing us to confirm it as the latter and all to get good pictures.


Female Broad-bodied Chaser-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Had an interesting butterfly which fly out of the reserve to the footpath but couldn’t be relocated and we were near to leaving when it or another landed on the bank below me. Ran back down to get a closer view and although initially unable to see it RL relocated it and I managed to get one clear shot to confirm it as Dingy Skipper before it flew towards ML and MJ then disappeared again.


Dingy Skipper-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Like Tophill Low NR Diamond-back Moths were scarce but had my first Straw Dot of the year.

Just after parting company with MJ she called and looking up had two low flying Red Kites.


Red Kite over Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit YWT

Waiting in the heat for Little Bittern

7 Jul

29/6/15 Last days of June finally brought some hot weather. On Monday with recent reports of Marbled White on the wing at Kiplingcotes thought another visit might be worthwhile [see here and here]. Started again at the station.

DSCN7850Wasn’t too promising as I’ve usually had them early on but did have a few butterflies including my first Large Skippers.

Meadow Brown-near Kiplingcotes Station.


Large Skipper-near Kiplingcotes Station


Ringlet-near Kiplingcotes Station

Finally had a Marbled White as I drew parallel with Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit NR but it promptly flew over the fence into the reserve. The reserve itself was initially unpromising. Saw no butterflies but flushed a Little Owl from a thorn bush. Fortunately it flew to the scrub at the east end and I was able to slowly approach with in range of a reasonable picture. It again flew a short distance, this time out of view. This owl had been seen by a recent “Birding with Flowers” group.


Little Owl-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

In the shelter of the scrub found two Marbled White at rest on Knapweed.
DSCN7847                                                            Marbled White on Knapweed-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

30/6/15 Tuesday afternoon went to North Cave Wetlands NR. Hoped for recent Green Sandpiper as well as the Wood Sandpiper but neither were about.


Rabbit-North Cave Wetlands NR

Had a few dragonflies including Emperor which didn’t linger and Four-spotted Chaser that did.


Four-spotted Chaser-North Cave Wetlands NR

Also a good number of butterflies.DSCN7895

Speckled Wood-North Cave Wetlands NR

A male Little Bittern was reported at Old Moors RSPB late afternoon but in an area not normally accessible so didn’t seem any need to panic yet. The species however was high on my wanted list for Yorkshire not being around for the Potteric Carrs breeders in the eighties.

Had several damselflies along the western path.


Blue-tailed Damselfly-North Cave Wetlands NR

Joined SG in South Hide to count Mediterranean Gulls. Had the breeding pair who appeared to be trying to drive off their two juveniles and start courting again. Also a second summer that was new for me. Moved to Crosslands Hide where we had up to two different adults. A pair is suspected to be nesting out of sight on Dryham Ings.

The Little Bittern had been seen again and access to the reedbed arranged. Didn’t feel up to doing the trip on my own and considered getting a lift but couldn’t cope with a late night and as it turned out a pointless wait until dusk would have been the result. However Wednesday morning it was seen again. Had something on that evening so couldn’t go after work but again was fortunate as not reported after early afternoon. Did much the same the rest of the week only occasionally seen at a time when I might of been there but the heat and a heavy work load made a trip out of the question.

3/7/15 Workload lighter on Friday and made a trip to High Eske NR late afternoon. Highlight was a Green Sandpiper flying off. Otherwise three Common Terns, over flying Little Egret and a recent brood of eight Tufted Duck ducklings were only notable birds.

5/7/15 Helped by not going out on Saturday afternoon managed to hype myself up for a early ride to Old Moors RSPB on Sunday morning. The main reason for an early start was it seemed the best time to see it but also thought the earlier the better would mean a less packed hide and with recent tropical heat I was worried a later arrival could mean the hide becoming like the “Black hole of Calcutta”. Due to work related hand problems as well as a mental problem with long rides including motorways I had some trepidation. Did have some bad pains in my right hand for the first few motorway miles but didn’t get bad enough to turn back. Also the early start meant little traffic so didn’t feel stressed. The only stressful moment was along the M18 when approaching the M180 slip-road a HGV decided to turn right at the last moment. Fortunately I wasn’t parallel and managed to pull into the outer lane. No surprise the driver appeared to be using a smart phone. Having been to the reserve recently remembered the route and arrived with out consulting the map. In Bittern Hide all the seats were taken but there was plenty of standing room. Had already been seen so could relax a bit and hope it showed again soon. Didn’t have to wait long before it was picked up in a distant willow. Wasn’t showing well but at least I’d seen it. Eventually it crawled to the top then launched itself giving the views needed for tick it. Texted RL that I would easily get back to join him and ML for a bit of local birding [in the valley is no longer in use!]. While doing this I missed a close fly-by but was already happy with what I’d seen. We all left the hide as it appeared to be visible from Bittern bus stop. Couldn’t see it on the ground but it again it flew this time passing with in a few metres before disappearing behind Bittern Hide. Just too quick and close to manage a picture although a guy with a long lens got some great shots.


“It’s just flown behind that bush”. Honest.

On the way back had another stressful moment when a Landrover stopped belong the give way lines at the Rowley junction then for some reason started to edge out more as I got close. Some people need taking out and slapping! Got home with time to empty the moth trap and watch Andrew Marr before being picked up by RL. Headed to Kilnsea where a White-rumped Sandpiper on Beacon Ponds would be a tick for ML. Parked at Kilnsea Wetlands and walked to Long Bank. The bird was initially motionless on shingle bank with nesting Little Terns, a year tick. So distant and partially hidden it took a while to be convinced it was a bird and not just a “shape”. Eventually after everything was flushed it took to feeding on the waters edge. Still initially difficult to separate from a Little Stint but flew regularly showing the white rump. Another year tick was Sandwich Tern.


Extreme record shot-White-rumped Sandpiper-Beacon Ponds


Tern raft with Avocet-Beacon Ponds

Next went to Hornsea Mere. Up to a thousand Little Gulls have been seen in the evening but none on view this afternoon.

Headed for Brough Haven to check breeding Marsh Harriers but a text from PS about a Quail at Wauldby caused plan change. Parked at the entrance to Wauldby Manor Farm where after a short walk we joined PS. Followed him to a large poppy field passing a pond swarming with dragonflies on the way.


The Quail field-Wauldby Manor Farm.

The Quail was still calling if a bit distant. Also a Corn Bunting was singing from power-lines. A local rarity now although PS has had them regularly in area for years. Likely a result of organic farming methods.


Distant singing Corn Bunting on power-lines-Wauldby Manor Farm.

Had a baby Common Frog walking back.

DSCN7940Baby Common Frog-Wauldby Manor Farm.

Finally made it to Brough Haven to count the Marsh Harriers but again few waders.


Not long after I left Old Moors RSPB access to the reedbeds was suspended due to fear of birders going too far disturbing a Bittern feeding young. Whether a coincidence or the fact that the Little Bittern was also being flushed it has since been much more elusive and on Tuesday it wasn’t seen until early afternoon. The White-rumped Sandpiper remains.