Tag Archives: Marsh Harrier

The Grey Phalarope at Tophill Low NR

9 Nov

9/11/16 Started Wednesday in Hornsea Mere Seaton Road Hide with RL and ML. On Sunday we’d spent a cold but productive few hours there finding Long-tailed Duck and seeing Slavonian Grebe, Common Scoter, European White-fronted Geese and a Pink-footed Goose. Unfortunately bad light and mostly too distant for photography. 14991465_1221957371194242_3986297985049332242_o

Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere-RL 

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Common Scoter at Hornsea Mere-RL 

Also had a Marsh Harrier persistently hovering over an unidentified small duck or grebe which repeatedly dived to get away.14940009_1221985707858075_8585892786404413223_o

Marsh Harrier harassing an unidentified bird at Hornsea Mere-RL 

On Tuesday Smew and Black-necked Grebe had also been reported. Today was also wet and cold. Getting into the hide a drake Pintail and tatty male Goosander were close in.

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Drake Goosander at Hornsea Mere-RL 

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Drake Pintail at Hornsea Mere-RL 

Roy quickly picked up the redhead Smew and Common Scoter but both close to the opposite shore. One Pink-footed Goose was still with the feral geese off Kirkholme Point but saw no other ‘wild’ geese. I found two redhead Goosander, one looking rather small. Later what may have been the smaller ‘goosander’ was seen again and identified as a Red-breasted Merganser. Also surprise to see a small flock of Grey Plover flying west.

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. A Grey Phalarope was found by JB on Tuesday morning. Still reported today at the south end of D reservoir. Couldn’t initially see it from Car park hide but RL shortly found it and we got a few record shots before it again was obscured by the wall.fullsizeoutput_1a64

Grey Phalarope at Tophill Low NR

This is my 3rd Grey Phalarope for Tophill Low NR and two years since the last one in November 2014.

Had a look at Swine Moor on the way back where there was still good numbers of Wigeon and Teal.

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10/1/16 In a higher gear at Hornsea Mere

10 Jan

5/1/16 Back to work on Tuesday and no chance of getting out. Did add Sparrowhawk to the year list on Cedar Drive though. This year I intend birding at work during the winter months at least and submitting interesting things like Starling numbers to Birdtrack.

Year list 66.

9/1/16 Saturday was the only easy day of the week and manged a ride up to Wauldby Sprogs but saw very few birds except a possible Marsh Tit that kept it’s distance.

10/1/16 Went to Hornsea Mere with RL on Sunday morning to meet JH at Kirkholme Point. The Slavonian Grebe was again showing well but still a bit distant for a good picture.

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Slavonian Grebe-Hornsea Mere

Had a look from the tip but no sign of anything interesting and the colder weather wasn’t making it fun so moved to the shelter of the old hide. Haven’t spent much time there recently but in the past has proved a good place to view from. Proved so today with the drake Long-tailed Duck been found, followed by a first winter Little Gull then the Red-necked Grebe. All proved difficult to see and even more to photograph, with the duck and gull always staying distant but the grebe did manage to drift to just off Swan Island. Also had a male Marsh Harrier flying west in front the hide. Later had the same bird from Wassand Hide.

Had some interesting fungi leaving the hide.

{Mention of the “old hide” is not intended as a invitation to use it!!! but see here}

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Velvet Shank-Hornsea Mere

Moved round to Wassand Hall carpark early afternoon. Walking towards the hide noticed a tit flock in a large tree near the first gate. One larger bird was sat in a branch junction tapping at a nut. I immediately called “Nuthatch” to JH who was able to see it before it flew off. RL had unfortunately gone to get air in a soft tyre. Texted him but although seen again he couldn’t get on it. Nuthatch has been seen in recent years usually on private feeders at the hall, but this was my first sighting. As it seems to like this area maybe putting some nuts near the gate might make it more visible.

Nothing new from Wassand Hide but did have an adult Little Gull flying west.

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Male Marsh Harrier from Wassand Hide

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View to the west of Wassand Hide.

Year list 75

For more recent news from Hornsea Mere check the blog.

21/6/15 Blacktoft Sands RSPB

22 Jun

21/6/15 Having almost by accident had good views of the breeding pair of Montagu’s Harriers at the undisclosed East Yorkshire site last year as well as seeing them a few times from another site I wasn’t in a great rush to catch them at Blacktoft Sands RSPB. However Sunday with little about in “the valley” and with the added bonus of Ring-necked Duck JH and I decided to make the trip. On arrival, following a quick look in the information hide, went it straight to Singleton Hide where the harriers were routinely reported from. With them now a bit “old hat” the hide wasn’t crowded. DSCN7518

View from Singleton Hide-Blacktoft Sands RSPB

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Female Marsh Harrier-Blacktoft Sands RSPB

As expected good numbers of Marsh Harrier on constant view. Didn’t wait long for our first views of Monties when the female flew left but distant and often behind vegetation. The male followed the same route an hour later. Picked up earlier but again distant. Funny to see two “raptor-on-a-stick” bird scarers in the distance. A trap for the unwary? DSCN7543

“Raptor-on-a-stick” scarer near Blacktoft Sands RSPB

Next on to Townsend Hide where two Spotted Redshanks were roosting with a Greenshank.

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Spotted Redshank and Greenshank from Townsend Hide

Nothing new from 1st Hide but the Ring-necked Duck was still from Xerox Hide. Unfortunately it was fast asleep along with accompanying Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Wigeon and Pochard.DSCN7547

♂.Ring-necked Duck from Xerox Hide

Finally on to Marshland Hide where we had our only four Avocet. Don’t know whether they no-longer breed on the site or had just bred early and moved on but told 100+ were on site last month. Didn’t bother walking all the way to Ousefleet Hide. DSCN7550

Avocet from Marshland Hide

Called in on North Cave Wetlands on the way home. Started in Crosslands Hide. The second Temminck’s Stint for the year had been seen Thursday evening only but little of interest today except a few Little Ringed Plover.

Next was Main Lake. Like the marshes at Tophill Low NR much of North Cave Wetlands is a Black-headed Gull breeding colony. However among them on Main Lake are at least one pair of Mediterranean Gulls along with a least two other adults.

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A mass of fledgling Black-headed Gulls on Main Lake,North Cave Wetlands NR

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Adult and fledgling Mediterranean Gulls with Black-headed Gulls

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Two additional adult Mediterranean Gulls

Also had a flyby from the same Dakota I’d seen a few weeks back over Tophill Low NR.

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Douglas C-47A Dakota [DC3] over North Cave Wetland

Broomfleet Washlands

5 May

May Day Bank Holiday afternoon went to Broomfleet Washlands with ML and RL. As ML needed Variable Damselfly and Hairy Dragonfly they were our prime target.

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Broomfleet Washlands

Although warmer then last week it still was overcast and no too hot. Started at the southern edge were I’d seen Variable in the past. Struggled to begin with but disturbed the occasional teneral damselfly. The first few were Azure but eventually located a few Variables and eventually got good enough views to satisfy all three of us.

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 Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum

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 Nettle Weevil Phyllobius pomaceus

Moved onto the drain along the northern edge where I’d seen Hairy Dragonfly before but weren’t able to locate any hawking over the water or flushed one from the grass. However wasn’t a total disappointment as there were 3+ Marsh Harriers over the Washlands and 5+ Common Buzzards over adjacent farmland and we sat on the flood-bank to enjoy the spectacle.

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female Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus

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Common Buzzard Buteo buteo

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Broomfleet Washlands looking towards railway bridge

Walking off we disturbed a recently emerged Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata.

Four-spotted Chaser

Four-spotted Chaser-Libellula quadrimaculata