Tag Archives: Mediterranean Gull

After the Beast from the East

12 Mar

5/3/18 Filling the feeders on Monday morning it felt more springlike, helped by my resident Blackcap starting to sing. No sign of the dog so headed to Welton Waters. My first visit of 2018 and with reports of Smew, Scaup and Slavonian Grebe on the opposite side of the Humber at Barton Pits I hoped for something interesting. As usual parked on Myrtle Way and took the path to the across the airfield. A few Curlew there and Skylark singing. Reaching the flood bank set up to scan the airfield and adjacent marsh. A few Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Coot on the marsh and on the recently created ‘scrape’ a few Redshank and Dunlin, the latter a year tick. Walking east had a few Goldeneye on Brough Angling Complex. Next was watersports Pit but this apart from a small number of Mute Swan and Mallrd was empty not helped by a few sailing boats. There were a few Black-headed Gull at the far end and looking closer picked out an adult Little Gull, another species that had been seen in small numbers last week. With little to be gained from continuing east I walked Common Lane. Had a good number of small birds including Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Since taking over, the now, Brough Angling Complex, Hull and District anglers have shown if anything hostility to birders so was pleasantly surprised to see a feeding station set up near the entrance gate, attracting a good number of birds including Reed Bunting and Greenfinch. Had a Cetti’s Warbler singing by the small pond. Walked east along the road to view the area of watersports pit not visible from Common Lane. No new birds but was fortunate that the now two Little Gulls were feeding close in.

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Adult Little Gull-watersports pit, Welton Waters

Walking back to my bike had two Stonechat on the fence enclosing the building site of the new school. Unfortunately while I had my camera out they didn’t return to the fence so had to make do with shooting them through the mesh, perched on vegetation. I had seen one nearby late last year.

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Stonechat-Brough

6/3/18 Tuesday morning headed to High Eske NR hopefully for a more complete coverage that my last visit. Still several Russian White-fronted Geese, although exactly how many I wasn’t sure as despite eight birds flying off, including a bird that may have been a Bean Goose, I again counted the regular seventeen birds on the water.

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Russian White-fronted Geese with Greylag Geese-High Eske NR

An Otter was feeding at the north end but I decided to walk to the south end then around the back. A Cetti’s Warbler was singing in the bushes but didn’t flush the Woodcock that had been seen for a few weeks on Pulfin NR. This time made it to Leven Canal. The two Whooper Swan were still to the west on Arram Carr and found a Stonechat on Leven Carr. Back at High Eske NR the Otter was showing well and also had a drake Pintail with the Wigeon.

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Otter-High Eske NR

A quick look at Swine Moor added Redshank and Golden Plover to the site year list.

7/3/18 On Wednesday the dog went back to his usual routine so had a morning walk. Nothing different from our normal birds but had a very relaxed Brown Rat in Oppy Wood that somehow was missed by the dog, probably too obsessed by Rabbits.

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Brown Rat-Oppy Wood, Cottingham

Was genuinely warm. Headed to North Cave Wetlands in the afternoon. My previous visit had been little more than a twitch of the Green-winged Teal so today I headed up Dryham Lane so to avoid wasting time on it. Found an adult Mediterranean Gull on Main Lake then spent a while waiting with out luck for Siskin by Far Lake.

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Near summer adult Mediterranean Gull-Main Lake, North Cave Wetlands

While checking reedbed was called by SG, from Turret Hide, he had the Green-winged Teal as well an adult Mediterranean Gull [later proved to be a second bird on comparing photos]. I had a good number of Teal which were pushed into the open by a low flying Marsh Harrier so now knew I didn’t need to look at them too well. Joined SG in Turret Hide and were lucky to see the recently regular Barn Owl.

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Drake Green-winged Teal-Island Lake, North Cave Wetlands

On the way out we checked the fields near the entrance and added Red-legged Partridge then a distant Stonechat on Dryham Ings. Had noticed a good number of birds on Church Pond on the way in so stopped to have a look on the way home. Plenty of Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Wigeon and a few Little Grebe. Had a couple of Kingfisher on the far bank, one of which flew closer and was last seen sat high in a large tree, higher than remember seeing one before. Just before SG arrived I found the drake Mandarin that had been resident at the Wetlands all of last year among the tree roots.

9/3/18 After a wet Thursday, Friday morning was again warm and although again like Wednesday turned cooler in the afternoon I headed to Tophill Low NR. Started in the visitor centre and had the Glaucous Gull on the same section of D reservoir straight wall as on my first encounter. Got a record shot and would have tried to get closer walking up the road but it decided to join the other gulls on the reservoir so after a quick look at the feeder without seeing Brambling or Lesser Redpoll by the centre pond I headed south.

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Juvenile Glaucous Gull-D reservoir, Tophill Low NR

Work on South Marsh East had finished and had a few birds, unlike on previous visits this year, including returning Oystercatcher. On Watton NR had three Pintail [two drake and a female] as well as a fly over Marsh Harrier which I saw again on my second visit to South Marsh East. Did the D reservoir gull roost and added Lesser Black-backed Gull but failed with Mediterranean Gull but as the gulls were at the north end of the reservoir so weren’t easy from the centre hide. Also no sign of the Glaucous Gull but it doesn’t always appear in the roost. Had a distant Peregrine over D woods.

 

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Hornsea gulls

11 Jan

11/1/17 Went to Hornsea Mere with RL on Wednesday morning. Although windy viewing wasn’t too bad but couldn’t find the Great Northern Diver or Long-tailed Duck [see here]. Best of it was Peregrine lingering around Swan island and occasionally half-heartedly stooping at Black-headed Gulls. Moved round to Kirkholme Point where I found a Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull.

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Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull-Hornsea Mere

Moved to the sea-front where recently a few white-winged gulls had been seen. Picked out a Glaucous Gull on the sea off the Leisure Centre car park. Flew towards us then headed north. Went in hot pursuit and eventually, after been regularly flushed by dogs, it settled on the beach below the northern car park, remembered by long time local birders as previous site of the sea-watching shelter. Seemed happy and got close enough for some decent pictures.

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Juvenile Glaucous Gull-Hornsea sea-front

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Sanderling-Hornsea sea-front

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Turnstone-Hornsea sea-front

We headed north, checking the sea at a few sites, as far as Barmston but found nothing else. On the way up again failed to find any geese in the Low Skirlington area. Headed back south to Fosse Hill Pond where we added a first winter Mediterranean Gull as well as Kingfisher.

Year List: 93

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1w Mediterranean Gull with Black-headed Gull-Fosse Hill Pond

Finished the day back at Hornsea Mere hoping for another white-winged gull.

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

Two days at North Cave Wetlands

18 May

13/5 Went to North Cave Wetlands on Tuesday afternoon. Started in East Hide from where a pair of nesting Mediterranean Gulls could be seen.

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Pair of Mediterranean Gulls-Village Lake

Then set off to do Main Lake for the first summer Little Gull and Dryham Ings for wader but was told about a Little Stint on Reedbed. Informed SG who had just left and headed for the Reedbed.

Two Pink-footed Geese were still with the Greylags in the fields north of the reserve.

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Pink-footed Geese

The Little Stint wasn’t visible initially but not long after SG arrived he picked it up a small wader close in in the north-east corner. Not familiar with Little Stint in that plumage and with no other waders nearby to get an idea of size we weren’t sure if this was the bird.

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Little Stint-Reedbed

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Another shot of the Little Stint. The hind claw confirming it wasn’t a Sanderling.

The only other small waders we could find were a few Little Ringed Plovers but they never came close. With the heavy rain and having got a few good photos we left the site passing GED on the way. It was only later went GED had the wader with a Dunlin for comparison was it confirmed as a Little Stint, although of an unfamiliar plumage.

18/5 Got a call from SG mid morning Sunday morning that a Red-necked Phalarope was on Reedbed. There with in an hour with JH. On the way to Reedbed had a Stoat briefly on the path near East Hide. The Phalarope was showing fairly close although mobile.

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Female Red-necked Phalarope-Reedbed

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Family of Black-headed Gulls-Reedbed

A moth caterpillar was crawling across the path as we were leaving Reedbed.

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Probable Garden Tiger

On the way out had another look at the nesting Mediterranean Gulls.

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Adult Mediterranean Gull-Village Lake

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Second summer Mediterranean Gull-Village Lake