Tag Archives: Painted Lady

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.

DSCN2613 Added another Greenshank on South Marsh West.

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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.

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North Cave Wetlands YWT

5 Aug

5/8/16 Good few weeks since I’ve been to North Cave Wetlands so Friday morning thought it was time to pay a visit. Too be honest the first two hides I wasn’t sure I’d made a good choice. Only a few Common Terns of interest on Village Lake but the young Polish Mute Swan on Island Lake was nice to see again. Interesting how other than size it appears more mature than it’s siblings, having almost acquired an adult-type bill.

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Polish Mute Swan [2nd from left] with family

Although quite warm in sheltered places when the sun was out the wind otherwise made it feel cool. Despite this there were goods of butterflies including a Painted Lady along the walk to Turret Hide.

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Peacock butterfly by Maze Field.

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Honeybee by Maze Field.

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Gatekeeper by Maze Field.

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Painted Lady by Maze Field.

Having already seen Black-tailed Skimmer the first of the nearly rejuvenated dragonfly ponds was impressive and spent a good while watching a Brown Hawker competing with an Emperor for the territory. Also lots of damselflies and darters ovipositing. However only a Four-spotted Chaser posed for it portrait.

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Four-spotted Chaser-Dragonfly Ponds.

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Male Ruddy Darter-Dragonfly Ponds.

By the furthest pond I found quite a few darters on the ground a good number of which Ruddy Darter. While photographing these I heard the now rare jangle of a Corn Bunting and later managed to track it down in the hedge.

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Corn Bunting-North Hedge

Bird-wise things got better on the reedbed. First had a juvenile Little Plover just under the screen.

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Juvenile Little Ringed Plover-Reedbed.

Next an “interesting shape” among the Greylags turn out to be the Egyptian Goose found by SG yesterday.

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Egyptian Goose-“not showing well on Reedbed”.

Unfortunately spent most of the time asleep. Thirdly a Greenshank fly in to the west end but then flew closer.

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Greenshank-Reedbed.

Last as I was about to move everything got up and a Peregrine was quickly picked up.

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Male Kestrel by new workings

Had a few Brimstone along the western path.

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Brimstone by western path.

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Common Darter near Carp Lake

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Blue-tailed Damselfly near Carp Lake

A good number of gulls, mainly Black-headed but also a few Lesser  Black-backed Gulls on the silt pond. Found a sub-adult Yellow-legged Gull among them. Also had a Dunlin but couldn’t find the Bar-headed Goose from the hide.

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Adult and juvenile Common Terns on Cell A

Later looking from Dryham Lane I located the Bar-headed Goose but flew almost immediately.

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Bar-headed Goose about to leave Cell A

After a slow start quite a good day.

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.

Trying to look up.

28 Jun

Preface

Today marks the end of Hull Valley Wildlife Group. I’ll not go into details here [but intend a last posting on the Hull Valley blog in the near future] but I can’t see the point in continuing a blog solely based on a defunct recording area. For the future I’m blogging on this site. The only exception is moths. I’ve noticed that recent postings largely about moth and in Cottingham don’t interest many of my followers so I’m considering reviving the Cottingham moths site and will not be posting my moth trapping at least on here, with the possible exception of a true mega moth [it does happen as anyone who had followed my moth-ing blog will testify.]

26/6/15 Reading the pager when I got in from work on Friday afternoon saw I’d recently missed a message of a Stone Curlew at Hornsea Mere. Texted RL and were on our way shortly. However on arrival learnt it had flown. Fortunately not a county tick having seen one at Tophill Low NR 19 years ago. As compensation had a pair of Spotted Flycatcher by Wassand estate cottages. A rare bird now and I mostly only see them now during autumn passage. The Stone Curlew wasn’t seen again. For more info including pictures see here,DSCN7671

Spotted Flycatcher-Wassand estate.

27/6/15 Saturday afternoon I went to High Eske NR. Haven’t been much in recent weeks partly due to works pressure but also been put off due to recent trespass by kayakers. To be honest weekends, particularly in summer, are never the best time so I was taking a risk. But today it was very quiet and with little evidence of the supposed anglers who just come to party and leave all their rubbish. Birds weren’t too exciting either with no sign of any wildfowl young although there was a pair of Great  Crested Grebes sitting at the north end. The summer islands were showing although a bit early for waders there were two adult Oystercatchers, likely the resident pair, but no young. Also a Little Ringed Plover there and Redshank on the permanent island. Insects however were in good numbers with large numbers of Meadow Browns.

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Meadow Brown-High Eske NR

Moths were also well represented. Having acquire a new supply of collecting jars I now carry a few to “pot” any I can’t immediately identify and defy my attempts at photography. By this method I identified a Brown China-mark and later back at home a Small China-mark, the latter a new one for me.DSCN7686

Brown China-mark-High Eske NR

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Small China-mark-High Eske NR

Others moths identified in the field included Snout and Silver Y.

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Walked to Leven Canal but didn’t have the time for a proper look for dragonflies only adding Brown Hawker to the various damselflies at High Eske.

Back at the reserve three kayakers were on the water. As I was nearly finished I didn’t let it bother me but the signs warning of the dangers of blue-green algae give me the hope of some schadenfreude.

Walking back towards High Eske farm had my first Painted Lady. The same place and similar time to last year.
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Had a quick look at Swinemoor but the drainage and largely dry weather had done it’s damage and the only visible water was a small area near the drain. Unless we have a rerun of 2007 return wader passage won’t happen although there may be a chance of something on a area not visible from Weel Road as happened two year ago, [see here]

28/6/15 Went to Wassand Hall with JH on Sunday morning. Had a forlorn look at the Stone Curlew field then to the hide. Three pairs of Marsh Harrier and one of Buzzard are on nests viewable from the hide. Otherwise little else although some wildfowl was pushed west by the dinghies.DSCN7767                                                                   Mute Swan family-Decoy Bay,Hornsea Mere

Spent a long while waiting for Hobby but gave up and headed back to the car park. On the way came across a large group of longhorn moths species, Nemophora degeerella. More than my previous life total!

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Nemophora degeerella-near Wassand Hide

As I was taking pictures I got a text from MR that a Hobby had finally put in an appearance. Continued but then the battery failed so followed JH back to the hide where after a few minutes a Hobby flashed by.

Had my first Ringlet back at Wassand Hall where in the less windy conditions the Spotted Flycatchers were showing.

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Ringlet-Wassand Hall

Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. Hadn’t been for a while so took the opportunity to check the success of breeding birds on the south marshes since my last visit [see here] . Not surprisingly Black-headed Gulls were doing well.

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Breeding Black-headed Gulls-South Marsh East,Tophill Low NR.

Even better the Common Terns had several chicks, some well on.

DSCN7805Common Terns-South Marsh East Tophill Low NR

The Lesser Black-backed Gulls also had a chick. Felt a bit sorry for them as every-time they return to the nest they have to suffer attack by Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns. No doubt they would take any unattended chick though. Had three Little Ringed Plover on South Marsh East and one on Watton but along with the Oystercatcher pair on South Marsh East could see no young. Failed to see a Bee Orchid.