Tag Archives: Pulfin NR

Snake rescue at High Eske NR

10 Aug

10/8/16 Wednesday morning went to High Eske NR. Although this is the site I visit most on my own I have a sense of trepidation during the summer holidays and weekends. Although it can a paradise, at this time of year it can be invaded by the barbarians. Canoes, unruly fishermen, swimmers and even speed boats can spoil your day. For August this was a cold day so hopefully this would put off some anti-social activities. Had it to myself initially but wasn’t much to see with just the now common Little Egret and a Greenshank that I couldn’t see and may have just been a fly over. Having checked the pit walked south to check hedge at Eske Manor that often attracts the sort of commoner migrant that appears at this time of year. Only had a few Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat that were likely just local breeders. However scanning the fields had a small covey of Grey Partridge. A year tick having yet to see any along Tophill Low NR approach road. Walked back north and round the back of the reserve. Spent some time on Pulfin NR but no sign of the family of Marsh Harrier that had nested in the area. Had a few butterflies including a Painted Lady. Also several Brown and Southern Hawkers.

Two weeks ago I seen a Corn Snake. Had no chance of rescuing it and thought I’d be lucky even to see it again. Amazingly in the same area, near the bridge over the north outlet, there it was again. Initially thought it was likely to be dead, but getting closer it was still moving. Despite it being cold it was more active than the first time.

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“Haven’t I seen you before?” Corn Snake at High Eske NR

Seemed to think it was a Rattlesnake, presumably a survival technique, as if I bothered it it drew it head back as though to strike and ‘rattled’ its tail. This wasn’t purely mimicry as I later found. Now I was stuck what to do as I had nothing to put in. However when I’d posted pictures on Facebook before my friend Mandy had said she could home it if I could catch it. Sent her a text.

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Minutes later Mandy phoned back and was shortly on the way with her father. The snake wasn’t showing any sign of fleeing so I went to look for a bag or somethings, never a problem at this litter strewn ‘beauty spot’. Found a bag but just couldn’t get it in. This is when it proved to be not just kidding.

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Snake bite.

Thought best to give up and wait for Mandy. Gently held it in place with my foot after covering its head with my hat. Although it did try to get away a few times, eventually relaxed was able to leave it unmolested. Shortly Mandy arrived and put me to same by just grabbing it behind the head and although it put up a fight into it in a pillow case.

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Mandy and the Serpent. Clearly an experienced snake wrangler.

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Snake in the bag

Walking back to the farm thought I saw an Otter swimming into the opposite bank of the river but didn’t reappear.

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Waders on the move but still mainly insects.

22 Jul

14/7/15 Went to High Eske NR on Tuesday afternoon. A warm calm day so checked for Banded Demoiselles on the river. Had seen them for the 1st time last summer and quickly located a small number around a pack of weed from the south-east corner of the reserve. Since have heard they are also nearby at Hull Bridge.DSCN8138

Banded Demoiselle-High Eske NR

The summer islands were exposed and briefly held c30 Lapwings. Also the first two returning Common Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover. However the main interest [for me?!] was still insects. Had a good number of Beautiful China-marks. The typical habit for this species of moth but my first sighting here and only my second record, the first at Tophill Low NR in July 2011.

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Beautiful China-mark-High Eske NR

Also a Common Wave was only my third record, one also here and the one trapped in Cottingham.
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Common Wave-High Eske NR

Silver-ground Carpet was also new for the year.DSCN8155

Silver-ground Carpet-High Eske NR

Had my first Narrow-bordred Five-spot Burnet for 2015 on Pulfin NR.
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Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet-High Eske NR

DSCN8157Red Admiral-High Eske NR

Again had a Little Owl on power-lines just to the north of the nature reserve but again very flighty.

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Little Owl-High Eske NR

Someone had put up a notice by the borrow pit, Initially thought it was genuine but quickly realised it was very tongue in cheek.DSCN8183Could have been written by me but ultimately it just isn’t possible to warden such a area, particularly when the EA lack the resources [or will?] to enforce the rules that do exist. The bit about swimming is particularly ironic as on my next visit on Friday, only a few hours after schools had broken up, there were four lads swimming in the pit and walking on the permanent island. Fortunately too late to disturb breeding birds but does put me off visiting for the next six weeks.

18/7/15 Went to Welton Waters on Saturday where eight Black-tailed Godwits on the foreshore was the best thing.
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Black-tailed Godwit-Welton Waters.

Also plenty of butterflies.

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Comma-Welton Waters.

19/7/15 Went to Hornsea Mere with ML, RL and JH on Sunday morning. Regular heavy showers and the best birds were several family parties of Common Terns.

Went to Tophill Low NR in the afternoon. Had a eclipse drake Goldeneye close to D reservoir Carpark Hide. A later visit to South Marsh West confirmed it to be the apparently flightless bird that had been summering there [see here].

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Goldeneye-D res-Tophill Low NR

There we re four Little Egrets on North Lagoon including one close to the hide.

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Little Egret-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Plenty of Southern Hawkers on the wing including one at rest near the lagoons.

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Southern Hawker-Tophill Low NR

The main reason for our visit though was for Richard Hampshire reserve talk. Fascinating to hear about and see pictures of the construction of the new drain from the lagoons to south marshes which will allow better control of water levels as well as hopefully improving the nutrient levels. Also an update on plans for the new visitors centre.

20/7/15 Had a brief visit to North Ferriby Riverside Walkway on Monday morning. Has matured greatly since my last visit a few years back and now looking good for migrant songbirds in the right conditions. Also had my first Shaded Broad-bar for 2015. A single Marbled White butterfly was a surprise.
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Shaded Broad-bar-N.Ferriby Riverside Walkway.

Went to Wilfholme Landing with RL in the afternoon in the hope of finding Banded Demoiselle within the Tophill Low NR recording area but windy and turning to rain. Did however have good views of Emperor Dragonfly and Brown Hawker on Barmston Drain.

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Silver Y-Wilfholme Landing

Moved on to Tophill Low NR. Now five Little Egrets on North Lagoon with a Grey Heron adding some spice.

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Grey Heron with Little Egrets on N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Also had a Whimbrel flying south but didn’t relocate it at the south end. Water levels on North Lagoon looking good for a Spotted Crake in the near future.

Had our first two Green Sandpiper this year for the site on Watton NR.

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Green Sandpiper-Watton NR

Also the gruesome sight of a Lesser Black-backed Gull flying in with then slowly swallowing a Moorhen chick.

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Lesser Black-backed Gull devouring a Moorhen Chick-Watton NR