Tag Archives: Pulfin NR

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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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.

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