Tag Archives: Smew

Smew and Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere

23 Nov

Saved from a boring day rained in, with even the dog not interested in a walk, by RL with a trip to Hornsea Mere early afternoon. Started in Seaton Road hide where immediately on opening the flaps saw the redhead Smew close in. Went for our cameras, and ignoring a close fly over by a Marsh Harrier, got a few shots before it swam off.

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Juvenile Smew at Hornsea Mere from Seaton Road Hide

Nothing else of note and having learned from MJ that the track to Wassand Hide was flooded we headed to Kirkholme Point where a Long-tailed Duck was usually seen around the jetties. No sign there so looked further afield, still with no luck, but on walking back towards the jetties RL picked it up flying in from the west then landing and showing well again at the jetties.

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Juvenile Long-tailed Duck with Tufted Duck at Kirkholme Point, Hornsea Mere

No sign of any of the recent Scaup.

Went to look for wild geese in the Skipsea area with out luck then ended the day looking for gulls around Catwick but also no sign no helped by a jet ski on FosseHill.

Smew! Second time lucky at Tophill Low NR

28 Dec

22/12/18 With the weather on Saturday forecast to be better than recently I had already decided to go out so when a drake Smew was reported at Tophill Low NR and Wilbur showing no interest in going out my plans were made. However on arriving in the visitor centre I learned there had been no further sightings since LJ had found it mid morning. After a look for myself over D res and seeing the lingering female Scaup also seen earlier  I headed south. No sign on O res so headed for Watton NR. Although again no sign of the Smew there was plenty of birds including Little Egret and a pair each of Goosander and Pintail. However only a single Greylag Goose. Little on the South Marshes with only a Little Egret seen on South Marsh East.

28/12/18 Think I other estimated Saturday’s mildest and should have worn another layer as I spend the next few days fighting off a cold but was feeling better on Friday morning. Wilbur was also more lively than recently so took him out but only made it part way to Creykebeck power station. Getting back to the park early afternoon I got a message that the Smew was back at Tophill Low NR. This time on reaching O res viewing screen the bird was present and not too distant.

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Drake Smew at Tophill Low NR on O Res.

After getting a few shots I headed for Watton NR but no sign of the Goosander or Pintail but there was again a Little Egret and a good number of geese, both Greylag and Canada as well as a Domestic Goose. Walking back through South Scrub I thought I could hear  Whooper Swans but although I could still hear them there was initially no sign from L-shaped hide. However six Whoopers, a family party with four juveniles, shortly drifted into view from the cover of O res wall.

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Whooper Swans at Tophill Low NR on O res.

Couldn’t see the Smew from either L-shaped hide or the viewing screen although the light is difficult near dusk from the latter. Again little on South Marshes with again only a Little Egret on East section.

Postscript on “Shag at East Park, Hull“.

After dipping the Smew on Saturday RL went to East Park to see the Shag. He found it now had a black plastic bag around its neck. MF didn’t see the bird on Wednesday.

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Shag at East Park, Hull-RL

Black-necked Grebe and Smew at Tophill Low NR

25 Nov

25/11/16 On Friday morning, for the second time this week, drew a blank at Hornsea Mere. This time partly due to fisherman to close to the hide. Two Long-tailed Duck have continued to be seen by others off Kirkholme Point. Leaving earlier than planned headed to Tophill Low NR with RL and ML. Checked the gulls at Fosse Hill Jet Ski Pond on the way. The Black-necked Grebe found on Tuesday had moved to O reservoir yesterday. Had a quick look on D reservoir then moved to the O reservoir viewing screen. The grebe was still present so moved round to L-shaped hide for a closer view.fullsizeoutput_1a9b

Black-necked Grebe at Tophill Low NR on O reservoir.

Next to Watton NR hide. Finally had the redhead Smew briefly in cover to the right of the island then full out but still distant to the left before it again drifted behind the island. fullsizeoutput_1a91

Smew with Tufted Duck on Watton NR by Tophill Low NR

Also a pair of Pintail, although hidden by brambles, two Little Egret and at least a dozen Curlew in and out. Didn’t stay to do the gulls.

More winter wildfowl

30 Oct

30/10/16 Started Sunday morning at High Eske NR, with RL and ML, hoping to see the recent Long-tailed Duck. Met DH along the track from the farm. Had seen the duck on Saturday evening but no sign today but had had a Smew. The lone Whooper Swan was still present.fullsizeoutput_1a4d

Whooper Swan-High Eske NR

Quickly found the redhead Smew among the Tufted Duck and Pochard at the south end. Also picked out three Scaup. The large flock of Greylags dropped still with the Pink-footed Goose. Next to Hornsea Mere starting in the Seaton Road Hide. A Pink-footed Goose was just in front of the hide. Eleven Whooper Swans were near the entrance to Decoy Bay and another eight flew southwest.fullsizeoutput_1a4a

Whooper Swans at Hornsea Mere

I picked up the two Slavonian Grebe between us and Kirkholme Point, presumably displaced by the boat.dscn3372

What we have to contend with at Hornsea Mere

Eventually came fairly close.

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Juvenile and adult Slavonian Grebes with Mute Swan-Hornsea Mere

Went round to Kirkholme Point where the same or another Pink-footed Goose was just offshore.fullsizeoutput_1a42

Pink-footed Goose at Hornsea Mere off Kirkholme Point

A few Tundra Bean and White-fronted Geese and a Common Scoter had been seen earlier. Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. I found a redhead Smew on D reservoir from car park hide. Likely the same bird we saw this morning as it was also associating with Pochard. Flew to the north end and RL and I went to the North Hide while ML went to North Marsh where a Bittern had been seen earlier. The Smew showed close in before flying off with Pochards eventually coming down below car park hide where it stayed until late afternoon at least. fullsizeoutput_1a3b

Redhead Smew with Pochard at Tophill Low NR on D reservoir

Also had two Green Sandpipers in flight before dropping onto Decoy Fields.dscn3408

The new visitors centre at Tophill Low NR-‘still under wraps’

Did the gulls. Although we didn’t stay until dark, with the clocks now back, we’re likely to start doing the gull roost again. A Tawny Owl was calling in D wood as we left. Had a few Migrant Hawkers. With the forecast of colder nights there won’t be many more.

Smew at North Cave Wetlands

4 Feb

A redhead Smew was reported at North Cave Wetlands on Carp Lake early afternoon. Didn’t bother with the one this time last year but with a total lack of the species on my regular sites this winter this one tempted me. Heading out of Cottingham on Harland Way had a car pull up behind me. Kept him behind as far as Hunsley Beacon. As usual left him for dead on the straight but with the mud on the road beyond Little Weighton he would catch me up on the corners. Fortunately wasn’t annoying enough to get any response except an initial light touch on the brake to say “you’re going to fast” when he originally caught me up. Fortunate, as when me parted company at the Hunsley Beacon x-road I realised it was a guy I worked with. Don’t think he knew it was me though!

Getting into North Cave I had a look at the lake behind the church where I had at least 6 Goosander.

At the Wetlands the Smew was still on Carp Lake but never came close.

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Redhead Smew on Carp Lake

Also a good number of Gadwall. Heard a few Lesser Redpoll by the lake but flew out of view. As on my last visit a good few Shelduck on site.

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Shelduck on Island Lake

A few Tree Sparrow showing well on the feeders by the maize field.

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Tree Sparrow below feeders

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Great Tit on feeder

A Little Egret had been seen earlier on Island Lake but no sign late afternoon. At least 17 Redshank roosting on the raft on Main Lake and again a good number Pochard with a smaller number of Tufted Duck.

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Carp Lake at dusk