Tag Archives: Wassand Hall

10/1/16 In a higher gear at Hornsea Mere

10 Jan

5/1/16 Back to work on Tuesday and no chance of getting out. Did add Sparrowhawk to the year list on Cedar Drive though. This year I intend birding at work during the winter months at least and submitting interesting things like Starling numbers to Birdtrack.

Year list 66.

9/1/16 Saturday was the only easy day of the week and manged a ride up to Wauldby Sprogs but saw very few birds except a possible Marsh Tit that kept it’s distance.

10/1/16 Went to Hornsea Mere with RL on Sunday morning to meet JH at Kirkholme Point. The Slavonian Grebe was again showing well but still a bit distant for a good picture.

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Slavonian Grebe-Hornsea Mere

Had a look from the tip but no sign of anything interesting and the colder weather wasn’t making it fun so moved to the shelter of the old hide. Haven’t spent much time there recently but in the past has proved a good place to view from. Proved so today with the drake Long-tailed Duck been found, followed by a first winter Little Gull then the Red-necked Grebe. All proved difficult to see and even more to photograph, with the duck and gull always staying distant but the grebe did manage to drift to just off Swan Island. Also had a male Marsh Harrier flying west in front the hide. Later had the same bird from Wassand Hide.

Had some interesting fungi leaving the hide.

{Mention of the “old hide” is not intended as a invitation to use it!!! but see here}

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Velvet Shank-Hornsea Mere

Moved round to Wassand Hall carpark early afternoon. Walking towards the hide noticed a tit flock in a large tree near the first gate. One larger bird was sat in a branch junction tapping at a nut. I immediately called “Nuthatch” to JH who was able to see it before it flew off. RL had unfortunately gone to get air in a soft tyre. Texted him but although seen again he couldn’t get on it. Nuthatch has been seen in recent years usually on private feeders at the hall, but this was my first sighting. As it seems to like this area maybe putting some nuts near the gate might make it more visible.

Nothing new from Wassand Hide but did have an adult Little Gull flying west.

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Male Marsh Harrier from Wassand Hide

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View to the west of Wassand Hide.

Year list 75

For more recent news from Hornsea Mere check the blog.

More waders at Tophill Low NR

16 Aug

16/8/15 Went to Hornsea Mere with JH on Sunday morning. A Little Stint had been seen on Kirkholme Point earlier but no sign late morning but the the regular Dunlin.

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Dunlin-Hornsea Mere

Had a least five Little Gulls including two on the jetties but disturbed before we got in camera range.

Went round to Wassand Hall. Had a Common Frog was along the woodland walk to the hide.

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Common Frog-Hornsea Mere.

No sign of yesterday’s Red-necked Grebe or little else of notice. A row boat that had somehow missed the boundary signs, after been shown the error of our their ways, gave the cue to leave.

Went on the Bewholme Hall. Had had four Black-tailed Godwit, seven Ruff and 3 Dunlin yesterday and all but the Dunlin seemed to be present today.

Finished the day at Tophill Low NR. Started in car park hide. Found a drake Redhead-like duck, either a hybrid or aberrant Pochard on D reservoir. Also the over summering drake Goldeneye was sat on the steps and a Common Sandpiper flew over.

Next was North Lagoon, the current highlight of the reserve. After missing them last Sunday were glad to see two Wood Sandpipers.

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Wood Sandpipers-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Also a Greenshank and at least eight Green Sandpipers but no Ruff.

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Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Greenshank-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

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Wood Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR [above and below]

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Green Sandpiper-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

The juvenile Water Rail was still impersonating a Spotted Crake.

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juvenile Water Rail-N.Lagoon-Tophill Low NR

Short of time so had a quick look around the south end. Post breeding South Marsh East was quiet but a Wood Sandpiper was seen by friends after I left. Likely from North Lagoon as there were few waders left on a quick visit on the way back south. Did have a large swimming Grass Snake below the first South Marsh East hide but too obscured by vegetation to photograph. One Green Sandpiper on South Marsh West. Little Egret on Watton NR. Also a herd of cattle. This reserve, adjacent to but not part of Tophill Low NR, has finally been sold, by the Environment Agency, to a sympathetic owner who has handed management to the warden Richard Hampshire and his volunteers. As part of this management, cattle from the adjacent farm will be allowed on as conservation grazers as the Belted Galloway do on Hempholme Meadows and South Scrub.
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Cattle grazing Watton NR

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Harlequin Ladybird on Ragwort-South Scrub-Tophill Low NR

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.