Tag Archives: Water Rail

Dipping the Cayton Bay Eastern Black Redstart

13 Nov

11/11/16 Went to High Eske NR on Friday afternoon. Three Whooper Swans briefly with the Mute Swans and again a Pink-footed Goose with the feral Greylags.fullsizeoutput_1a6c

Whooper Swans at High Eske NR

A Water Rail was squealing in the south-east corner and eventually showed well. fullsizeoutput_1a6d

Water Rail at High Eske NR

Got too cold after sunset so left early.

13/11/16 Nice on Sunday morning so headed to Cayton Bay with RL and ML. dscn3483

Interesting graffiti on a bunker at Cayton Bay.

Walking south along the beach had four Stonechats on the cliff face before reaching the rocks at the south end.

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Male Stonechat at Cayton Bay.

Gave it until early afternoon but there was no sign of the Eastern Black Redstart. Met up with DV. He had already missed it on Wednesday and the bird had been tricky all week. Had a few Rock Pipits and Robin.

Went to Hornsea Mere for the rest of the afternoon. The Smew, Long-tailed Duck, three Scaup, White-fronted Goose and two Tundra Bean Geese had been seen earlier. Check the Merebirders blog for more recent sightings. RL again picked up the Smew close to the south shore and the three Scaup in the bay from Seaton Road Hide. Later on I picked up the Long-tailed Duck at very close range. We all got some decent pictures before the light got too bad.fullsizeoutput_1a75

Long-tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere

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Alkborough Flats

3 Aug

2/8/16 After yesterday’s excursion [see here] had a late start on Tuesday and didn’t get out until mid afternoon. Again over the bridge but this time only as far as Alkborough Flats. The aim was Spoonbill, having missed them there and at Blacktoft Sands RSPB early this year. A bit windy on the road to the bridge but was due south so wasn’t a problem crossing. In Alkborough went to Julian’s Bower where you can get a panoramic view of the Flats.

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Julian’s Bower maze-Alkborough

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Alkborough Flats from Julian’s Bower

I’ll let the information board explain what this place is.

DSCN2004 Anyway the Spoonbills were visible and noticing there was a short footpath directly to the Flats decided to lock up and walk down.

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Spoonbills on Alkborough Flats distantly from Julian’s Bower

Had a Snout moth along the path down, the first I’ve managed to photograph this year.

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Snout moth-Alkborough

Reaching the low level hide all 14 Spoonbills were on views but asleep.

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All 14 Spoonbills at Alkborough Flats

Also a similar number of Little Egret. Among the larger number of Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Avocet were a Spotted Redshank and 7 Ruff.

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Spotted Redshank with Black-tailed Godwit-Alkborough Flats

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Male Ruff with Redshank-Alkborough Flats

The Spoonbills did eventually put on a show when a few started playing with a probable reed rhizome.

DSCN2037Also had a Kingfisher flew by. Moving to the tower hide added Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and Water Rail.

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Water rail-Alkborough Flats

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Greenshank-Alkborough Flats

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