Friday, 27 July 2012

Great scot!

Highlight of the last week was found by John Wilkinson this morning; common scoter on O res.  Spending most of the day asleep it was likely tired from losing its hundreds of pals up at Flamborough at the moment - but a nice reserve bird anyway with the last one during Easter 2010:

Waders are still gradually turning up these green sandpipers this afternoon representing a year maxima of three so far:

The distinctive white flash:

The numbers of lapwing are now starting to swell for the first time - several hundred on the marshes today:

Dave Ware has further pictures of some of the greenshanks popping in here too.  As ever kingfishers are proving popular on North Marsh - thanks to Roy Vincent for these:

Apparent rudd/roach seem to be catch of the day at present:

Pics from Mike Day too:

Kingfisher nearly getting in the way of a nice shot of the greater water parsnip here (Mike):
For those after views of the kingfishers further from the barrage of cameras could always try Hempholme Meadows where the birds are also finding good fishing albeit further away:
North Marsh still holds its elusive rails for those who are patient - Roy Vincent:

Snakes too - by Mike Day:

Less than welcomed by this young moorhen - seen off with a few pecks of the tail - photo by Roy Vincent:

Ratty often seen under the hide too at the moment - with youngsters seen today (RV):

A mink was removed last week - but another has since been sighted so we'll do our best to keep them safe. 

There is still plenty to see elsewhere though - many thanks to Don Davis for these outstanding pictures of barn owl sat on the access road:

Sedge warbler carrying a fine caterpillar by Andy Marshall:

But plenty of attention should still be given to the smaller inhabitants of the reserve - the odonata being particularly spectacular at the moment.  Emerald damselfly by Mike Day:

Mating azures:

Check out Martin's new site for a round up of the news.  Kite-tailed robber fly by Doug Fairweather:

And scorpion fly by Mike Day:

Just a reminder we have the monthly reserve walk next Saturday as we do at 10am on the first of every month.  A chance to go on a two hour walk with the warden and seeing some of the best wildlife sights of the moment.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Inverted thinking

Quiet times have resulted in fewer postings on the blog combined with preparing our pitch at Driffield show in the last week:

It is at these times most birders change tack to winged creatures of other types.  Perhaps some of the most stunning at the moment are the longhorn beetles.  Thanks to Glyn Hudson for these great macro shots of the golden bloomed grey Agapanthea villosoviridescens :

Likewise Erich Hediger:

Jeff Barker too has some more pictures on Flickr of them and their cousin rutpela maculata.  Traditionally Martin Hodges Wildlife blog has been a great source if info on some of the less conventional species at Tophill.  Regular fans may be interested to know it is morphing into the 'new site' which is viewable in construction here.

Thanks to Dave Ruffles for this of southern hawker - hopefully something we'll see more of these as the weather supposedly warms up:

Along with more butterflies - ringlet (DR):
Small tortoiseshell (DR):

And large skipper (DR):
Thanks to Brian Spence too for ruddy darter (thanks Paul / Erich!):

Ringlet (BS):

Meadow brown (BS):

Some of the first this year of marbled white (BS):

And as yet virtually unseen as far as we know - peacock - though a way off flying:

Thanks to Erich too for these of six spot burnet in South Scrub:

And Mystacides longicornis - a caddisfly:

Along with garden tiger moth on the warden's base:

David Ware too has some great pictures of some of the small mammals about too on his blog.  Otters present occasionally on North Marsh still too.

There are though a few birds present.  Green sandpiper is still the advance party of the yet to start in proper autumn passage.  Singles seen on the 13th, 16th, 17th and today.  Common sandpiper too on the 10th, with a dunlin on the 15th and whimbrel on the 10th.  Unfortunately the avocets seem to have stumbled.  Only one chick was seen at the beginning of this week and none at all for the last two days - hopefully they are still in the undergrowth.  Still plenty of caterwauling from North Marsh and the rail family however.

Keep an eye out on the wetlands for waders though.  We dropped the levels on the southern marshes last night for the first time this summer.  Likewise we have lowered Hempholme meadows and are currently cutting back the vegetation.  Thanks to Emma Haiselden for these pictures of the tailless pheasant enjoying the subsequent bounty:

Kingfisher again showed today on north marsh fleetingly.  Vince Cowell has some pictures on his site and thanks to Andrew Atkinson for these pictures from last week:

Visit Andrew's site here.

Returning raptors include osprey on the 18th over Hempholme and disturbingly the first hen harrier of autumn - a ring tail on the 15th; not seeming long since they left for summer.  Likewise now 5 great crested grebes on O res an ominous sign - we often get up to 50 appearing here after breeding season.

Hobby was still on the access road this morning.