Our black headed gull boast was perhaps unfounded. Unfortunately they remained faithful to Tophill Low Nature Reserve and within days of the marsh being refilled had skyrocketed to also record numbers despite a stalled start. In and amongst was this sub-adult Mediterranean gull - Erich:
However far outstripping kingfishers were hobbys on Thursday with Steve Brimble capturing some stunning images of the birds and otters too have been erratically present too. Along with grass snakes swimming across marshes - these too have now hatched from hay heaps around the reserve with 6" tiddlers seen around at present. Reed warbler also there:
Osprey continues to mill about as a non-breeder - causing havoc over the southern marshes yesterday, and likewise the lonesome red kite threatened to scavenge some of our volunteers on Thursday over South Scrub. Sparrowhawks conversely are again prolific with another 3 nests this year kicking out the next generation of bird table botherers.
All in we're very pleased with the breeding season so far with double the cetti's warblers, quadruple the terns, the first oystercatchers on SME for 3 years and the first ever lesser black backed gulls. Likewise willow tit and marsh tit are undoubtedly breeding. There's a few more in the pipeline and then we're onto wader passage. At the moment its all about retained water levels to protect eggs and chicks; next month things will start getting interesting as we start working that new landscaping for waders...
Coming up on the 18th of June we will be holding a business familiarisation event at Tophill Low in Partnership with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Nature Triangle team at 10:30am taking folk on a tour to look at some of the best of the above. This is for the benefit of local tourism businesses to:
Meet the project team and discuss how we could help your business
Places are limited so reserve online by visiting the Yorkshire Nature Triangle website here.