Monday, 6 February 2017

The beige brigade

Things seem to be going from strength to strength on the reserve into February.  Perhaps most notable has been the ramp up in gull numbers in the last month, and particularly glaucous gulls in the strongest ever presence in the roost with 6 possibly 7 so far - the highest figure we can find reference to.  Martin Hodges:
Caspian gulls have also put in a performance, but mediterranean gulls have finally materialised in good numbers.  A strange year as there were practically no records prior to the new year, and now they all seem to be arriving in a glut - up to six present on some nights.  For more info and pictures such as below check out Martin's page:
Geese also have come good latterly with the highlight being 6 tundra bean geese on the 4th - Martin:
Present amongst a wider flock of 32 Russian white fronted geese amongst the greylags - still present today:

It's been great to have the smew back again regularly on Watton NR - Brian Colley:
And Mal Jones:
Goosander has been present on a few occasions at Watton, and the, or a long tailed duck was back on D reservoir on the 5th after an absence.  Moving up the scale of piscivores was this great crested grebe consuming a pike by Darren Smith:
But topped by this cormorant achieving the impossible - Brian Colley:
And at the top of the tree the otter still showing well on North Marsh - Brian:
Roe deer developing new antlers ready for their spring rut - Tony Robinson:
Some great footage of both these and other Tophill wildlife on the trail cameras - compiled by Hull Uni student Nadine Grey:

Kingfisher by Mal Jones:
Many thanks to Roy and Maurice who volunteered for more volunteering on North Marsh this week - prepping the otter holt channel and replacing perches for the 2017 season...
Work still continuing on the new hide and associated paths - volunteers working busily on the new platform:
With this character observing proceedings:
Likely a horse leech from a quick inspection.
However the northern end of the site is a good place to be:
Not just the barn owls - but perhaps up to three short eared owls have been seen in recent days - great to have them back:
And Roy Vincent:
Otherwise a few bits of passerine interest - brambling around the new building feeders, lesser redpoll in the woods and siskins in the car park.