Monday, 28 March 2016

North Cave Wetlands,A Class Site!,Sunday 27th March 2016.

An organised meet up again today at this superb site with along with Mike,saw us seeing plenty of good birds to keep us interested during our visit.
 After enjoying the obligatory cuppa and sausage sarnie on arrival from the excellent wild bird cafe,we began to explore the reserve.
 We started proceedings by walking along Dryham Lane looking on both Dryham Ings and on the Main Lake.These two areas provided some great sightings and included amongst the usual suspects of Teal,Gadwall,Shoveler,Wigeon and hundreds of Black-headed Gulls,a single,distant 2nd summer Med Gull on the Main Lake and the resident Ruff showing fairly well on Dryham Ings.
 While scanning through the masses of birds on Dryham Ings i picked up our first goodie of the day,a Little-ringed Plover.
 It was watched as it moved about from island to island in typical hyper active LRP style when they first arrive,just like clock work toys.This was our first record for the year of this cracking little migrant plover and the first record of the year for the reserve.
 After looking from the impressive Crosslands hide a distinctive call from our right,saw us enjoying our second Med Gull of the day as a superb adult gave us a flypast.
 We walked along the side of the Carp Lake and encountered a couple of Chiffchaff,which included nice views of one bird and as we reached the northern edge of the reserve,i was alerted to the distinct sound of Redpolls.The culprits were quickly found,but not the expected Lesser's,instead,2 frosty looking Mealies.They were difficult to get a sharp photo of due to branches in the hedgerow being infront of them,but a couple of record shots showed what the birds were and i was happy with the ID.They flew a little further along the hedgerow and they showed white rump patches in flight also.
 After the Redpolls,good birds just kept on coming,with superb views of our 'First' Sand martins of the year with 6 birds hawking insects over the adjacent Alder scrub and Reedbed Lake.These are just cracking little birds and i love watching them as they energetically hawk for insects.
 The adjacent fields to reedbed lake held a large flock of Black-headed Gulls following a farmer ploughing the large field and a few pairs of Lapwings displayed and sparred for the best nesting spots.
 We eventually made our journey around the reserve back to the superb Wild Bird Cafe for another cuppa and while supping our tea a 2nd calendar year Peregrine put on a fine show scattering the assembled flock of Avocets in all directions,what a show of aerial prowess from this cracking bird.
 We then visited the hide overlooking the Main Lake and had a prolonged watch from here adding even more brilliant sightings to our already impressive list of species.This included 2 more Med Gulls,another adult and a 1st winter/summer bird in amongst the prospecting numbers of their Black-headed cousins and along the adjacent hillside 3 Red Kite and 3 Common Buzzards showed fairly well,the Kites steadily drifting over the reserve itself,with one actually landing in the field the farmer had been ploughing earlier,no doubt to feed on worms or insects the plough had disturbed.
 After enjoying the Kites Mike had to head home,but i stayed for a little longer,but didn't add anything else to what was already a very good day out.
 So what a cracking day out was enjoyed today and i travelled back home to north linc's contented at a brilliant day in the field.
Drake Mallard,Main Lake.

Ruff,Dryham Ings.

Distant shot of the Little-ringed Plover on Dryham Ings.

Adult Mediterranean Gull near Crosslands Hide.

Adult Mediterranean Gull near Crosslands Hide.

Mealie Redpoll,near Far lake.

Mealie Redpoll,near Far Lake.

Feeding Black-headed Gulls following the plough on the northern border of the reserve.

Greylag Geese over Reedbed Lake.

Adult Black-headed Gull over Reedbed Lake.

Lapwing on the field,on the northern border of the reserve.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Sprotborough And The River Don,Good Friday,25.03.2016.

A visit to this area today for a walk with her indoors,had us enjoying some lovely,warm,spring sunshine along with a few notable spring sightings.
 With the afore mentioned warm sun,the spring species of butterflies were out in pretty good numbers and included first records for the year for us involving 5 stunning male Brimstones,6 Small Tortoiseshell and four Peacock,the Brimstones being a particular fave and the iconic spring species.
 Also along the walk a profusion of spring flowers included masses of Lesser Celandines,Yellow Archangel,Ground Ivy and a few early Blue Bells,which brightened up the pathway.
 Bird wise,the highlight went to a Kingfisher zooming along the river Don near to Sprotborough Flash nature reserve,but other sightings and sounds included Common Buzzard and a couple of Chiffchaffs.
 A pleasant few hours out and about in some nice weather at last.
Sprotborough Canal.

Lesser Celandines.

Small Tortoiseshell.

Barton Whooper etc,Saturday 19th March 2016.

Another visit around the pits at Barton today,didn't reveal many surprises,but was a pleasant visit all the same,this is what i saw.
 I started the day by parking in the Humber Bridge viewing area car park and after getting the gear together,decided to cover Water's Edge first,before all the dog walker's arrived.
 I was hoping for a Chiffie or maybe a Blackcap,but didn't encounter either species,instead i had to make do with at least 2 singing male Cetti's Warbler,5 Bullfinch watched taking grit from one of the paths and a female Blackbird busily collecting nesting material....fine recompense!.
 After covering Water's Edge,the Humber Bridge viewing area was the next place to look for migrants,but again,despite much searching none were seen,3 Siskin overhead and fine views of a drumming female Great-spotted Woodpecker,yes female(Didn't realise females drummed)were seen and the pair of Peregrines on their lookout on the bridge itself.
 After a quick bite to eat i drove the short distance to Far-Ings to cover the pits to the west of the bridge.
 Bird highlight of the day was seen here,a single 2nd calendar year Whooper Swan which was swimming around the Pursuit Pit with it's adopted Mute Swan family.No doubt this bird has got separated from it's family party heading back north to Iceland,as so often happens with this species.
 After watching this cracking bird i carried on covering all the suitable habitat,Ness Lake,the New Pits,Chowder Ness and up around Barton Cliff and the Quarries,but still no migrants.
 Another 2 Siskin were seen on Far-Ings itself feeding along the path towards Target Lake,at least 4 male Cetti's Warbler blasted away that distinctive song and 10 Goldeneye had joined the Whooper,which was now on Western Approach Pit and showing much more closely.
 Not a bad 5 hours out and about,but a bit disappointing still on the migrant front.
2nd calendar year Whooper Swan,Western Approach Pit.

2nd calender year Whooper Swan,Western Approach Pit.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

East Halton - Goxhill Haven,Saturday 12th March 2016.

A full day to myself today saw me again heading to the old patch,as i did a few weeks ago,in the hope of some spring migrants.
 After parking up at a very muddy East Halton Skitter i got the kit together and decided to head in the direction of Killingholme Haven and Winter's Pond first.
 It was slightly misty on the Humber at first and i couldn't see right across the river to the north bank and also it was high tide,so no wader's present to start with.As i walked along the bankside path,i flushed three Pipits giving that distinct 'Feest' call of a Rock Pipit,but as they landed i noticed all three birds were in fact of the distinct Scandinavian race 'Littoralis' and they all showed differing amounts of greyish heads and mantles,with distinct 'Super's' compared to the british race 'Petrosus'.They were very flighty and unfortunately i didn't manage to get even close enough for a record shot of these cracking birds,but thankfully managed some good scope views.
 After watching these smart 'Scandi' Pipits i carried along the bank and up to Winter's Pond to the sight and sound of singing and sparring male Skylark's as the sun eventually broke through the mist.Along here and feeding in the set aside fields were an impressive 9 Roe Deer,something i never saw here 25 plus year's ago when i first birded this area and in my opinion are a welcome sight to see.On Winter's Pond the only highlight was 15 Pink-footed Geese and these were seen as they flew off the pit at the rear of the site and did a couple of circuits before heading north over the river,no doubt on their journey north,back to Iceland.
 On the return leg back towards East Halton Skitter,the tide was dropping now and wader's began to be a feature of sightings,with Curlew,Redshank,Dunlin and Turnstone being seen.
 After arriving back at the car,a quick change of clothing as it was now pleasantly warm saw me heading westwards towards Goxhill Haven this time and up to Dawson City as on my last visit here.
 On the Skitter pools,9 Little Egret and a single Grey Heron patiently fished on the pools and on the foreshore a nice mixed flock of Turnstone and Dunlin showed well enough to get some decent images of these lovely waders.
 As i walked the bank,day dreaming about a Wheatear or Black Redstart to pop up,a few passerines passed west and included singles of Siskin and a couple of 'Alba' Wag's and a Common Buzzard steadily thermalled west also.
 As i arrived at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reserve,Dawson City,a singing male Goldcrest was seen and at last my 'First' spring migrant of the year,a male Chiffchaff sang it's welcoming song as it flitted about and sallied after it's flying lunch.This is my second sighting of they year after a wintering bird at Manton Warren back in January.
 A bit of a surprise sighting nearby,on the sand bank off Dawson City were 2 Barnacle Geese and i couldn't recall seeing this species before on the old patch,so was a bit of a bonus.They could well be domesticated birds,but also could be wild,but who knows with wildfowl.
 Another 2 Roe Deer on the fields as i wandered back to the car made for an impressive 11 animals today and a couple of Pipits flushed from the Skitter pools,looked like they were probably Water Pipits,but i never did see them on the ground.
 A brilliant visit again to the old stomping ground and even better as i had it all to myself,a good day out.
Three Of The Nine Roe Deer At East Halton.

Little Egrets On The Skitter Pools.

Turnstone And Dunlin Feeding At East Halton Skitter.

Dunlin,East Halton Skitter.

A Flyby Curlew At East Halton Skitter.

3rd Calendar Year Male Marsh Harrier,East Halton Skitter.

Distant Record Shot Of The 2 Barnacle Geese.

Male Chiffchaff,Dawson City LWTR,Goxhill Haven.