Monday, 14 August 2017

Autumn Vacancies

There are less than 4 weeks before the Autumn course starts, and there are a few vacancies on Friday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  Migration is the keyword of the term, and initially we will be encountering summer migrants as they prepare to leave these shores.  We will also spend some time identifying waders at a variety of seashore and estuarine locations.  Some people find waders tricky, so I will do my best to point out out all the key features.  Later, winter migrants will arrive, and these will be identified too.  Late last Autumn the star birds were probably two confiding Hen Harriers and several Short-eared Owls, and if they reappear, the intention will be to connect with them once more.  

Peregrine - last term's star photograph, taken in the company of the Wednesday afternoon group.  In the Autumn we are most likely to find one of these looking far more active whilst it is harassing the waders on the Humber estuary!
 Bearded Tits - at Ness End
Autumn is the best time to see these charismatic birds 
 Wryneck - at Spurn
One of Autumn's unusual birds, which we'll try and see if we get an influx on the coast
 Moulting male Redstart  - on migration at Spurn
 Stonechat - this beauty over-winters with us
Ring Ouzel - on migration at Spurn
 Snow Bunting - we may encounter these later in the term
 Goldcrest - some years thousands appear on the coast
 Pallas's Warbler - this is less common than the previous bird
 Rough-legged Buzzard
 Great Grey Shrike - 2 years ago these were eating many of the exhausted Goldcrests
 Bar-tailed Godwit in breeding plumage
 Black-tailed Godwit
 Greenshank
 Spotted Redshank
 Water [as thin as a] Rail
 Hen Harrier - the star bird of last Autumn
Ditto
 Short-eared Owls - always popular with the classes
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Bewick's Swan
 Starling Murmuration

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Holiday Photos by Class members

At the moment the classes are on a sabbatical, so class members are  free to go wherever they like, and photograph their own birds.  Here, we see some immature Dippers, a species we hardly ever see in the bounds of East Yorkshire, followed by a Heron, and then some portraits of a Little Egret, including some strange strutting behaviour at Tophill Low.

I'm not sure if it's a coincide that all these photos have been sent in by Friday morning members, but if you are on a different session and you have taken some interesting photos please send them in.
Dipper (c) 2017 Dave Hill
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Immature Heron (c) 2017 Dave Hill
 Little Egret (c) 2017 Jane Robinson
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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Tophill's SME in early August

I had more leaflets to deliver today, but had a prolonged stay at Tophill Low Nature Reserve.  South marsh East was the place to be with eventually 3 Green Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpiper, but the star was the Great White Egret.  It remained at the back of the site, but came into the open a few times.  Also present: 3 female/juvenile Goosanders, 9 Common Terns, at least 20 Swifts through south, 2 Wigeon, a Little Ringed Plover, and the obligatory male adult Kingfisher.
Great White Egret Landing
 In Flight
 Repose
 Comparison with Little Egret
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 Green Sandpiper
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 Record shot of Wood Sandpiper
 Kingfisher
 Kingfisher
 Red Admiral (c) 2017 Ben Coneyworth
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 Rampant Hull City Supporters
[aka Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars]