For the final Wednesday of the term we should have been at Flamborough, but the forecast was so ropey we switched to Tophill Low. There were reports of 2 Quail the previous day & a Hobby nearly catching a Kingfisher, so hopes were high. The forecast heavy showers never materialised with just a fairly short shower when we were in the North Marsh hide in the afternoon. From this vantage point we had great views of Reed Warblers, and a singing Reed Bunting with more distant views of a skydiving male Sedge Warbler. A Red Kite was soaring on the other side of the River Hull, and there were some fighting Moorhens, but the Kingfisher and Hobby let us down during both sessions.
We followed the path round to the north end, and those having their coffee break in the hide had a Barn Owl fly past with a vole in its talons. Meanwhile the remainder of us repaired to the new Hempholme Meadows hide. Here, we could see 2 more Barn Owls hunting over the vegetation on the left. There was also a singing Sedge Warbler in the area and a male Whitethroat. A pair of Oystercatchers flew over the site, but the highlight was a Kingfisher which flew round the largest pool 3 times before heading off north.
Record shot of Kingfisher (c) 2012 Tony Robinson
We walked to the extreme northerly point of the site, where there were both male & female Barn Owls hunting, and we saw Sand Martins, Swallows and Swifts, but were unable to hear any Quail. The afternoon was pretty much a rerun of the morning, but we had closer views of a Sedge Warbler in North Marsh, we saw many more Speckled Woods, a couple of Meadow Browns, and a few Common Blues. 2 Grass Snakes were spied on the grassy mound with one in particular allowing everyone to crowd around and get point-blank views.
Bee Orchid (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
Common Spotted Orchid (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
Heron (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart