Because of terrible weather forecasts Friday & Tuesday's sessions were changed to Tophill Low. In both mornings we went south & saw the large selection of birds on South Marsh East and fewer birds on the other areas of water. Watton Borrow Pits didn't have as many wildfowl as usual, but on every visit the Barn Owl was seen. It flew silently right in front of the hide and at times appeared almost golden against the water. Yesterday also we had several good views of at least one Kingfisher, and possibly 2. It was too quick for any of the 3 photographers to whip out their cameras in time. On Friday 24 Curlews were present, but this had increased to 49 on Tuesday. On neither day could we locate the Redhead Smew
In the afternoon we went north as far as the Angus MacBean hide. On the way yesterday we saw a Goldcrest, and a Treecreeper near the D Reservoir car park hide. There was very little to see at North Marsh, although a female Sparrowhawk eventually flew through. At Hempholme Meadows we saw 5 Little Egrets on Friday, but only 2 yesterday. There were also 2 Oystercatchers on the floodbank and a few Greylag Geese.
Every area of bushes and trees appeared to contain Long-tailed Tits, with the most obliging pair showing near the L-shaped hide.
On Friday the strong southerly wind that the wildfowl was concentrated quite near the car park hide. On Tuesday the light was a lot better, but because of the light winds the birds were dispersed over the whole reservoir. On both Friday and Tuesday mornings a snatch of the song of a Cetti's Warbler was heard fleetingly in roughly the same part of the reserve. On Friday we waited another 30 minutes for it to be repeated, without success. Of course we didn't manage to see a view of the bird at all!
Roe Deer Buck with Midges
2 Recent Incomers to East Yorkshire - which do you prefer?
It was during the afternoon that I discovered that we may have left Watton Borrow Pits hide about 10 minutes too early at 11 am. Apparently, not long after this time an Otter scrambled down the bank near the Sand Martin box and then was in full view for a quarter of an hour, as it headed in an easterly direction. Unfortunately, it was too distant for decent photographs, but must have still been a sight to see by the 2 witnesses. Nothing was written in the log book up to the time I left, so I'm just putting this sighting on record here. Apologies to the Tuesday morning people who read this.