Thursday, 20 June 2013

It's a Mixed Up "Summer"

Yesterday we ventured into Holderness as far as the roads currently permit. In the car park in the afternoon before the session started the participants commented that they had already seen more birds than they saw last week! We began down Beacon Lane, where the House Martins had moved in since last week. Last Tuesday they hadn't returned, yesterday many of the nests had been refurbished and there were plenty of individuals either in occupation or flying around.
Female Swallow
Whooper Swan
 Wall [Brown]
A few Greenfinches were singing their awful song just before the wooden gate. The rest of Beacon Lane was pretty quiet with just a few Wall Browns avoiding being photographed. The Linnets seemed to be almost absent, but we did hear and see a couple in the afternoon. We had quite a few views of Common Whitethroats on their way to their nests, as they tried to avoid leading Magpies to the exact location. Then a Lesser Whitethroat came and buzzed us for a couple of minutes. The cattle field held performing Skylarks and Meadow Pipits, and a Reed Bunting was singing from a concealed perch. 
 Sandwich Terns
A dead Gannet lay on the beach, which may have been the same one Maggie photographed last week. Then we reached the hide. There were a lot more Sandwich Terns than last week, but we could only see one Little Tern within the electrified fence. There was a Ringed Plover drying itself in there too, but no sign of last week's chicks. 2 Avocets were seen on apparent nests along a thin strip of land. 5 Dunlins in breeding plumage were present, but were chased off by a Ringed Plover. A pair of Oystercatchers were still present, as were a few Little Egrets. An immature Heron came and hunted for a few minutes, but its time was punctuated by dive bombing attacks from a Little Tern. n the afternoon a flock of 7 Grey Plovers flew through heading north, whilst a winter plumage Knot arrived, and gave its wings a stretch. On the return journey a pair of Cuckoos were the best birds seen. Although there was a chilly northerly wind, the hedgerows on either side of the lane trapped some warmer air, so a Cardinal Beetle and a Red Admiral were seen as we neared our starting point. 
 Little Tern
 Record Shot of Cuckoo
 Cuckoo (c) 2013 Tony Robinson
Cardinal Beetle
Cardinal Beetle (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
Orange-Tip (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart
Orange Tip
 Whooper Swan (c) 2013 Tony Robinson
 Avocet (c) 2013 Tony Robinson
 Avocet (c) 2013 Tony Robinson
 Blue-tailed Damselfly
 Brown-tailed Moth Caterpillar
 Avocet Chick
 Avocet & Chick
 Small Heath
We got back to the car park where in the morning a Whooper Swan was spotted flying north over the caravan Park. It was later relocated by Tony Robinson between Kilnsea Wetlands and Beacon Ponds. We travelled to Kilnsea Wetlands, but last week's Pink-footed Geese and single Brent Goose had moved on. There were at least 2 brand new Avocet families with others sat on nests, 3 Little Egrets, plus Shelducks and Mallards. At lunch time I went on to Canal Scrape where most entertainment was provided by a pair of Swallows. A drake Shoveler dropped in, but it was attacked by a broody Coot. It then hauled itself out of the water to join the moulting drake Mallards on the grassy bank. 
 Reed Bunting
 Snooty Cow
 Environment Agency Day Out
In the  afternoon after locating the Whooper Swan Tony & Anthony tried Sammy's Point where the bird life was few and far between, but they did enjoy a close encounter with a Roe Deer.  
Roe Deer (c) 2013 Tony Robinson
 Roe Deer (c) 2013 Tony Robinson

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