On Wednesday we caught up with our long delayed trip over the Humber Bridge to a location Brian had never visited before. Some people shared cars from the Humber Bridge, others shared cars from the small car park at the back of the village church down the sharp incline to the tiny reserve car park. Almost immediately Anthony spotted a hunting Marsh Harrier which sent up some Friday unmentionables, and a tightly packed flock of Teal. There were no sign of Otter prints this time. We made it to the hide without seeing anything startling. From here there was a large flock of Black-tailed Godwits roosting in the shallows, and eventually we found 2 Spotted Redshank amongst them.
Also here were Teal, plenty of Shoveler, a drake Pintail with 2 females dancing attendance, a few Curlews and a single Ruff (in the afternoon). Also after lunch 11 Avocets flew in, and were a nice surprise for the pm crowd. There were no Little Egrets on the mud on either session, and the Kingfisher was only glimpsed by a couple in the afternoon, after the old misery left the hide. A couple of Meadow Pipits arrived in the morning and landed next to a Reed Bunting right by the side of the hide. The best sighting early on was a small flock of waders (Dunlin) suddenly taking to the air being harried by a female Merlin - she failed to make a kill
Bearded Tit (c) 2013 Tony Robinson
Pair of Beardies (c) 2013 Tony Robinson
Showing his Moustache Off to Best Effect
As we walked back to the junction Reed Buntings and Skylarks flew over, the latter being too high to be actually seen. We took the 90 degree turn, and hadn't been walking too long before we heard the distinctive 'ping-ping' coming from the reedbed. We were then treated to close views of a pair of Bearded Tits. 20 minutes later Tony and Anthony who tarried a while during the cafe break had similar confiding views of a different pair.
unBearded Tit [female]
We carried on and saw a charm of Goldfinches feeding in a large clump of Burdock despite the presence of a nearby Kestrel. We passed the cafeteria hide, and scaled the staircase to the new stilted hide. There wasn't a great deal to see here apart from Lapwings, but in the afternoon a massive flock of Golden Plovers had dropped in. A pair of Roe Deer were partially concealed by the reeds. Later, Anthony spotted a small flock of Golden Plover moving swiftly wrest, followed by another larger flock. A large group of Canada Geese were seen grazing on the large flat prairie area, which only a few weeks ago had been home to a herd of large red cattle.
Golden plovers - at rest
Golden plovers - in action
As we were leaving Anthony looked back and saw a Green Woodpecker flying over the stilted hide. In all Brian logged 42 species in the morning with Jay, Stock Dove and Great Spotted Woodpecker added after lunch. Overall it was a successful day in what can be an incredibly bleak location.