Thursday, 18 January 2018

In the Pink: 3 Days at Tophill Low

On Tuesday we had to switch to Tophill Low because extremely strong winds were forecast.  We encountered 52 species south of the D Reservoir area.  That is a record figure for this term in only 2 hours.  Birds we saw included: Glaucous Gull (lifer for all), 2 Pintail, drake Goosander, Kingfisher, Siskin, Marsh Tit, 2 Marsh Harriers, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Shoveler, Shelduck, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Curlew, Redshank, Cetti's Warbler (h), Water Rail (h), 2 Sparrowhawks chasing each other, Kestrel & Fieldfare.    
Male Siskin
 Female Siskin
 Silhouette of Marsh Harrier
 Drake Goosander
 Record shot of Pair of Pintail
 Drake Pintail
 Record shot of Glaucous Gull
Wednesday's classes were also changed to Tophill Low.  Again, the morning group saw 52 species, although extra species this time incl: a Black-tailed Godwit, Lesser Redpolls, and Golden Plovers.  The Glaucous Gull wasn't spotted until the afternoon.  It was on D reservoir again.  This time the light was better, and the photos weren't taken through glass. 
Bullfinch (c) 2018 Tony Robinson
 Female Bullfinch (c) 2018 Tony Robinson
 Great Spotted Woodpecker (c) 2018 Tony Robinson
 Pygmy Shrew?
 Lesser Redpoll

 Glaucous Gull - a Pinkish Gull?
We were always due to visit Tophill on Thursday.  Rather cruelly the morning group didn't manage to get anywhere near the 52 species recorded by both the Tuesday am and Wednesday am groups.  There was no sign of the pair of Pintail, a Kingfisher or Golden Plovers.  The Cetti's Warbler refused to sing, and the Water Rails were silent.  The Glaucous Gull was present for the morning group, as were the Goosander, the Black-tailed Godwit, and the Redpolls.  2 Marsh Harriers west flew past South Marsh West, and were definitely interlacting. The sunbathing dozy Roe Deer were a nice surprise, making the most of the Foxes usual bank.
Cormorant - in breeding condition 
 Mixed - including Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Shoveler, Wigeon & Teal
 Roe Deer
 Lesser Redpoll

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