Saturday, 24 March 2018

Red Kites with Everything!

On Tuesday we went on to the wolds.  It was raining as we were arriving, but luckily it soon stopped, and the rest of the morning stayed sunny and fairly warm.  It was windy, but it was possible to find shelter and the bird sightings were better than expected.  The morning started quietly with Greenfinches heard in the car park, and on our walk.  Then we had a Roe Deer followed by a covey of Partridges and then a Buzzard flew up from a post and into the wood, before flying off again.
Red Kite
Roe Deer
Red-legged Partridge
 Buzzard
When we had almost finished our walk we heard the constant yaffling of a Green Woodpecker, which was found clinging to the side of a Larch.   It climbed to the top of the tree before flying past us and into the wood where another one had been calling from.
Green Woodpecker
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
Not long after the Green Woodpecker we had enjoyed our best views of Red Kites.  The first one appeared to be swooping down to collect nesting material.  Then they were seen mating, but the rest of the time they were soaring around - as many as 5 were seen, and several Buzzards.  The mating we saw was later declared to be the first breeding activity witnessed in East Yorkshire in 2018. Then higher than the Kites a Peregrine flew quickly over the site and headed off southward.
Red Kite
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Collecting nesting material?
 Mating
 Ditto
 Coitus interruptus
The Cosy Couple
 Ditto
 Red Kite
Silhouette of Peregrine
On the journey back I was surprised to see the female Grey Wagtail, which gave good views along the stream, the weir and the pool.  I wasn't expecting to see it, especially after the very cold weather at the weekend.
Grey Wagtail
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
On the way back we saw and heard two Marsh Tits and a Mistle Thrush. 
Marsh Tit
 Mistle Thrush
On Wednesday we went to Tophill Low as Potteric Carr has been very disappointing this term.  We saw more than 50 species.  It was very cold first thing, with some areas of water having a thin coating of ice.  At SMW we saw quite a few Reed Buntings getting a little frisky in the strong sunshine.  There was no sign of last week's Marsh Harriers.  At the other end of the marsh Anthony spotted a well-concealed Water Rail, which eventually was seen by all.  
Male Reed Bunting
Ditto 
 Record Shot of Water Rail
 Shelduck v. Shoveler
Curlew (c) 2018 Aileen Urquhart
 Cormorants
Cormorants (c) 2018 Aileen Urquhart
 Cormorants and Black-headed Gulls (c) 2018 Aileen Urquhart
 Pintail nr Curlews 
 Goosander
Record shot of Scaup
 Great White Egret
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Great White Egret and Heron
 Heron
 nest-building
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Heron
 Ditto
 Nest-building
 Ditto
Drake Goldeneye (c) 2018 Tony Robinson
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Female Goldeneye (c) 2018 Tony Robinson
Goldeneyes & Greylag (c) 2018 Aileen Urquhart
Teal (c) 2018 Aileen Urquhart
Pied Wagtail
 Goldcrest
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
Roe Deer (c) 2018 Tony Robinson
 Ditto
Fastest Bird on site
 Chinook
On Thursday we were able to go to Fairburn Ings as planned.  It was bright at first, but there was a very cold wind, which was stronger than the day before.  There were the usual suspects around the feeding station and the first screen.  One Pheasant blew himself up including the wattles on his face to try and show off to a totally unimpressed hen.  
Pheasant
 Reed Bunting
 Robin
Robin (c) 2018 Margaret Richardson
Reed Bunting (c) 2018 Margaret Richardson
Greenfinch (c) 2018 Margaret Richardson
Little Egret (c) 2018 Margaret Richardson


Shortly after the Kingfisher screen (no Kingfishers) Elaine spotted a Scaup on a lake surrounded by slag heaps.  There was a little grebe here too, but the other birds only included Mute Swans, Black-headed gulls and a Common Gull in summer plumage.
Scaup
As we returned a Red Kite drifted over the visitor centre.  This species has now been seen on three consecutive days at three very different venues.
Red Kite
We shared cars to another part of the reserve, and again had close views of a pair of Peregrines, including a most intimate encounter.
Peregrine
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Mating Peregrines
 Ditto
 Disengaging
 Ditto
 Ditto
At the hide there were fewer wildfowl and waders than last week, but we eventually saw a Little Egret (in the afternoon), plus Shoveler, Teal, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebes, Wigeon, Herons and Cormorants.  After lunch 3 Goosanders had also dropped in.   
Shoveler
 Goosander
 Highland Cattle
 King Alfred's Cakes
Puffballs (c) 2018 Margaret Richardson

On Friday we repeated Tuesday's venue, so a lot of the wildlife was very similar.  We didn't see any mating Red Kites, but the Grey Wagtail had now found a male partner.  A Treecreeper was also located, and one of the Red-Legged Partridges was closer than earlier in the week. 
Tree Sparrows (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
 Goldcrest (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
 Ditto
 Ditto
Song Thrush (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
Tree Sparrow 
Tree Sparrow (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
 Ditto
 Ditto
Green Woodpecker (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
Red-Legged Partridge (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
Mistle Thrush
 Redwing
Redwings (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
Treecreeper (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
 Grey Wagtail (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
 Male Grey Wagtail (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
Red Kite (c) 2018 Jane Robinson
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
 Ditto
Buzzard

 Red Kite
 Ditto
Buzzard - sat exactly where it was 2 hours earlier 
(c) 2018 Jane Robinson
So, for the first time we saw saw Red Kites every day last week, most of these were in East Yorkshire, but we also saw one in West Yorkshire.  It just shows you how well they are doing locally at the moment.  Don't forget if you see evidence of breeding activity, collecting nesting material etc in a new area, please inform Yorkshire Red Kites.

1 comment:

Jane Robinson said...

Love the herons and goldcrests Tuesday