Friday, 14 June 2019

Even Better Weather for Ducks

The weather forecast was terrible for Tuesday, so the class was cancelled.  However, only light drizzle took place, so we could have gone ahead to somewhere with plenty of hides.  This is what we did on Wednesday, especially as Tophill Low has some great birds present.
Spoonbill
A record number of Swifts were above the car park.
 Swifts
On the 'O' Reservoir wall there were at least 2 Yellow Wagtails and a "Channel" Wagtail.
Yellow Wagtail

 "Channel" Wagtail
 ditto
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"Channel" Wagtail (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart

We reached the new photography hide and had excellent views of a Little Egret, several species of duck, and a Common Tern.  A total of four Kingfishers were present.  They entertained the crowd by often diving into the water for fish.  
Male Kingfisher
 Kingfishers
Kingfishers (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Kingfisher
 Little Egret
Little Egret (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
ditto
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Photobombing Kingfisher (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
Little Egret (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
ditto
Common Tern
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 with young Pike!
 Common Tern
 Ditto
Common Tern (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Preening Common Tern (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
 ditto
 another catch (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
Spoonbill (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
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 Spoonbills (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
ditto 
 Spoonbill (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
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Spoonbill & Plastic bag (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
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In the afternoon a scruffy Goosander was in front of the hide.  It seems to be transitioning into adult drake plumage. 
Goosander - moulting into adult drake plumage
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Goosander (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
Tufted Duck (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
 Lapwing & Gadwall (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
 Moulting Gadwall (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
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Several Lapwings were in evidence, and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers chased each other around the marsh.
Little Ringed Plover
 Little Grebe
Buzzard - drying its wings
 Reed Warbler
 ditto
 Coot
 Bee Orchids
Bee Orchid (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Bee Orchids (c) 2019 Maggie Bruce
Stinkhorn
Stinkhorn (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart

 Dog Stinkhorn
 Plagues of Flies above the trees in the car park
 Foxglove flowers
 Strange Jelly
The Red Baron
On Thursday we went ahead with MSQ despite one member expecting it to have been cancelled and the fairly dodgy forecast.  It rained all the way there, which didn’t bode well, but stopped almost as soon as we arrived.  This was more than fortuitous because throughout the day the worst rain poured down when we were in one of the two hides which are on site.
Red-Crested Pochard
 ditto
 Shelduck
The Common Tern chicks had grown considerably, which was no wonder, when one of the adults brought in a large fish, which seemed to overwhelm one of the chicks at first.  It had to fly away with it three times and bring it back before it could finally be swallowed. 
Common Tern
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 Record Shot of Chiffchaff
Maggies’ Walk resulted in 3 Drake Red-Crested Pochards and a female.  In the afternoon a pair of Egyptian Geese and 4 or more of their goslings were also present. 
Egyptian Geese
From the first hide there were plenty of Sand Martins, and in the afternoon an ordinary Pochard, 3 of the Red-Crested variety, plus another pair with a leucistic female. There were Shelduck, Tufted Duck a Cormorant in a tree, and the Reed Warblers were more active under the hide than the previous week.
The heathland had a couple of Jays on it, which were quite elusive, and feeding on the ground.
 Jay
We found dragonflies, damselflies, beetles and other insects hiding in or on various leaves, presumably waiting for the weather to improve again. 
Large Skipper
 Large Skipper
Large Skipper (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
Longhorn Beetle
 Cinnabar
 Damselfly
 Caterpillar
 Scorpion-fly
 ditto
Scorpion-fly (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
Carpet Moth

 Skimmer Species (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
We heard bubbling female Cuckoos both am and pm, but only after lunch did we actually see a quickly departing hepatic female. 
Exuvia
 ditto
 Royal Fern
 Spiders' Web
 Water Lily
Petty Whin (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
Once again the forecast for Friday was not good enough to risk the wolds location, so we went to Tophill Low again.  The Hare was on the approach road.
Hare
 This time one of the star birds near the photographic hide was this Little Ringed Plover.
Little Ringed Plover
 ditto
Little Ringed Plover (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
 Ditto
The Goiosander was still present as were the two Spoonbills, and plenty of Little Egrets.
Goosander
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Male Kingfisher
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Kingfisher (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Spoonbill
 ditto
Spoonbill (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Yellow Wagtail
Male Yellow Wagtail 
 Female Yellow Wagtail
 Sand Martins
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Female Bullfinch
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Reed Warblers (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
 Record shot of Whitethroat 
 Wren
 Wren's nest
Wren on its way to nest (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
ditto
Bee Orchid 
 Hemp Nettle (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Yellow Loosestrife (c) 2019 Jane Robinson 
 Red Admiral


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