Sunday, 20 October 2019

Autumn Weather Slowly Improves

On Tuesday we managed to go to Killingholme on a cloudy day, so the waders- Black-tailed Godwits, Knot and Dunlin - were not just silhouettes.  Also here were c.200 Avocets, and a large wisp of Snipe. A very handsome male Marsh Harrier flew over one of the islands, but left without a kill.
Bearded Tit - see Friday 
Black-tailed Godwit
Grey Plovers
We walked along the riverbank to find Grey Plovers, which were new.  There were many more Turnstones than a fortnight ago, and as we reached the furthest extent of our walk a massive flock of Black-tailed Godwits.  There were a few solitary Curlews, plus plenty of Teal and Shelduck. 

 Ringed Plover
 Black-tailed Godwit
On the return journey two dark Roe Deer were spotted, and in the same field a smart male Stonechat hunted for insects. 
On Wednesday a very wet morning was forecast, so we switched to North Cave Wetlands. We waited for the Bittern, but we had no luck this time.  However, the sounds of Bearded Tits were heard, and glimpses of them could just be made in the reedbed.  The Kingfisher flew past a few times.
Long-tailed Tit (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Long-tailed Tit (c) 2019 Tony Robinson
 Heron (c) 2019 Tony Robinson
 Robin (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Cormorant (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Black-headed Gulls (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Greylag Geese (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Highland Cow (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Lapwing (c) 2019 Symon Fraser
 Record short of distant Snipe (c) 2019 Symon Fraser
 Record shot of distant Mandarin (c) 2019 Symon Fraser
Mandarin (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Mandarin (c) 2019 Tony Robinson
We walked round the whole reserve, but the Redwings just wouldn’t sit and pose.  There had been a big clear out of Chiffchaffs since last week.  Just before the end Louise spotted the Mandarin, which was seen even better at lunch time.  Apparently, we saw just over 50 species
A distant Pink-footed Goose
 2 distant Kestrels
On Thursday we went to the East coast.  It was high tide when we arrived, so we went to Kilnsea Wetlands.  There were hundreds of Knot huddled together with fewer Dunlin, Redshank and wildfowl.  Shelduck were hauled out of the water with a few Teal scattered about.  Later, some Wigeon arrived from Beacon Ponds.  The whole time we were in the area there was the clipped sounds of Skylark contact calls.  A few Meadow Pipits flew over with Linnets heard and seen more rarely.   
Golden Plovers
Island of Knot
Great White Egret (c) 2019 Paul Green
Pied Wagtail
Little Egret

We walked to Beacon Ponds, where Bruce spotted a few Little Grebes and more Wigeon.  There were plenty of Redwings in the hedgerows with a few Song Thrushes and Blackbirds.  On our walk down Beacon Lane Jane and myself saw a female Ring Ouzel.  
Grey Plover
Grey Plover (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
 Little Egret (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
 Starlings (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
 Gordon and Birthday Nuthatch (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
In the afternoon there was no point going to Kilnsea Wetlands, so we walked along the triangle.  
Record shot of Flying Redwing
On Friday we caught up with Alkborough despite the chance of a shower and predicted winds of over 10 mph.  Bearded Tits could soon be heard above the wind, and a group of 4 came down on to the path for grit ahead of us.  Another group of 4 flew south over our heads, and yet another quarter dropped into the reeds ahead of us, and again came out to munch on some grit.
Bearded Tit
Collecting Grit 
 Female/Immature Bearded Tit
Bearded Tits Lining Up (c) 2019 Paul Green
Male Bearded Tit
 Collecting Grit (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
 Craning to Check (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
 Female/Immature Bearded Tit (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
There was a lot more water in front of the hide than is customary.  There were waders but they were all huddled up and the reeds meant that the whole bodies couldn’t be seen.  It was possible to discern that most of them were Black-tailed Godwits and a few Redshanks.  At one point they were flushed and 2 Greenshanks were seen, but rather surprisingly they were silent. Some Snipe were close to the hide with more flying past at various times.  A drake Pintail in eclipse was the pick of the wildfowl.   
Snipe (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
When we walked towards the Trent we could see large flocks of Golden Plovers and Lapwings all heading to a flooded inland field.  When we reached the corner there was a patient Heron in the normal Kingfisher location, but the latter was closer to us in consequence.  The flooded sheep field had a large number of Canada and Greylag Geese with smaller numbers of Pink-footed Geese.  One red bill stood out among the black bills of the Canada Geese - it was a Black Swan!

We also heard a very loud Cetti’s Warbler singing near a notice board.  We the. Saw a dark shape moving at the back of the hedge, which was our only view of this elusive species.
Drake Pintail in eclipse

On Tuesday afternoon I went looking in Beverley Westwood's woodland to search for interesting fungi.
Beech woodland
 Birch Polypore
 Ear Fungus
 Fairies' Bonnets

 Shaggy Parasol
 Shaggy Pholiota from above
 Shaggy Pholiota
 Sulphur Tuft
 Turkey Tails
 Fresh Turkey Tails

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