Saturday, 11 October 2014

Tophill Low Nature Reserve

Tophill Low Nature Reserve
Tophill Low, Watton, Near Driffield

There were high hopes of a cracking early morning when I set off for THL this morning, with the sun rising over the fields on the way over the Wold's from Scarborough to Watton, but poor visibility was endured for most of the morning from Driffield onwards, which limited viewing in the short time I had on site, but still all was not lost as shown below.

All morning from the North Marsh hide Water Rails squealed out, with at least 2 on show at various times, a female Roe Deer wandered on the banks of the river Hull and Long Tailed, Blue, Great and Marsh Tits, Robins and Wrens flitted about the brushes on the left side of the hide and a Male Kestrel kept us company for half an hour or so in the trees at the far end of the marsh, along with a flyby of a Sparrow Hawk and a Jay.

No otters were see which was one of the trip hopes and with the onset of Autumn, I was only privileged to have 2 flybys by Kingfishers and one on short fishing trip, but at a distant, from the far side red beds.

After a good couple of hours or so a wander through the north of the reserve saw plenty of various Tits, Chaff and Goldfinch and loads of Goldcrest, with a great viewing of a Stoat taking either a Mouse or Bank Vole, who would have being trying to have a free feed under the bird feeders on the north side of the reserve.

All in all as usual a great few hours on the reserve, leaving time for a wander with Adele back in Scarborough and the sight of 11 Whooper Swans over the North Bay and Castle.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

North Bay, Scarborough

North Bay, Scarborough
Late September 2014
North Bay Beach, Scarborough

Following a heavy mist for about 3 days, I was happy for the best part of the week to see a mixed group of little waders on the North Bay Beach, Scarborough for a few days, feeding well in-between flitting away from dog walkers and joggers (who would run and walk dogs readily between me with a camera and the birds 20 feet away with out giving a dam!!!)

Mixed Flock


 Ringed Plover


RSPB Blacktoft Sands

RSPB Blacktoft Sands
Blacktoft Sands

In a look for a bit of a different day me and Adele ventured south to RSPB Blacktoft sand our first visit to the reserve and were quite impressed with the people we met and the hides all facing away from the sun providing good visibility during the day.

A favourite hide was the Marshland hide which proved great views of Snipe (at least 40+), Ruff, Dunlin and the little star of the day a Pectoral Sandpiper which was very distant but viewable through scopes and decent binoculars. Other good waders seen were Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank and Redshank.

On the Wildfowl side, there were Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveller, Widgeon, Tufted, Shell and Teal Ducks, two flocks of Pink footed Geese overhead and a number Little Grebe dotted about

Throughout the day from all hides Marsh Harriers scanned the reed beds without coming really close, but still great to see.

Flitting about from the hides but not close where a group of Goldfinches, a pair of Stonechat, Yellow and Pied Wagtails and the great sight of at least 2 groups (into the teens) of Bearded Tits.

Unusually to us as well were Polish Wild Ponies around the scrapes instead of cattle to keep the reeds and grass at bay and form excellent feeding beds.

All in all a great few hours on site with the added bonus of a quick stop at Numbernholme on the way back to Scarborough to see at least 10 Red Kites, 2 Common Buzzards, 3 Kestrel and a number of Green Woodpeckers



Pectoral Sandpiper


Polish Wild Ponies