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Sunday, 29 July 2012


I decided on half a day at Tophill Low today with the North Marsh offering such goodies as Water Rail, Kingfisher, Grass Snake, Water Vole and if really lucky Otter, however it always looks good on paper and the reality was none of the above were showing. I gave it a bit of time seeing a small party of young Tits and Willow Warblers move through, a Little Egret fly along the river and a Marsh Frog swim across the pool but that was about it, I decided to have a walk to the new area they’ve created, Helmpholme Meadow and there were plenty of Insects buzzing around in the morning sunshine including Gatekeeper and Marbled White Butterflies plus Southern Hawker, Black Tailed Skimmer, Four Spotted Chaser and Ruddy Darter Dragonflies, at the new area a small pool there hosted a couple more Little Egrets but nothing else, looks good for the future though, on the way back I checked out a couple of grassy mounds and managed to find some Grass Snakes basking on them so at least I got one target species in the end.
a family of Grey Partridges on the approach road

young Willow Warblers



Marbled White

Ruddy Darter

a couple of Little Egrets on the new pool

a young Grass Snake

a bigger one on the next mound

popped his head out

difficult to get him all in, the head's in the bottom left corner

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Not a Semi at Nosterfield

It was forecast a nice day on Sunday and with nothing else on offer I decided to head up to Wykeham to try and photograph Turtle Doves yet again, the morning though was cool and cloudy and again there was no sign of any Doves at the Nursery fields, a Green Woodpecker and Spotted Flycatcher were hanging around but they eluded the camera as did the two Stoats that ran across the track. Then I got a phone call from Mark informing me that an adult Semi-palmated Sandpiper had been found at Lingham Lakes, Nosterfield, after a bit of deliberation I decided I ought to go and see it but upon arrival I was told it had been re-identified and was in fact a summer plumaged Sanderling, I suppose it was the classic case of a bird out of context being turned in to something its not, there was also a good selection of other Waders and stuff present at the Lake and as I was there I thought I might as well go have a look around the main reserve, it was fairly quiet though highlights included a Buzzard over, a Sparrowhawk taking a Blackbird (though not very good for the Blackbird I suppose) and as I got back to the car park I heard an adult and juvenile Mediterranean Gull had just been found with the Black Headed's on the main lake, a local told me a pair had been present in Spring then had moved on when the water levels rose but must have bred somewhere nearby, I called off at Yearsley Woods on the way home but it was a bit late in the day and a Turtle Dove flying over was about the best of it. 

Marsh Woundwort

adult and juv Med Gulls flying over Black Headed colony

juv Med on the water

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Yellow Legged at North Cave

I was out after work on Wednesday and had originally been considering Blacktoft Sands but a lack of petrol prompted me to go to the nearer North Cave Wetlands, the reserve was generally quiet, apart from the breeding stuff a couple of Common Sandpipers were the best of it but the weather was better than expected with a fair bit of sunshine so I was happy doing a bit of photography. I’d noticed from the sightings board that a 2cy Yellow Legged Gull first seen a couple of weeks ago was still being seen on and off and after being teased by a Lesser Black Backed in the afternoon  I had an interesting looking Gull fly in during the early evening, it looked to drop in to Island Lake so I back tracked to the Turret Hide and found it was the Yellow Legged Gull that had dropped in for a drink and to bathe.

juv Little Grebe

Tufted brood

LBB Gull

Looked quite pale in some light

Wasted a lot of time trying to photograph these

more Oystercatchers

interesting looking Gull

proved to be the 2cy Yellow Legged

fending off Black Headed's

several pairs of Common Terns also