Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Visit to Tophill Low

 We went on a trip to Tophill Low in the morning. Even before coming out of the car in the car park we had about to 15 bird species, as flocks of finches, a a partridge, a pheasant and a lot of singing birds, greeted us on arrival. A Great Spotted Woodpecker also drummed near the car park. From the visitor centre feeding station we watched a Male Sparrowhawk, which sat opposite low on the hedge for over 20 minutes and gave us great views (not so great photos). The pond next to the visitor centre was frozen.
Male Sparrowhawk
Flock of Goldfinches
 We watched the 'D' reservoir over the hide. I should have brought the telescope as many birds were quite distant, but we saw Goldeneye, Wigeon, Pochard, Coot and three Mute Swans. Flocks of greylags landed on the reservoir. A pair of Peregrines glided high over the reservoir.
A tour of the hides on the East Marsh and a peek on the 'O' resevoir were not very productive as the sun glared into our eyes and the views were too distant.
Female Dufted Duck

For a map of the reserve click here.

Bird list
1.     Blackbird
2.     Blue Tit
3.     Carrion Crow
4.     Chaffinch
5.     Coal Tit, singing
6.     Collared Dove
7.     Common Gull
8.     Coot
9.     Cormorant
10. Dunnock
11. Feral Pigeon
12. Gadwall
13. Goldeneye, 'D' reservoir
14. Goldfinch
15. Great Spotted Woodpecker
16. Great Tit, singing
17. Greenfinch
18. Greylag Goose
19. Herring Gull
20. Jackdaw
21. Long-tailed Tit
22. Magpie
23. Mallard
24. Moorhen
25. Mute Swan
26. Peregrine, pair 'D' reservoir.
27. Pheasant
28. Pochard
29. Red-legged Partridge, approach road
30. Robin, singing
31. Rook
32. Shelduck
33. Sparrowhawk, male, FS
34. Tufted Duck
35. Wigeon
36. Woodpigeon
37. Wren (up to here in Tophill Low).
38. Kestrel (near roundabout to Dunswell)
39. Black-headed gull
40. Starling (Hull)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Humber Bridge Bullfinches

This morning we went for a walk along Hessle Foreshore and the Humber Bridge Country Park. It was breezy and cold in the shore, where we watched a flock of Turnstones, a pair of Redshanks and a flock of resting Dunlins on the shore.
It was milder once in the shelter of the trees, but the paths were very icy with the thaw well underway and the walking treacherous. We had brought some seed mix with us for the bird feeding station.
Not many people had been today and there was no seed on the feeders. The birds were quite hungry, and they literally pounced on us as we put seeds on the feeders. Blue tits, Robins, Great Tits, Chaffinches, a few Blackbirds and a Long-tailed Tit fed in a colourful merry go round from branches to the feeders. Occasionally, all birds left at once, to come back after a few seconds.
After a few minutes, we heard the unmistakable calls of Bullfinches. First a female on a tree, then males arrived and flew down. We had lovely views of the Bullfinches, which were firsts for the kids. At some point three males were sitting on a row in one of the feeders. The photos don't make them justice, they are much pinkier and brighter in real life.
Bold robin
Male Chaffinch
male and female Bullfinch
Three male Bullfinches
 A male Bullfinch feeding
A new Butterfly panel next to a meadow

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Westwood in the snow

We went to the Westwood this morning. It was much warmer than yesterday and the snow was melting fast, but there was still plenty for snowy views and sledging. There was a strange light, like it was a sunset.
Some of the oaks near the Burton Bushes seem to have lost some big branches lately, maybe with the strong winds or the snow.
We watched some rooks feeding on the ground. Nearby, they were getting ready for nesting, sitting on or near their nests.
 The Black Mill
 A view of Beverley Minster

 The snow makes it easy to see what animals using the area, as tracks show up nicely. Heres some rabbit tracks.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Arctic Pearson Park

It was freezing cold all day yesterday and I headed to Pearson Park on the hope of finding some winter thrushes.
 I popped to the Wildlife garden and before long I spotted a Redwing feeding on the ground under some hazels. 
 The tracks of a hopping squirrel were nicely marked on the pristine snow.
 The pond was completely frozen over
A Female Chaffinch
Moorhen feeding
 Despite the cold, spring is on its way and song was in the air. Robin singing...
 ...and a Stock Dove singing from the cypress near the conservatory.
This pair of Greylag geese allowed me some close approximation. Also photo on top.
The female was preening and showed off the patterned feathers of her neck.
I was watching a Blackbird feeding when I noticed something tiny moving fast on the background. It was a House Wood Mouse, darting back and forth to a place where food is regularly put out for the birds. Can you see it?
I managed to get quite close to the mouse.

UPDATE: WABber Wild-Woman confirmed it was a Wood Mouse.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

North Cave Wetlands with a dusting of snow

We ventured out in the freezing temperatures for a winter walk in North Cave Wetlands. Clear skies and a breeze strong enough to make you feel the biting cold. The feeders were teeming with flocks of chirping Tree Sparrows and Chaffinches. Most of the wildfowl on the west side of the reserve concentrated on a patch of water free of ice. Highlights were a couple of Buzzards gliding over us and a Kestrel hovering over the Turret hide.

Bird list

1. Black-headed Gull 
2. Blackbird 
3. Blue Tit 
4. Buzzard 
5. Carrion Crow 
6. Chaffinch 
7. Collared Dove 
8. Common Gull 
9. Coot 
10. Dunnock
11. Feral Pigeon 
12. Goldfinch 
13. Great Tit 
14. Greylag Goose 
15. Herring Gull 
16. Jackdaw 
17. Kestrel 
18. Long-tailed Tit 
19. Magpie 
20. Mallard 
21. Moorhen 
22. Pheasant 
23. Robin 
24. Rook 
25. Starling 
26. Teal 
27. Tree Sparrow 
28. Tufted Duck
29. Wigeon
30. Woodpigeon