Sunday, 26 August 2012

Hornsea Mere and the moulting Mute Swans

We visited Hornsea mere today. After a mostly cloudy morning threatening rain, the day became much sunnier by the time we got to the lake. We walked around the point and then hired a rowing boat and rowed around Swan Island. The first surprise was the numbers of Mute Swans in the lake, I had never seen so many together. There were many in Kirkholme, but the shores were peppered with them. There must have been well over a hundred, all congregated in the lake for their annual moult.
On the lake Many Coots, Mallards and Black-Headed gulls. Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins flew over, but we didn't see Swifts. A Tern (Common/Arctic) fished near the boating area.
Another highlight of the visit were the good numbers of Little Gulls, mostly in their winter plumage, although some still with darker heads and red legs. They swam on the lake and sat on the jetties. We spotted many feeding over the lake on our rowing boat trip and some more on a shingle beach between the islands, where they sat with terns - again unsure if Common or Arctic, I wish I had taken more powerful binoculars today.
A lone juvenile Red Crested Pochard amongst mallards by the shore was also seen.

A view of the lake from Kirkholme point towards Swan Island
Black Swan
The ringed leg of a Mute Swan. I have reported the number, I will update here if I am informed of its origin. NEWS from BTO: "Ring Number: ZY1607. This bird was ringed as age 1st year , sex unknown on 09-Aug-2009 at Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire. It was found 1113 days after it was ringed, 21 km from the ringing site, direction ESE."
Little Gull
The same little gull with a mallard for comparison
Juvenile Red Crested Pochard
Compare the tiny Little Gulls with the Black Headed gull in the middle
Little Gulls and Terns, I am not sure what species


Canada Geese flock feeding by the lake

Bird list
  1. Black Swan, lone one
  2. Black-headed Gull, many about
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Common Sandpiper, on a shingle ridge with Redshank, and terns
  5. Common/Arctic Tern
  6. Coot
  7. Cormorant
  8. Feral Pigeon
  9. Greylag Goose, also a hybrid and an odd couple of a Chinese Swan Goose and domestic goose with two goslings
  10. Herring Gull
  11. House Martin
  12. Jackdaw
  13. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  14. Little Gull
  15. Mallard
  16. Mute Swan
  17. Pied Wagtail family
  18. Red-Crested Pochard
  19. Redshank
  20. Sand Martin
  21. Swallow
  22. Woodpigeon


James said...

Hi Africa, I think your Terns will be Common Terns. There are huge numbers (c25,000) that move up and down the Holderness coast roosting in deepest darkest Lincolnshire but foraging to the north. At this time of year Common Terns are often sat on the buoys amongst the Little Gulls. Having said that the picture is a little inconclusive but the bird looks too leggy for an Arctic Tern.



Africa Gómez said...

Thanks a lot for your comment and info James, I am hopeless with marine species although keen to learn. I might pop in again next monday to check them out and see if I can get better photos, on sunday it was very busy there