Monday, 1 October 2012

Hornsea Mere and Wassand Estate

A fine morning, with sunny spells and a light breeze, I make a first stop at Kirkholme Nab in Hornsea Mere. The place is strangely deserted, much different from the weekend. The mixed flock of Mute Swans, geese, coots and Mallards still expects to be fed, but I disappoint them today. I spot a Grey Heron on a tree on the shore opposite, and she is joined by two more later. Lone Cormorants come and go, and a couple of immature Great Crested Grebes hassle one of the adults for food. No sign of the Little Gulls or terns this time. As I watch the mere with the binoculars, I notice a large flock of hirundines flying high over the lake. They are barely visible by eye, and must be refuelling by feeding on insects. I don't manage to identify them to species. A dragonfly, possibly a Migrant Hawker hunts by the shore. Jackdaws mob seagulls or the other way round: its hard to tell.

I move onto Southorpe road and I park at the end. I start towards Wassand Hall. The paths are muddy and the grass wet, and I soon have wet feet, but in compensation it is quite warm. There is a mix of meadows and copses, with the occasional glimpse of the mere in the distance. There are many Speckled Wood butterflies, some Commas and a Red Admiral, which I flush on the way there and back. Over the meadows, Migrant Hawkers hunt. As I approach the trees, I hear the startled alarm of a Jay, and I manage to spot if flying in between trees. A Chiffchaff sings and in the way back I spot a family of Goldcrests, at some point I also hear a male singing. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers on the conifers top the woodland bird count.
On coming back, I see that a boy and his mum and a dog are looking under my car. The woman explains there is a white rabbit under the car. Indeed there is, a fluffy, immaculately white rabbit with blue eyes. After a few minutes, we manage to catch it. The woman seems quite happy to have found an extra pet while walking the dog. We are quite far from houses, so the presumably the escaped pet rabbit has hopped quite a way.
Great Crested Grebe adult followed by begging immature
Swan Island with two Mute Swans
Red Admiral
Speckled Wood
Comma basking

Old Ash tree. Most of a side of the trunk was missing and the root ball was very large 
The path from Wassand towards Southorpe Road

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull   
  2. Blackbird   
  3. Blue Tit    
  4. Canada Goose    
  5. Carrion Crow    
  6. Chaffinch    
  7. Chiffchaff   S - Singing male
  8. Coal Tit    
  9. Coot    
  10. Cormorant    
  11. Feral Pigeon    
  12. Gadwall    
  13. Goldcrest   S - Singing male
  14. Goldfinch 4   
  15. Great Crested Grebe 4   
  16. Great Spotted Woodpecker 2   
  17. Great Tit    
  18. Grey Heron 3   
  19. Greylag Goose    
  20. Herring Gull    
  21. House Sparrow    
  22. Jackdaw    
  23. Jay    
  24. Kestrel 1   
  25. Magpie    
  26. Mallard    
  27. Moorhen    
  28. Mute Swan    
  29. Pheasant    
  30. Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)    
  31. Robin    
  32. Rook    
  33. Sparrowhawk    
  34. Treecreeper    
  35. Tufted Duck    
  36. Woodpigeon    
  37. Wren    

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