Monday, 5 November 2012

Paull Holme Strays

Today's was my first visit to this nature reserve. Paull Holme Strays is the result of the first Humber managed realignment scheme. The Humber embankment was breached in September 2003, after a new bank had been created far back, allowing the high tide to flood former fields and pastures. Nowadays, almost 10 years after its creation, the site has new tidal mudflats, growing salt marsh areas and reed patches and is a bird haven. Outside the Humber bank there are extenside mudflats with some shingle/boulder beach by the lighthouses.
The day started sunny and not too breezy, and the tide was high. I walked eastwards over the new bank, surrounding the reserve up to the lighhouses. A large flock of Golden Plover rested in the middle of the reserve. A fighter jet flew low and it sent the whole flock flying, with the background of the Humber Bridge. Many Redshanks, Lapwings and a few Curlews and a Bar Tailed Godwit, together with Teal and Wigeon fed on the mudflats.
 The wind started to pick up a bit and it clouded up as I returned to the car park and then moved onto the western part of the reserve. A Kestrel hovered over the new bank and then alighted on a post on a field. Another raptor, which I initially took for another Kestrel, had a brief skirmish with it, but when the second raptor perched on the lower branch of a tree I realised it was a female Merlin, shorter tailed and dark brown mantle, the side dark head stripe was also visible. It was bothered by a couple of Jackdaws and it stopped on the ground. As I followed the Merlin and Jackdaws, a Jay flew past, and then returned to the grassy side of a field. An unusual sighting for Holderness, although admittedly the area by a farm had large trees including oaks. When driving back I flushed another one by a farm near Thorngumbald.
 A large flock of Fieldfare flew over, and many Woodpigeons fed on the hawthorn berries.
Resting Golden Plovers
and the wandering Golden Plover flock
Bar-Tailed Godwit
Curlews
Lapwings
Ringed Plovers and Dunlins


More information
Environmental Reports
Paul Holme Strays Birding a Local Patch. A blog dedicated to birds and other fauna in the reserve.
Before visiting, check tides, as the strays fill only on high tide and push the waders closer. If you have one, a telescope will be quite useful for bird identification.

Location map
Approaching Paull, follow the brown signs for nature reserve and Paull Fort. Coming from Paull village, leave Fort Paull on your right. There is a small car park after the gas station.


View Larger Map

Bird list

  1. Bar-tailed Godwit
  2.  Black-headed Gull
  3.  Blackbird
  4.  Carrion Crow
  5.  Cormorant
  6.  Curlew
  7.  Dunlin
  8.  Fieldfare
  9.  Golden Plover
  10.  Goldfinch
  11.  Greenfinch
  12.  Grey Heron
  13.  Grey Plover
  14.  House Sparrow
  15.  Jackdaw
  16.  Jay
  17.  Kestrel
  18.  Lapwing
  19.  Linnet
  20.  Magpie
  21.  Mallard
  22.  Merlin
  23.  Moorhen
  24.  Pheasant
  25.  Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)
  26.  Redshank
  27.  Ringed Plover
  28.  Robin
  29.  Starling
  30.  Teal
  31.  Turnstone
  32.  Wigeon
  33.  Woodpigeon 

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