Monday, 23 September 2013

Brough Haven and Welton Waters

Today I decided to visit a new area, Brough Haven and Welton Waters, by the Humber estuary.
As I left sunny Hull down the M62, the fog was thick by the Humber. It was foggy also on Brough Haven and it didn't clear until about ten o'clock. Brough Haven is a natural inlet with mudflats, reed beds and saltmarsh onto the Humber estuary. With the thick fog I could only tell a Black-headed gull, some mallards and a redshank, but there were many early birds around the car park. I started my walk on the bank of the Humber. A Chiffchaff called frantically from some willows, echoed by another one in the distance. The spider webs decorated with dew were very evident with the backdrop of fog. A Meadow Pipit settled on the fence by the aerodrome, giving me some opportunity for a photo. I walked on the bridleway across the air field. There was a large flock of Lapwing on the runway, and some Reed Buntings. Loose flocks of Skylarks chirruped above, as the fog cleared. The rolling hills of the Wolds appeared in the distance.
I reached a little copse. On the wheat stubble field on my left I spot half a dozen Curlews.
A flowering Ivy on a hedgerow, now in the sun, provided some nectar for many wasps and a couple of brilliant Red Admirals. Hawkers (likely Migrant) and Common Darters started to hunt.
As I reached the watersports pit a Grey Heron flew off. I could spot some Magpies and Carrion Crows in the distance, feeding on something white I took for a plastic bag. I regretted not taking some shots, as when I got closer and the corvids had dispersed I realised it was a dead mute swan.
 In the watersports pit there were a couple of (live) Mute Swans, a fishing little Grebe and some moorhens. I could hear geese calling in the distance, although I failed to see them. I noticed a raptor flying high over the main lake, a female or immature Marsh Harrier, which was being mobbed by hirundines.
Some more wildfowl was present in the fishing complex, although I couldn't get very good views. A Great Spotted Woodpecker fed on a damaged tree trunk. Gadwall, Wigeon some tufted ducks and Coots were visible.
As I returned by the path on the Humber bank, there were dozens of Common Darters, several pairs mating, and possibly also a migrant hawker pair. Butterflies were also more obvious, some Speckled Woods, some Small Whites and many, many Small Tortoiseshells, the latter feeding on Thistles, Ragwort and Dandelion. Red Clover, Greater Knapweed and White Dead-nettles were also flowering.
I had nice view of the marsh in the middle of the airfield from the bank. A grey heron was on the shore. Three mute swans circled three times flying over me until they left towards the east. The flock of Lapwings was now on the green field by the marsh, with starlings, which kept darting up, catching insects.
 The ebbing tide had exposed the mudflats by the time I got to Brough Haven. Some Shelduck, a flock of Black-tailed godwits, and Teal were feeding on it, making a frantic, splashing noise with their bills filtering the mud. An avocet was also resting amongst the godwits.
 The walk was about 7 km, very pleasant indeed, with a diversity of habitats, a tally of 44 birds overall, many insects and beautiful scenery.
Dew on garden spider web
Mating Common Darters
Shelduck feeding on the mud
Grey heron
Black-tailed Godwit
Large white caterpillar
Small Tortoiseshell on Ragwort
Small Tortoiseshells on thistles
The view toward the airfield and the wolds
Small Tortoiseshell, Common Carder bee and the hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri on knapweed
Chiffchaff and a cloud of flying insects
A flock of Lapwing over the Humber
Gadwall pair
Barge and reeds in the Humber
Mute Swan on watersports pit
Perfectly still water in the first pond
Speckled Wood
Watersports pit
Red Admiral on Ivy
Reed Bunting
Meadow Pipit

More information
Hull Valley Wildlife group has a page on the area. Here.
Welton Waters site at Birdnerd. Here.

Location Map

View Larger Map

Bird List
  1. Avocet
  2. Black-headed Gull
  3. Black-tailed Godwit
  4. Blackbird
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Carrion Crow
  7. Chaffinch
  8. Chiffchaff
  9. Coot
  10. Cormorant
  11. Curlew
  12. Dunnock
  13. Gadwall
  14. Goldfinch
  15. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  16. Great Tit
  17. Greenfinch
  18. Grey Heron
  19. Jackdaw
  20. Lapwing
  21. Linnet
  22. Little Grebe
  23. Long-tailed Tit
  24. Magpie
  25. Mallard
  26. Marsh Harrier
  27. Meadow Pipit
  28. Moorhen
  29. Mute Swan
  30. Pochard
  31. Redshank
  32. Reed Bunting
  33. Robin
  34. Shelduck
  35. Skylark
  36. Song Thrush
  37. Sparrowhawk
  38. Starling
  39. Swallow
  40. Teal
  41. Tufted Duck
  42. Wigeon
  43. Woodpigeon
  44. Wren
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