Monday, 3 February 2014

Hedon Haven and Paull Holme Strays

We tried, and failed, to get to the Easternmost side of Hull this morning. The entrance to the area through the Chemical works plant was gated and we were told there was no access to the public footpath, and later we tried from the King George dock, but access to the path seemed difficult without knowing our way, so we went to Hedon Haven instead, which was a new place for me.
On the little beach by Paull village, a turnstone and a few redshank sat on a derelict wooden barge. A group of shiny black Cormorants crowned the posts marking the canal to Hedon Haven.
The tide was ebbing revealing the brown-pink mud of the Humber, and flocks of bird started to fly onto the mudflats: Redshank, Curlew, Shelduck, Dunlin and Black-headed gulls. The wind was relentless, but when we sat on the sheltered bank, the sun was shining and overall was a much pleasant morning that I was expecting. The haven itself is fringed by marsh and patches of reeds. Teal, Redshank and Curlew fed upstream, and a Skylark chirped briefly from the field behind us. It was very tranquil, and despite being right next to a large industrial works, a beautiful place.
 A pair of Great-Black Backed Gulls were flying about and at some point a large flock of Lapwing manoeuvred towards the coal depot and back over us.
 Afterwards, we headed to Paull Holme Strays and took the path west to the lighthouses. A massive flock of Golden Plover with some Lapwing steered like a murmuration over the saltmarsh and it was unclear what whas the cause of the flushing, although we did see a Marsh Harrier flying over the strays.
 Overall, a great day out, and made more interesting for the company of Robert and Gui.
Cormorants resting
 Flying Cormorant
A motley crew of mud-lovers: Black-headed gulls, Shelduck, Redshank.
 Barge skeleton
Curlew
 Another Curlew - I love Curlews!
 Greater Black-backed gulls
Rivulets on the mudflat 
 A view of Paull Holme Strays looking East.
 Golden Plover and Lapwing flock
 We saw a cream-head Marsh Harrier later, not sure if it was responsible for the flushed Golden Plovers.
 Curlew
 Resting Wigeon flock
Robert and Gui inspecting driftwood on Paull Holme Strays.

Bird List
  1. Black-headed Gull, HH.
  2. Carrion Crow, HH, PHS.
  3. Cormorant, HH.
  4. Curlew, PHS, HH
  5. Dunlin, PHS, HH.
  6. Golden Plover, PHS
  7. Great Black-backed Gull, HH
  8. Herring Gull, HH
  9. House Sparrow PHS, PV
  10. Kestrel, PHS
  11. Lapwing, HH, PHS
  12. Linnet, PHS
  13. Mallard, HH, PHS
  14. Marsh Harrier, PHS
  15. Redshank, PV, PHS, HH
  16. Robin, PHS
  17. Shelduck, HH, PHS
  18. Skylark, HH
  19. Starling, PV
  20. Teal, HH
  21. Turnstone, PV, PHS
  22. Wigeon, PHS
  23. Woodpigeon, HH, PHS

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