Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Dusk at Noddle Hill

Having experienced a dawn chorus at Noddle Hill, I looked forward to the field visit with Hull Natural History Society to this gem in the Hull City outskirts. An early walk around the lake failed to yield Water Voles, and was accompanied by the persistent calls of possibly Chiffchaffs, or maybe Willow Warblers. As the small group gathered and enthusiastically discussed the likely ID of a dead cricket, I watched the poplars by the entrance and saw a small bird fly between trees. It turned out to be a Treecreeper, which was my first and others for the reserve, a good start for the trip. The clouds had cleared a bit after a gloomy day with a couple of showers, and the light levels were good in comparison with previous trips.
 We ticked a few mollusks and as Dick showed us a horseradish plant - much loved by snails - I looked around for a Four-spotted orb spider, Araneus quadratus, which I have found near this plant in a few occasions. Soon, I spotted an old web ending in a curled leaf and looked underneath: there it was, a fattening spider, which was briefly relocated to the bug pot for a record shot.
 As we moved around the reserve in a clock-wise fashion groups of swallows flied over us. It appeared that they were gathering for their night roost, but their wandering movements did not reveal where this might be.
 We saw at least three Roe Deer and Robert pointed at a fox by the drain, which you might find in a photo below if you squint.
 In the distant pylons, with the background of an atmospheric sunset, a large roost of orderly corvids, likely rooks, was assembling.
Bat o'clock came and went with no trace of flying bats, despite the still, clear, if chilli, night. I had brought a bat detector, and I made a token effort of pointing it out to the lake, with no success.
 Just before getting back in the car park, a Tawny owl hooted a couple of times, putting an end to the trip.
Araneus quadratus
Gipsywort, Lycopus europaeus, by the fishing lake
Pylon roost
Male roe deer
Silhouette of a Kestrel

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Carrion Crow
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Chiffchaff
  6. Collared Dove
  7. Goldfinch
  8. Kestrel
  9. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  10. Linnet
  11. Magpie
  12. Mallard
  13. Moorhen
  14. Reed Bunting
  15. Robin
  16. Rook
  17. Swallow
  18. Tawny Owl
  19. Treecreeper
  20. Woodpigeon
  21. Wren
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