Sunday, 7 May 2017

Noddle Hill Dawn Chorus 2017

As it is becoming customary, I headed to Noddle Hill to celebrate Dawn Chorus day, this time with tweep Helen. We arrived at this one and only nature reserve at Hull at 5:00, with enough light to see our way through the paths. A Blackcap, Blackbirds and a Chiffchaff sung from the car park, soon to be joined by nest calling Woodpigeon. As soon as we made it out of the woodland a Whitethroat sung from a hawthorn, followed by Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Song Thrush and Linnet. We listened for Grasshopper Warbler but it wasn't to be, maybe the cool temperatures the last few days have delayed their arrival to the reserve? A local we met said they haven't been heard yet this year, but also commented on the presence of SEO on the site this winter. Must visit the site more!
 I decided to check a pair of pheasants by a field edge and focused on a pair of Grey Partridge, my first of the year and a lovely sight indeed! In the same field, and later on the paddock four Lapwing were displaying, which I hadn't seen in the site for a while.
 The persistent mobbing call of gulls 'kyeow!' alerted us to the presence of a raptor, a cream top marsh harrier, which quartered over the reedbeds and dissappeared in the distance. Not much later a Snipe flew around a few times, and another small wader which flew away before I could identify it.
 We walked around the reserve a couple of times until 8:20 and added some nice birds to my site list: Snipe, Marsh Harrier, Grey Partridge and Shelduck. We also had a Barn Owl and a Kestrel hunting around the reserve. A great total of 42 sp. To top up the morning I had my first Swift on the way home, which takes me to 160 species this year.
We spotted two hares grazing on the pastures. They hung around long enough for photos.  

Singing Whitethroat. 
One of two Shelducks on the wet pastures just outside the reserve.
Reed Bunting. 
The sun already high making a brief appearance. 
Pair of Grey Partridge. 
Reed Bunting. 
Sedge Warbler. 
Coot on the pond. 
Three Greylag families with goslings were gathered at the side of the lake. This gosling approached us confidently, but its dad wasn't so sure and threatened us, hissing. This family had this single gosling whereas... 
...this other family had 11 of two different sizes. 
Some here nuzzling to their mother.  
A view of a reedbed. 
Back in the car park we had great views of this male Song Thrush. 
In the fields, a group of non reproductive Greylags gathered to feed.

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