Thursday, 2 September 2010

Winter flocks

Two sure signs of the turning season are the return of the cormorants which reach good numbers this month before dispersal. They are thought to arrive from Denmark each year:

The other sign is the collation of all the greylag geese into a single flock, in some years up to a thousand strong. They all need scanning as you never know what nuggets may be in with them - white-fronted geese, pink-footed geese, and bean geese all associate with them at some point most years.

The kingfishers are still showing on North Marsh - Tony McLean has again been working on them - see his blog for the latest including his post-processing info here. Likewise Vince Cowell was also in today working on them too - no doubt they will appear on his site soon. Meanwhile I went for the real challenge and managed to snap one away from North Marsh - here in O woods!

Also in the woods were two roe deer - unfortunately the usual view:

Grass snakes were very active today - I managed to find Radio Humberside reporter Chris Arundle his first UK snake today - albeit 8inches long! Listen out for a feature on Radio Humberside tomorrow on the greater water parsnip. Apparently a great number were seen swimming in North Marsh along with a stoat.

Moth trapping was a little quiet given the recent temperature drop - see Martin's blog for info. The ringing team managed to find this copper underwing moth - often found in the reserves hides during the day:

Philip and Jenny Moodie of East Yorkshire Bat Group sent us across these sonograms showing the difference between soprano and nathusius's pipistrelle calls when we inspected the boxes last week:

The top and bottom graphs are nathusius's - with a peak energy of around 42 kHz, whereas the middle graph is soprano with a peak energy of around 54kHz. Interesting stuff that requires some serious equipment.

There have been fewer interesting birds on the marshes of late - the gales of Saturday appeared to blow all the birds away rather than bring in new ones as hoped with the exception of a redshank. Numbers have been gradually building again with 8 curlew and 6 snipe on this afternoon. As the levels drop it has attracted a pair of heron who seem to be resident taking the stranded fish. Marsh harrier, peregrine and hobby have again been about. The best photo opportunity was this treecreeper which landed on the woodpecker post at the feeders.

Finally the picture below containing the green sandpipers - the bird in the middle is just a dunlin I'm afraid! But keep an eye out as hopefully these Easterlies will bring some good birds in...