Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Odds on for Iceland

Chatting with Martin on Saturday we were debating whether there would be an iceland gull this winter. The statistics suggest not and Martin was willing to bet me a fiver there wouldn't be one - if only I was a betting man! The following night he found a 1st/2nd winter bird on the D res roost - all the details on his blog.

A visit after work tonight revealed no interesting gulls but around 30,000 common and black-headed's:

As usual the little egret made its commute southwards to Watton or High Eske. We now have light til around 17:40:

And a small group of goosander came in to roost - on this occasion 1 male and 3 females, but up to seven were seen over the weekend:

The first moth trap went out on Friday night - and the first moth of many hundreds to come - seven pale-brindled beauties:

A mammal tracking expedition with Cranswick Guides on Sunday turned up plenty of wildlife including a bank vole in the longworth traps and an otter spraint:

This song thrush was one of many now livening the site up again:

Other sightings for the last few days include two redhead smew on the southern site, common buzzards, peregrines, siskins, brambling and willow tit. David Ware managed a few of these during his Saturday visit. Tony McLean managed some nice shots of the teal on North Marsh.

We are doing a few jobs round the reserve before the birds return so apologies if there is any disturbance during your visit. Jobs this week include extending the path across the mud of North Scrub:

And repairing the supports of South Marsh West hide:

Finally little owls are getting ever closer since we put up the new boxes. Mike Johnson on Maurice Gordon's photography course managed to snap one near Angram Farm on the approach road here. This is closer than at Sleights Farm a year back - at this rate of expansion they may get to Tophill by the end of the century! But at least they clearly survived the bad weather.