Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Falco fantasia

Without doubt this weeks star birds have been the hobbies – hunting migrant hawkers they have been seen across the Reserve though best seen from North Marsh. We were treated to spectacular views this morning at Hempholme – where one bird landed on the ground 20 feet away from our contractors – wear high-viz and the birds just don’t seem to be bothered! – No camera then but I managed these yesterday:

Also yesterday Michael Flowers and his class set the bar that bit higher with this shot (and more on his blog):

Before Steve Brimble clinched in his words these ‘very iffy’ pictures:

For more ‘iffy pictures’ visit Steve’s website where he has others including this excellent kingfisher shot:

Remember if the kingfishers follow the last two years’ form then they will likely disappear by the end of this month – so get your pics now or wait ‘til next July (that is unless they per chance decide to roost or nest in the rapidly growing sand martin bank:

Kestrel too has been having a great time up at Hempholme with mice and voles a plenty:

The other star bird and Tophill year tick yesterday was jack snipe – found by Michael’s group and seen through the day. No sign today or I am afraid pictures – but a huge vindication for the ‘crake-trench’ in the centre of the picture below dug at expense to Volunteer Chris and myself in August – we’ll settle on a jack snipe as a suitable return:

Incidentally Michael’s new calendar is available now featuring the best of East Yorkshire’s wildlife and a great xmas present – available from the reserve priced at £7 – details here.

Elsewhere – black tailed godwit, marsh harrier and little egret have all been seen of late – the latter viewable on Tony’s Flickr stream here. Alan Walkington managed these great pics too of long tailed tit at North Marsh and curlew on the approach road:

Meanwhile the gull roost continues to expand – try and find a med gull in this lot!:

A short distance away were the ’heavy mob’ – menacing looking great black-backed gulls likely fresh from Scandinavian breeding grounds:

I hope to bring you more news on the gulls in due course…but in the meantime keep checking them out – you never know what nuggets you may find…