Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Off to a good start

Excellent news came courtesy of the nest box team yesterday; they had sighted a Black Redstart on the new Hempholme Meadows habitat – the first for at least 4 years – so a great endorsement, even though these birds are noted for their taste in post-industrial dereliction. In this case it landed on one of the fenceposts. Hopefully John is going to send us a pic of the bird but here is one (from Bishop Burton College carpark!) to give you the idea:

If scale of fenceposts is a factor in the birds they attract then the new cattle handling facility near the pumphouse should attract some big ones! Whilst it won’t likely see anger until August 2013 when it is intended for the first grazers to arrive, this does represent the final component of the habitat bar minor fettling - including a final stonepick before the vegetation obscures everything, and the planting of a mixed native hedge to screen off the approach to the new hide:

The area of Hempholme is still generally turning up some good birds. Thanks to Tom Lowe for updates including the female Hen Harrier still on the go which flushed out a Short-eared Owl. Kingfisher is still hunting the lock area with Oystercatchers often on the shooting ponds. A few Pink footed Geese landed across the river on Monday – but 670 went NW through the day. This afternoon a peregrine was again upsetting all the local corvids around the Pump House.

As usual the 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was on the D roost, and down at Watton were the two Smew and three Pintail, along with 3 Dunlin and a further two Oystercatchers on South Marsh East.

Thanks to HVWG for these great pics of the woodland specialities – Lesser Redpoll:

And the Willow Tits:

Thanks are also due to HVWG for keeping the site year list up to date; which with the Black Redstart brings us on to 103 for the year.

Unfortunately the wildlife centre feeders are to be temporarily closed again due to some more unwelcome diners...

Tom also got these great pictures of the Egyptian Goose – and reveals it actually only has one eye; it’s probably been flying round in circles all winter!: