Monday, 6 February 2012

Snowy egret?

It’s always great looking around Tophill after snowfall. The road from the A164 is still a bit treacherous, but is better nearer Tophill as the WTW has cleared the access road to Angram Farm. The scenery alone is well worth it – thanks to Pete Drury for these images of the reserve:

Standingholme fields:

South Marsh East by HVWG:

Most of the reservoirs are now clear of ice though that didn’t stop the early gulls doing their best to command a piece of remaining ‘berg for the night. Watton has a small pool open which is now home again to the smew:

And some spectacular goldeneye:

This peregrine was watching proceedings from the pylon behind the pits:

With grey heron looking for some open water by HVWG yesterday:

Reed buntings are showing very well at the moment feeding on the reeds below South Marsh West ‘L’ hide:

And for HVWG:

Also on the marsh were 3 water rail squealing and a woodock. There are some great tracks to look at – this looked like a classic otter slide – but closer inspection revealed it was the fox that was having equal fun:

The snow is thawing fairly rapidly which must be welcome news for the barn owls:

A distant short eared was also over Struncheonhill too:

The feeders are a great place to pick up a variety of species – great spot:

Greenfinches still abundant here:

Long tailed tit and dunnock:

And I snapped these chaffinches:

…with a view a quip about there being no… but hang on... a winter mega appeared; brambling – extremely thin on the ground this winter – compared to a regular 27 last year. However I believe our flock of one still makes us one of the biggest in E Yorks!:

Rarer sighting for sighting than bittern, smew and cattle egret this year let alone run of the mill iceland and glaucous gulls… A trip to top up the D woods feeders revealed fieldfare:

And plenty of siskin:

By HVWG too:

And this is the key to tracking down chattering but easily overlooked lesser redpoll feeding on larch and alder cones - at least 6 today:

Richard Sears managed a little egret in the dyke near Angram Farm today – but there has been much conjecture on what has happened to the cattle egret in these conditions? – however a couple of our talented regulars managed this snap yesterday…