Thursday, 23 February 2012

Startling image

Unfortunately despite plenty of folk looking today nobody managed to re-find the Black Redstart, but big thanks to John Hesslewood of the nest box team for this picture of the actual bird on Tuesday:

Whilst distant it offers no conjecture – a nice male Black Redstart. We still need to look out a date, but we think this is the first for about 20 years.

The usual candidates today – two red-head Smew and two Pintail on Watton NR, Buzzard over Hempholme, Kingfisher in the lock and an adult Mediterranean Gull on D.
Apologies to HVWG – the true figure for the year list is actually now 107 including the Black Redstart.

Not many to go then to match the all-time total; after a lot of digging and checking we are now satisfied we have a working Tophill all-time bird list (believe it or not we hadn’t been keeping one) – bringing the figure since 1959 to a grand total of 266 assuming the cattle egret is accepted. Thanks to Geoff Dobbs and all others who have helped – it is viewable on the page tabs above. Shortly we will also be adding further lists including botany, fungi, mammals to name but a few...

Part of our reason for this is for a bit of fun – it has always been a note of friendly ribbing between Tophill regulars as to whom has the biggest bird list. So with an official list it now means we can have an official league!

For the purpose of this list the definition of a Tophill sighting is any bird seen from within the Yorkshire Water land holding (in simple terms bounded by the river Hull to the east, Hempholme Pump house to the north, Beverley and Barmston Drain to the west and Wilfholme to the south), or from the Yorkshire Water access road (from the main gates to Angram Farm). You can count any bird seen when standing in this area be it on the ground in neighbouring fields or a flyover too – so by proxy any bird seen on Watton NR is OK too (from the YW hide). You can only count the numbered birds on the official Tophill list – escapes and un-confirmed birds can’t count.

So to start the ball rolling I am now happily top of the table (I fear not for long!). If you too want to feature then simply send in your total number – along with your newest species – to the email. The official ‘Life Listers League’ is now available for view – again on the tabs above.

This relies on a bit of honesty – but in some ways is self-policing as if we havn’t heard of you and you have the highest numbers on site questions will be asked! Have fun!