Sunday, 19 February 2012

Thawts of Spring

A bit of a change over the last week – from the frozen reservoirs 8 days ago to the first butterfly – a Comma in the car park this afternoon. Monday at the other extreme saw the lone Brambling on the centre feeders in the snow:
But there are no reports of it since – hopefully this character had nothing to do with it:
This Egyptian Goose was on the river Hull at Wilfholme looking a bit miserable (HVWG):

Goosander on D res last Sunday (HVWG):

Pintail on the ice:

With ringed Herring Gull:

So with what is hopefully the last of the snow at least the near-ermine stoat got his value – Thanks to Tony Simpson for the pics:

The very next day we had the Oystercatchers arrive back which are now generally on South Marsh East though with a brief interest in Hempholme (HVWG):

…and the return of Canada Geese likely for breeding (HVWG):

This has been quickly followed by a succession of Dunlin through the reserve and 3 Black-tailed Godwit on Struncheonhill today and that ultimate sign of spring - the first Coltsfoot in flower on Friday. Also present have been Redshank on the Hempholme scrape and Green Sandpiper on the river (HVWG):

…with Grey Wagtail. There are further reports of Kingfishers back on North Marsh again too. Whilst quite a few Pink-footed Geese have been moving north a few winter specialities are still about; the two Smew, Short-eared Owls and Lesser Redpoll still seen today and plenty of Barn Owl activity suggesting no problems this time. A lone Mediterranean Gull was seen earlier in the week (HVWG):

But thoughts are now turning to summer from the gull roost – and this means moths. A total of 278 in 2011 means a push for 300 this year – the first two of three being Pale-brindled Beauty:

And the Satellite:

Meanwhile Rory has had a re-jig of his website – new link here

And if the ‘black beast’ of Tophill (see local media!) didn’t float your boat then Tony has some slightly more beastly examples here!

Finally one of our visitors had their car bumped last Sunday (the 12th) in the car park causing some damage – if anyone has any info on this please get in touch on the usual number.