Sunday, 8 July 2012

... and the wail of a rail

A gradual movement of migrants has been noted in the last week, the first osprey of Autumn seen on Sunday / Monday.  Green sandpiper, dunlin, black tailed godwit and common sandpiper all through too at the beginning of the week.  The new meadow at Hempholme looking very appealing for this summer's wader passage - we'll be cutting it in a couple of weeks:

A change of winds to south east instead seemed to bring the insects in; humming bird hawkmoth near the garage and silver Y moths in abundance.  This common sandpiper was lacking sand at Hempholme on Friday:

The river Hull at Hempholme on Friday:

With a delay no doubt caused by the aquifer - here still rising 24hours later:

Luckily the avocets survived the weather - all four chicks present and correct this afternoon - see Alan's excellent pictures on Flickr and HVWG's here:

More kingfishers on North Marsh, up to three seen at a time over much of the northern site today.  Thanks to Steve Brimble for these great shots:

The otter is still perfoming for those members keen to put in an early morning.  Dave Ware has pictures on his blog and more photo's by Bill Eggleton here:

And also Tony Simpson:

However these are not the main interest at present on North Marsh.  Many photographers of the above will have listened to the pig like squeals of recent weeks just under the hide.  When activity had died down we carefully revealed this nest while clearing vegetation from in front of the Kingfisher perches:

That of water rail - apparently it is likely six chicks were seen swimming to the middle island where there is now much squealing and wailing.  A rare time when 'water rail showing well' was written in the sightings book - pictures by Tony Simpson:

And Mike Day:

These aren't the only family on the go - the common terns on Watton NR (HVWG):

More pictures on Tony's blog.  Grey heron and youngster (HVWG):

Swallows seemingly doing well under the lock at Hempholme - photo by Erich Hediger:


And coming soon; some extremely noisy and bloodthirsty woodland residents - sparrowhawk barely visible at the nest platform.  Expect woodpigeons dumped on the paths any time:

We had a very good day with Yorkshire Naturalist's Union on Saturday - uncovering many more species inluding 42 new molluscs!  Members also uncovered the first brown argus and marbled whites of the year.  This latticed heath was on North Scrub last weekend:

Pammene aurana near the garage (Erich):

And yellow tail moth caterpillar at Hempholme (Erich)

According to the forecast we are due some notherlies this week.  This will likely see the wader passage start in earnest - we guess that many will be as fed up as these two pink footed geese found by Paul Mountain on Tuesday are - still present yesterday:

There are now masses of tufted duck - presumed all failed breeders back on D reservoir.

Another one to look out for is the red-footed falcon in the Wilfholme Carrs area - a probable sighting yesterday again by finder Ivan Nethercoat.