Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Frost bittern in September

Winter has arrived with a flourish in the last few days - in the form of this magnificent bittern which has been delighting (most) observers at North Marsh since the Wednesday the 19th.  A range of great photos - many on Flickr already but also here by Steve Brimble:

Claire Marshall:

And Dave Ruffles. 

We've had repeat viewings on Thursday the 20th, Saturday the 22nd (Dave Ware's photos here), and Sunday the 23rd with some movement observed between here and the river / Hempholme area.  Thanks also to Andrew Bulmer for his great pictures:

Including with water vole in the background which would have been likely down the hatch if it had swum much closer!:

Not to be outshone, the kingfisher was still very active and putting on its best side for the waiting photographers.  Thanks to Steve Brimble for these:

Chris Bell:

Brian Spence:

And the other highlight - marsh harriers still passing by Chris Bell on the 15th:
With more sightings on the 22nd and 19th like this one by Steve Brimble:

Elsewhere the trickle of gulls continues - yellow legged on the 18th, and mediterranean gulls - 2 on the 22nd and 23rd.  Waders are slowing up, just lone dunlin on the 19th and 23rd.  Meanwhile more winter migrants in the form of the first flock of siskin in D woods with further reports of marsh tit in addition to the usual willow tits.  A fair few common buzzards migrating through - thanks to Brian Spence for these two:

An excellent 12 pintail were present on Watton NR on Sunday and an unlikely vagrant was the return of a black swan to D res last week.  Photos of this and other nearby species on Erich's page.  Still a hobby around yesterday, but the grass snakes are now thinking of turning in - these skins deposited outside the new large refugia at Hempholme Meadows:

That said winter is only brief and some animals are already thinking of Spring - see Tony's page for the details. 

If you'd rather experience wildlife in the warmth why not go to Beverley Naturalists Society for a talk by Tim Melling on 'Wild West Canada' at 7:30pm on the 16th of October at St Mary's parish rooms opposite the Beverley Arms (please note: not near Beverley Minster as originally written here).  Admission adults £4, concessions £3 children over 10 only £2.50.

In addition next week sees the International Nature Tourism Conference at Bridlington Spa on the 3rd and 4th of October.  The event sees guided tours to Tophill Low and other East Yorkshire Wildlife hotspots on the Wednesday with Thursday featuring a day of seminars based on how to make the most of East Yorkshire's best natural resources to boost your business. 

The tours on day one are £12+vat pp with a choice of Tophill Low and North Cave, Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs, or Spurn and Hornsea Mere. 
The second day of conferences are £28+vat pp with a range of inspirational speakers from the UK and Europe. 

Contact Martin Batt on martin.batt@ywt.org.uk to book.