Friday, 14 September 2012

Wheateary weather

This week will likely have been the definitive change to winter.  Sunday saw two turtle doves fly south through the reserve, briefly stopping to drink in the new scrape at Hempholme Meadows - only the 3rd and 4th reports on site this year.  We can only hope they'll make it back from an increasingly perilous migration next year. 

Almost simultaneously the first pink-footed geese arrived on the north-westerly winds, around 90 in three separate waves.  Further wintry species included female goldeneye and 8 wigeon.  The black-necked grebe was around til at least Sunday (and may still be there amongst the swell) on D res, but these cormorants were easier to see - thanks to Roy Vincent for these:

This looks like a perch but interestingly we have had reports of a dead zander floating in the res which is not something we were aware we had.  Cormorants come into the UK in big numbers at this time of year after breeding across the North Sea to take advantage of milder weather and easy food in our heavily stocked fisheries - not to everyone's taste..

Great-crested grebes are a less frowned upon piscivore (RV):

Thanks and well done to Brian Spence for this shot of a sunset over D res which made the Calendar weather photo last week:
It's likely the reservoir walls themselves that have held most attractions this week.  Wheatear sightings on Friday and Sunday - and up to 24 yellow wagtails at a time.  Jeff Barker has some great photos on Flickr and thanks to Brian Spence for this fine individual:
Still a bit of sun still brings out the butterflies - thanks to Dave Ruffles for these common blues:

Check out Martin's blog too for seasonal moths, and a site well worth following is Paul Ashton's East Yorkshire Wildlife with a great round up of insect life here.  Plenty of dragonflies about have brought in the hobby too - have a look on Flickr for Alan Walkington's great pictures of them in action.  Kingfisher is always a stalwart though - thanks to Roy Vincent for this one on North Marsh:

Despite draining the marshes down the waders never materialised.  North-westerly winds don't make for great excitement with just the odd ruff, green sandpiper and common sandpiper sighted.  However a north-American visitor off the back of the Hurricane would be a fine thing so keep looking!  Work continues on transferring aggregates to the marsh edge, but the tunnel itself under the river is now complete - a digger arm here pulling the borer out the other end.  No Myton tunnel here!:

The best of the rest this week has included yellow-legged and mediterranean gulls on the reservoir roosts, over 800 martins migrating back, egyptian goose and 2 marsh harriers.

If you fancy embracing winter why not participate in the BTO's winter thrush survey? All the details are here.