Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A jayded view

Like most of the east of the country we have seen an influx of jays in recent days - daily sightings since Sunday and Ian Spalding reported two this morning which is a heady site maxima in recent years.  No sign of the nutcracker yet - but no harm in trying!  Many thanks to Chris Bell who got these brilliant shots of the first lesser redpoll of the winter on North Marsh:

Check out Chris's blog for more great pictures here.

Thanks also to Michael Preston for these of one of a number of chiffchaffs which moved through on Sunday:

The monthly reserve walk also turned up the obligatory kingfisher - more showy on Hempholme new scrape - Michael Preston:

The belted galloways are doing a great job on Hempholme:

As hoped for they are browsing off the reedmace:

And have also tucked into the rushes:

Another advantage is the poaching of scrape edges:

But a big plus is dung - bringing in the insect life for next year's lapwings hopefully:

There is plenty of insect life to be found and thanks to Doug Fairweather for these great finds from Saturday; 'The shieldbug was a late instar nymph of Dolycoris baccarum (Hairy or Sloe Shieldbug), and a site first. It feeds on Blackthorn especially, and other Rosaceae, the hairy part is obvious when the pic is enlarged':

Elaphrus riparius - a ground beetle which is common in marshy meadows so the habitat is already delivering results:
 Aphodius foetidus (Dung beetle):

And also yellow stagshorn fungus from the car park:
Just next to the meadow we assisted East Yorkshire Bat Group in replacing a number of bat boxes which had been vandalised - here is the culprit in action:

The great spotted woodpecker had clearly found something nice in one and trashed the lot.  They've been replaced with a new design reportedly less attractive to woodpeckers:
Big thanks to reserve volunteer and nest box builder extraordinaire Jim Evans for his excellent work:

Elsewhere thanks to Michael Preston for these of the willow tits still in the woods:

A lot of bird moving through including lots of finches and coal tits.  Wren - MP:

And the last of the migrant hawkers MP:

Kingfisher on North Marsh by Chris Bell:
Curlew are still around along with a single black tailed godwit on Sunday.  Little egret yesterday and plenty of lapwing moving about - CB:

Further marsh harrier sightings, and this common buzzard by Chris:

And the last of the light brings one of the best spectacles of this year - roosting birds - canadas:
Followed by around 2000 starlings roosting in the reedbeds of South Marsh West - putting on a spectacular display at 18:20 - before disappearing into the reeds:

But best of all was the calling cetti's warbler just before they arrived.  Cetti's bred on the reserve to great celebration on North Marsh in 2007 but not since, however most winters we have had an explosive blast from the reeds and this is no exception.  South Marsh West back-to-back hide being the best bet; you never know - you may even refind that bittern!

Finally just a reminder - the Beverley Naturalists Society 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). Admission adults £4, concessions £3 children over 10 only £2.50.