A steady week has seen many waiting patiently for the bittern to reappear at North Marsh without any success. As we say, it, and possibly more will be around the site all winter - but just where is anyone's guess...
The best bird of the week has likely been a female merlin seen by Michael Flowers group on Wednesday narrowly missing a house martin over D res. There are still plenty of hirundines over the res's homeward bound - 300+ mid week. Incidentally Michael's 2013 calendars are now available from the reserve at £7 - see a warden.
The other new arrival this week has been fieldfare. John Prentice had 5 on Tuesday, David Ware one this morning, and these 10 were on the wires at Standingholme tonight:
20 golden plover on Decoy Fields
Crossbill in the car park
Cream crown marsh harrier and water rail North Marsh
3 Common buzzards south over site
Multiple kingfishers at various locations
We have the reserve walk tomorrow morning (Saturday the 6th) at 10am - all welcome
Also if you fancy some new optics we have the travelling InFocus optics store visiting the site on Sunday the 7th - Bernie is usually on site from 10:30-16:00
Even if the birds aren't showing this autumn yet (wait for those easterly winds on Sunday!) why not get some fresh air and exercise? Our volunteer team goes out every Thursday and most Sundays - we start off at 9:30am with a cuppa and undertake a variety of practical tasks like hay cropping, fence repairs and lots of tree cutting in good company - in this case pollarding willows on North Lagoon last weekend with the inevitable bonfire - if you fancy it just drop in or contact us for more detail:
Finally on a grimmer note - we had some poaching activity on Sunday evening. As we have mentioned before; the best defence of Tophill Low's wildlife is yourselves as visitors - members in at odd hours and all wielding cameras to record any incidence at a safe distance. We don't advocate approaching any of these unsavoury characters directly but instead ring the local Driffield Police on 08456060222 with registration numbers and any other details (please note the first neighbouring shoot starts tomorrow so not all gunshots heard close to site are necessarily illegal)
We also have the advantage of IR security cameras on site monitored 24 hours from the Yorkshire Water control room in Bradford, along with our trusty trail cameras on site that we have used for monitoring all wildlife and not just the otters...
In this case many thanks to our members who had queried those involved and all details were sent to the police and the local Farmwatch before they had chance to leave the site. Hopefully that sends a message to those involved.