Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mixed flocks of twits

The last few days at the reserve have seen a mass exodus of passerines moving south.  30 meadow pipits in a few minutes this morning over Hempholme.  However as usual at this time of year we advocate checking any mixed tit flocks, up to 30 goldcrests at a time have been logged and one regular reported at 'warbler with a yellow supercillium and twin wing bars' which certainly fits the bill for yellow-browed given the numbers elsewhere at them moment (but alas not long enough to confirm or photo).  Subsequent checks revealed some of the other flock contents though - chiffchaff - pic by Andrew Bulmer:

Along with plenty of the goldcrests:
Coal tits:
Blue tits:

And long-tailed tits amongst this years fine berry crop:

Which were also being enjoyed by a number of song thrushes:

Plenty of redwing (25) have also moved in the last few days - South Scrub being a great place for them.  The two jays have also been showing in D woods with more redpoll.  Up to 8 goldeneye have now arrived on D red, but no sign of the smew already reported down river at High Eske and Spurn.  Water rail on South Marsh West:

Also of note is Tony McLean's photo of an interesting aythya duck pm flickr which has some shades of scaup in it - possibly a hybrid?  A number of marsh harriers through too, and grey wagtails enlivening the the walls of the reservoirs.  Not to say summer has completely gone - two reports of swallow yesterday, and thanks to Andrew Bulmer for these of southern hawker:

And comma:

With one of the last grass snakes of the year too:
 Thanks to John Hakes too for this nice shot of huddled red legged partridges on the access road:

And also Doug Fairweather for these new finds from Hempholme Meadow - the delights of dung once again! - "cow pats that were growing a good number of the dung fungus, Copbrobia granulata. These discs only grow to 4mm at the most, usually 2mm or even less, the ones in the enclosed pic fall into the latter size. Well, insignificant they may be, but that's another new fungi for the site list.":
Also another new fungi species for site - Hemimycena lactea growing on old pine needles near East Pond:
And finally we continue to embrace the modern age! We've set up a new twitter account for the reserve and you can follow us on @tophilllow - we aim to use it to get news out on sightings to support the blog and facebook pages - but a live feed is on the top right of the blog which should make it even more current.  Alternatively why not sign up to twitter and join us as we are as new to it as you may be!