Wednesday, 16 January 2013

From one tundra to another

Undoubted highlight of the day today was a pair of bewick's swans on D res:
Forlorn calls bouncing off the reservoir walls (seemingly to their confusion); It was worth a video to capture this uncommon sound on the site:
A little later additional birds could also be heard calling north east of Hempholme Weir - but trying to find the birds in a field of snow was a little hopeless!. 

Today's trip in was fine as long as taken very carefully - here was the access road at Easingwold.  Remember the roads from the A164 to Tophill aren't gritted so it like this all the way - but currently no risk of snow drifts at any rate!:
The cold night had frozen everything for the third year running at Tophill:
Again the coots keeping just a small area free of ice at the northern tip of the reservoir:
Great care needs to be taken not to disturb the birds so they do not waste precious energy in these hard times - masses of birds on the river Hull but we dare not look for fear of flushing them.  Carrion crow back to it's winter delicacies:
Not often you see a fieldfare perched on the reservoir!:
Of note were a close flying flock of 14 snipe wheeling around North Scrub.  A few days ago we struggled because the birds were spread far and wide over the flooded Hull Valley; whereas today it seems they were all condensed back to the river side again - much like this little egret at Hempholme Weir:
Barn owl was hunting in daylight today - and this kestrel was waiting patiently:
And a distant buzzard at Struncheonhill:
North Marsh - no otters on a brief glance - but keep an eye out for tracks in coming days:
North Scrub looking scenic:
A few gulls in the morning looked promising:
But hopes of an Arctic white winger were dashed with this measly showing at 16:45:
However - not sure where they've sprung from but the two woodcock have again returned to the Wildlife Centre meadow - showing beautifully number one:
Number two:
Well - they'd probably show better if you waited a while... And congratulations to Alan Walkington who had his picture of a roe deer featured on BBC Winterwatch last night: