Monday, 22 July 2013

The fab four...

First off my personal thanks to everyone who helped out on the excellent Summer of Wildlife event this weekend - the volunteers who put in hours of work preparing and delivering the event, the exhibitors who brought some excellent displays and the guides who all did a brilliant job interpreting the reserve's sightings. Thanks too to James Hogarth and the Radio Humberside team who presented live from the reserve 10am to 12pm on Saturday:
You can still tune in and listen on IPlayer to the show if you're so minded! Link here to listen to an array of Tophill stalwarts!

The main stars of the weekend were however the marsh harriers.  Flying with increasing confidence since last weekend we're certainly up to three youngsters and there is a high likelihood of a fourth chick still calling in the nest.  More stunning pictures from Tony Simpson:
Johnny Pang too with another rat:
As did Steve Brimble with rabbit:
Alan Walkington got this shot of one with an apparent cloudy eye? We'll hope it comes through:
The birds should be present for about another week and then will gradually drift further away as they hunt for themselves.  Darren Smith got this shot last week of hopefully the next breeder for the reserve - osprey heading down river a week last Friday:
If you've been lucky you may also have seen a family of water rails present on the reedbed island as well as the otter family also there - thanks to Tony Simpson for these early morning shots - as ever remember you need to be a member to be in outside of normal open hours of 9am - 6pm:
Thanks to Johnny too for these of Kingfisher:
Barn owls have seemingly hatched on North Scrub too - Steve:

Martin did a sterling job showing these moths off for the RSPB Wildlife Explorers and at the open day - Margaret Boyd:
Thanks to Steve Smith for this array - more pictures as ever on Martin's blog - Elephant hawk:
Peach blossom
And buff tip:
Emerald damselfly by Johnny:
Thanks to Andrew Jackson for these too of common frog - a Tophill rarity!
And marbled white:
Swallows looking autumnal by Karen Williams:
So what's coming up in the next couple of weeks?;
We've already seen a smattering of green sandpipers like these two on Hempholme taken by Karen:
This should be followed up by more waders like whimbrel we've already had - we just need some rain now to top us the marshes... Keep an eye out too for stork suspects - we've had three separate reports of a stork sp. in recent days...