Friday, 9 August 2013

Freed from slav

The hot topic this week has been the two grebes we posted last week.  There is certainly a substantial difference in the birds and there has been a justifiable suggestion that one could be a slavonian.  After a lot of head scratching and further photos it would seem everyone is now united that they are both black necks.  Thanks to Roy L for these photos of the birds:
They've been hotly discussed on the Yorkshire Birder's facebook page - but regardless of the outcome a bit of head scratching is always good as it makes people think a bit more than simply looking at what they've been told they're looking at.

More sparrowhawk pictures this time from Roy Vincent:
We've now confirmed there are three sparrowhawk nests on site - all readily found by volume.  Tony McLean got these cracking shots of a female hen harrier over Watton NR last week - a shame in light of recent news of the first year they've failed to breed in England since the 60's:
Faring better have been our harriers - another cracking shot by Tony - and the rabbit did escape!:
Likewise the little ringed plover chick - a worthwhile output from the drained down South Marsh East:
We've now started putting water back into the marsh amongst the newly excavated spits and channels.  To achieve this we need to drain down the neighbouring South Marsh West and this and the newly mown Hempholme Meadows have both been drawing in the waders. 

2 whimbrel SMW on the 8th with 1 curlew
3 greenshank over D res on the 7th and 1 on Hempholme this am
8 snipe on the 7th over SME with 1 on today
3 green sandpipers on SMW this morning
Wood sandpiper Hempholme on the 6th
Avocet over on the 6th

The best of the rest 15 little gull on the 5th, with further singles through the week
Osprey today again over O res
Hobby hunting north pond
Little egret on Hempholme
Marsh tit in D woods
Water rail on South Marsh West
And otters on both SMW and N Marsh

There's some nice insects around at the moment - check out Michael Flowers site for a nice write up of the reserve walk.  Thanks to Roy L for this of southern hawker:
It's national moth night tomorrow - so on Sunday morning at 10am we'll be opening the traps up for a final time this year (in public!) to see the array of species on offer.  A fitting celebration of the passing of the 500th moth species recorded at Tophill Low in its history.  A great testament to the hard work of the volunteers over the years - and chiefly Martin Hodges and Doug Fairweather in recent times. A cracking write up and photos on Martin's blog as always - I'm sure the volunteer team will enjoy seeing the mouth parts of cleg flies in macro no end having been feasted upon by them for the last month.

So waders is order of the moment - check out that mud...