Thursday, 19 September 2013

Happy Birthday!

Not just to Tophill Low Nature Reserve (which is 20 years old as a Nature Reserve next month) - but to this little fella - a male belted galloway born around 6am this morning; and we reckon the first to be born at Tophill Low since 1956 when the pastoral farm disappeared to make way for the water works:
Checked over by Edward and Nicola he's been deemed in fine fettle.  If any of you missed it Nicola and Edward were 'Farm of the Week' in the Yorkshire Post on Saturday; you can read the article here
Freshly raised water levels in the Hempholme Meadow and South Marsh East have been pulling in a few snipe (unlike Spurn there's no cats in these areas...), with a green sandpiper on today there has been a thin smattering of dunlin and common sandpipers too.  Autumn is truly here - the annual autumn recurrence of transient jays in the D woodlands is a sign (2 on the 12th), and these swallows were amassing for the off at Hempholme:
There have been hundreds of swallows, house martins and sand martins over the reservoirs again heading south.  One of which was taken by the hobby which is still very active over the reserve - a brief glimpse at Hempholme this evening:
The main show stealers this week have been the otters - up to three seen regularly in daylight at the moment on North Marsh - pictures on the Facebook page and some nice ones here by Chris Cone:
Yesterday it was apparently harvesting frogs (4 at a time) and possibly taking them back to a natal holt behind the hide.  Supporting cast as ever the kingfishers - thanks to Bruce Pillinger for this one:
More on Trevor Allsopp's Flickr page here.  It appears the barn owls have fledged from North Scrub with 3 seen flying in D woods yesterday.  Much of the annuals are now setting seed on South Marsh as the water rise; I can now see previous Warden Peter Izzard's objection to nodding bur marigold! - wire brush required:
Caterpillar sp. working its way through - to be identified when the nights draw in more:
There are still three places left on the bridge camera workshop event on Saturdayrunning from 10:00 – 16:00 Join wildlife photographer Maurice Gordon for hints and tips on how to get the best out of your technique and digital post processing techniques.  Book in advance. Price £15 per person - camera necessary!

You can even ring up the reserve on 01377 270690 as we have a working phone line again now after three weeks - a real red letter day all round!