Sunday, 8 December 2013

Cracking on

We've been pretty lucky at Tophill given the terrible scenes at many of the Humber Reserve's in recent days - check out Tim's Birding blog and Dave Tucker's blog for some of the effects on Spurn.  Whilst tidal the river Hull next to us is so low at present the lowering of the flood barrier saw no surge of Humber water or back up of water.  That's not to say we got off scott free; the winds of Thursday were very strong with colossal waves breaking over the D res wall (some great pictures on Erich's blog).  A few trees were damaged in the woodlands including this poplar whose top blew out and had to felled as it perilously hung over the path:
Its days are far from over however.  The stumps left make the habitat needed for nesting willow tits, the large bough we have left will house some interesting fungi in the years to come and the brash home to wrens.  The gaps we'll refill with some nice understorey species in future.  The wind saw off the last autumn colour (Brian Colley):
Blue tit on the feeders - Roy Vincent:
It's always a hope we get something interesting in off the back of strong winds and the 'Viking gull' - or herring x glaucous gull found by Martin Hodges caused some interest on Thursday evening.  A couple of mediterranean gulls were present last night.  Perhaps the highlight bird of the last week has been the female scaup which has been quite confiding on D res including today - pictures by Karen Williams:
Goldeneye numbers have climbed ten fold since last week but we're still looking for the smew.  Otherwise willow tit, marsh tit, brambling, up to 200 linnet, 60 curlew, water rails and a couple of kestrels have all been regular (Karen Williams):
Mute Swan fly over (Brian):
Meanwhile work continues apace on the otter holt project - Thanks to Roy Vincent for the photo log.  End of work on day one:
Pollarding bankside willows:
And delivering the pipes:
We then received our visit by Building Control; Otter came for a progress inspection prior to last Sunday's start:
And the mother and cub were seen three times yesterday morning:
Footings going in ready for the walls - the build is better than most houses!:
If you want to join us to track the otters down then why not join us on next Sunday's mammal safari event.  We'll be looking for tracks and trails of otters, deer and looking at how to use trail cameras amongst other hints and tips.  Book in advance on 01377 270690.