Friday, 10 January 2014

Reaping for rewards

Bird of the week has been a white fronted goose which joined the seemingly resident canada on Hempholme Meadow which turned up on Sunday and was still there today.  A pink footed goose on Watton last Sunday too created a near wintry feel.  2 kingfishers made an unseasonal return to North Marsh where bullfinches have been quite active; thanks to Darren Smith for this one:
The D res has contained the female and 1st winter male scaup all week, and the roost has turned up mediterranean gulls most nights observed - 2 last Saturday, 4 on Sunday.  50 curlew are often to be found on Watton as per Brian Colley's pic here:
These mute swans were obviously disturbing something good:
Bob Morris actually bumped the Jan 1st total up to 69 with a late merlin record on the day too on Easingwold Farm; And Brian spotted this common buzzard being mobbed by carrion crow:
Great white egret has fleetingly been seen around site - presumably one of the Hornsea birds now ranging about.  Three years ago this would have been a highly notable record; now its treated with near indifference as all the southern herons seem to becoming more common.

Elsewhere marsh and willow tit in the woods have been joined by siskins on the feeders.

But we're thinking of spring now; chiefly on the South Marsh East.  There's now a substantial depth of water but an awful lot of vegetation to cut to re-open the vista for breeding birds from invasive willow saplings; Rob and Ken turn the clock back 70 years or so in a pre war Hull Valley scene:
The new island in the centre of the marshes has had around a tonne of gravel floated out to provide a home for common terns this year:
We'll be re-fencing and electrifying the islands nearer the hide to prevent a fox massacre this summer.  But we're optimistic for a bumper year for both breeders and waders this summer as decaying vegetation from last summer kick starts a food chain.