An excellent start to 2017 on the reserve. As ever it was our annual year listing day where we aim to bag the most species possible on the 1st of the 1st. Last year was a mediocre 66 and 2015 a record 73.
Starting at the road in this proved to be a crucial series of additions:
1. Feral pigeon on the wires of Angram Farm (the start of the Yorkshire Water access road)
2. Carrion crow
3. Blue tit (Christine Watts from yesterday pic)
5. Wood pigeon
7. House Sparrow (only place to reliably get on the site)
8. Tree Sparrow
9. Great tit
15. Brambling - a fine find that was at the farm at lunch time
16. A turn onto the access road proper revealed kestrel
17. Common buzzard
18. Great black backed gull
19. Common gull
21. Herring gull
23. The sunflower game cover crops of Easingwold Farm were a treasure trove with redwing
26. Reed bunting
29. Corn bunting - 5 of
31. Grey Partridge
32. A fly over little egret
33. With peregrine falcon watching from the pylons
35. Arriving in the car park the very showy siskins were evident everywhere
36. Long tailed tit amongst the trees
37. Treecreeper with them
38. Wren around the toilets
39. Goldcrest in the larches
40. Starting off around the southern end of the site was shoveler on North Lagoon
41. The sometimes erratic two thrushes were picked up in the WTW compound with song
42. And mistle thrush
43. Heading straight to Watton were a few lapwings
44. And arriving there wildfowl built up with pochard
50. Tufted duck
52. Mute swan (Christine Watts from yesterday pic)
54. Little grebe
55. Redshank - being annoyed by
57. A stroll back via the marshes revealed pintail on O reservoir
58. Great crested grebe
59. Pied wagtail (Christine Watts from yesterday pic)
62. A break for lunch followed with a trip north around D res. Greylag goose being the next
63. Amongst them a white fronted goose spiced things up but no sign of the pink foot
64. Coal tit was on the feeders
65. Great spotted woodpecker on some standing deadwood
66. Marsh tit on the feeders but no sign of willow
67. A walker on the river bank flushed a woodcock which circled the feeder pond and dropped into cover.
68. North Marsh had earlier shown water rail - along with some excellent views of otters through the day.
69. Kingfisher had also been here earlier and we found later on the river (Christine Watts from yesterday pic)
71. Leaving the hide a marsh harrier flew SE down the river Hull
72. Three grey herons were in Standingholme Meadow
73. A fruitless search of D res gull roost yielded nothing new though a lesser black backed gull had been seen earlier
74. A couple of lone observers reported in with late records of stock dove in O wood
75. Curlew coming into roost on Watton
76. Tawny owl in O wood
77. And finally one of the residents had willow tit on their feeders all day
So a cracking result - the finest year listing day yet beating the record by 4 species with nothing of great rarity required.
As ever to critique the score:
No collared dove - again a Tophill rarity after a peak of 48 a few years ago.
No barn owl - poor weather all day. Luckily the camera battery for the nest we had forgotten to turn off so couldn't be viewed remotely, saving ourselves a mire of debate on this topic (I had one driving out at Watton village but too far out for site)
No linnet, snipe (common or jack), grey wag, bittern, the smew, long tailed duck, great white egret and black necked grebe all hidden. No med gull (or other exotica), no goosander, little owl absent from Hallytreeholme which had been present on Wednesday. So all in all plenty of room for manoeuvre in future...
Stop press!.. very late addition of barn owl on Starberry Bridge takes us to 78.
In addition fox, roe deer, and otters x 2
Best of all we also undertook a fund raiser for Jean Thorpe who has helped us out with numerous injured animals over the years (details here). The grand total being £87.45 - many thanks for everyone's generosity and help through the day.
Hopefully the start of many more for the year...