Sunday, 1 February 2009

Shag in Beverley (Just for you James!!!)

Saturday was like going back in time as I spent some time driving round the areas in East Yorkshire that I spent 4 years living and birding in. First stop was North Cave Wetlands for the Green-winged Teal, which after a while finally showed itself in amongst the grass on one of the islands. When I used to go birding at this site it was a case of looking through the gap in the hedge trying to avoid getting hit by tractors or boy racers but now there is a car park and some really smart hides and a lot of site improvements for both birds and people! I look forward to returning!!

The drake Green-winged Teal is hidden in the grass, you can just about see the distinctive white line - honest!

On then to Tophill Low Nature Reserve via Beverley, having not returned to the town since I left it in 2004 it was a little strange to be driving round it again! On arriving at Tophill I paid my entrance fee and met up with Lil Rich the site manager and James (Hotspur) who was busy volunteering. We spent a good half hour or so enjoying a warming cuppa and watching the very close range roosting Woodcock waiting for the birds to return to the feeders after a Sparrowhawk had been through (or was sitting there somewhere), eventually the birds started coming back and amongst the many Chaffinch (including a male double the size of the other males), Greenfinch, Tree Sparrow and Tits was a couple of smart male Bramblings, both targets from here scored!

A walk around the reserve looking at all of the site improvements underway resulted in the main targets, the two redhead Smew (presumably a female/1st winter and a 1st winter male), they showed really well, with other bits seen including Pintail and most of the common waterfowl. A possible day-roosting Tawny Owl almost got us all!!! A few winter thrushes were seen moving about, a sign of things to come??? Back at the visitors centre the Water Rail was showing itself under the bird feeders! This ended a really nice day out with 4 strategic year tick! Thanks to James and Rich for the company.

The two 'red-head' Smew at Watton Borrow Pits, fairly distantly just before they moved over to the far pool. One bird is considered to be a 1st winter male, the other is presumably a first winter female.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andy, love the title! Whats your email address? PM me on bf - or email me on j(dot)a(dot)spencer(dot)1982(at)googlemail(dot)com and i can send over that thing we talked about.