Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Flaming June

Flaming June is the title of a painting and has nothing to do with the weather, despite people using the term. I have been on duty at Blacktoft on a Wednesday during this June and have had to light the wood burning stove on 3 occasions. Today was no exception. The weather was ok when I arrived at the reserve just after 8am so I decided to do a bit of birding before opening the visitor centre. Marshland hide was the place to be with a couple of spoonbills, spotted redshanks and black tailed godwits on show with 11 little egrets for company as well.




 Meanwhile Townsend hide had two green sandpipers on view.


As you can see from the pictures the weather had soon turned cloudy and before long the promised rain started. The birders that turned up enjoyed seeing the birds especially when bearded tits appeared at the edge of the reedbed. I hope that they are still about for our walk on Saturday morning.
A reed warbler was busy feeding in front of the reception hide.



 The marsh harriers were active once the rain stopped and as they flew across the different lagoons they disturbed the black tailed  godwits which flew down to Townend hide before returning to Marshland.
The spoonbills flew down to Singleton and landed at the back out of sight.
I had a quick look in at Marshland after reception had closed the godwits and the spotted redshanks looked better in the better light, but they were not very close to the hide. A small group of little egrets were stood next to a grey heron.




I am back on duty on Friday and hope that the weather improves.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

North Cave Wetlands

My plans for the day changed so I decided to go out this morning before the rain set in. I decided to go east as the rain was spreading from the west. It was 0930 when I arrived at the car park and the sun was shining. I decided to walk round the reserve and set off along the path to the east hide. The vegetation is starting to grow over the path.
From the hide the overwhelming noise is from the black headed gulls. Some of the larger black headed gull chicks are now big enough to fly and at a quick glance it would be possible to mistake the birds for something else.
On the way to the Turret hide I saw some orchids
The noise from the hide was  again that of black headed gulls and there were gulls of all sizes. I was reading this week that the spring this year took at least one week longer to spread from the south to the north, and there were reports of young birds not surviving due to the cold. I could se young mallards and tufted ducks, so these birds are trying to raise another brood.

As I walked near the dragonfly ponds I noticed several flowers


I had several attempts at taking pictures of dragon and damsel flies but they were only settling for a second or two.







Several butterflies were on the wing but were reluctant to settle.


A male reed bunting was chirping away

and a robin was quietly watching from a nearby branch.
On the way to the car I noticed 4 rooks sat in atree.

It was now lunchtime and it was starting to rain so I headed for home. Wednesday and Friday I am on duty at Blacktoft and leading a walk looking for bearded tits on Saturday morning.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Longest day birding

After a busy day at school I did a few jobs and then set off for Blacktoft Sands. I sat down in Ousefleet hide just before 6:30. The water level had gone down revealing lots of mud which was the feeding ground for about 6 black headed gulls. About 40 teal were dabbling in the shallow water and 16 lapwings were stood together on one small island, A redshank was busily feeding whilst a little ringed plover just stood and looked at the scene.
The setting sun was shining directly into the hide at Marshland making viewing impossible.
Xerox hide had nothing to add to my day list.
First hide had a mute swan family and a little egret innfront of it.



53 lapwings were on an island in front of Townend hide.
From Singleton hide I saw a couple of food passes by marsh harriers and a hunting short eared owl and barn owl. A very pleasant way to spend the longest day. I took these pictures at 9:15 pm.


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Out and about

I have a very busy nine days ahead of me so I only managed a few hours birding today. My first stop was at Blacktoft Sands to talk to Alex about the Barn Owl walk this coming Friday. After our chat I had a walk to Msrshland hide where I saw this little grebe.
All of the pictures on this blog have been taken with my Sony point and shoot camera, as after re-charging the battery in my Canon camera, I forgot to put it back in the camera!!
A grey heron came in to fish
I then walked to Ousefleet hide. The water level is dropping quite quickly but it has attracted some waders. I saw redshank, spotted redshank and lapwings, as well as 100 plus teal, 5 little egrets, 4 shelduck.

Not much activity in front of Xerox hide. First hide still has a family of tufted ducks in front of it and the mute swan still have one cygnet.
A small group of ducks on Townend, some of which are starting to moult.
From Singleton hide I had good views of marsh harrier and sedge warbler.
On my way home I stopped and had a look at the Ouse at high tide.
 I went home the scenic route and passed by Wressle Castle.