Saturday, 6 August 2016

Patchwork challenge 2016 June and July roundup

Over these two months I managed to add 9 birds and 11 points. However 8 of these birds and 10 of the points were added in July (why I didn't do a roundup at the end of June).

The only addition in June was an unexpected Spotted Flycatcher in Hunmanby. This was on the 9th. This is the first time I had seen this species in the village and I will hopefully see more in the future. This was my 98th species for the patch (this year).

Spotted Flycatcher
The next additions weren't for another month. On the 10th of July I managed to get some birds passing through at Hunmanby Gap in the form of two Dunlin and some Teal
However the month's highlight came on the 11th with 69 Whimbrel. This was a good passage south at Hunmanby Gap and along with a Pochard got me onto 102 species.
Whimbrel (with two Curlew)
The next addition on the 14th was an Eider, not what I expected to see until winter, this got me onto 103 species (it was also at the Gap).
The 15th boasted two more patch ticks at Hunmanby Gap with two Knot and a Mistle thrush, the Mistle thrush was an extremely long-awaited bird that had eluded me for seven months!

Knot (one of two together)

My last addition of July was on the 31st in the form of three Gadwall. This was a good tick because other than flyovers my patch isn't the best for ducks. By the end of the month I was on 127 points and 106 species. I now can't wait until the autumn passage really kicks off.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Volunteering at Tophill Low

The day got off to a great start with a Marsh harrier on the access road. Once there I went and had a look on D res where the winter Coot numbers were starting to pick up. The first task of the day was getting rid of some Himalayan Balsam an invasive non native plant. The next task was surveying for Great Water Parsnip, a very rare water plant which was once extinct in East Yorkshire. We managed to find quite a lot. After doing this I spent the afternoon with another birder looking for birds and seeing what was about. The first things we saw were four Green sandpipers on North Lagoon, they were accompanied by a lone Common sandpiper. A Kingfisher then flew through. We then walked around O res. There were lots of Butterflies including Painted ladies and Peacock. Then a large raptor flew over, we were incredibly surprised as it was a Goshawk, an uncommon species for the site. Unfortunately I didn't manage a picture as it flew over within a matter of seconds.We also saw a Hobby hunting Swallows. On South Marsh East we saw loads of Green sandpipers, Little egrets and a Greenshank. Once back at the visitor centre my dad had arrived, he told me about a 2nd winter Mediterranean gull on D res, after many attempts this was the first one I had seen at Tophill itself (but I have seen lots in other places). After this I went to catch up with my dad and saw a female/juv Garganey. All in all a good day.

Great Water Parsnip 
Green sandpipers
Peacock butterflies 
Painted lady
Young Little grebe