Thursday, 19 May 2022

The Local Patch.....24th April,8th & 14th May 2022.

A summary of the last three visits to the local patch saw me seeing some great birds,with 9 new additions to the year list,with some lovely species recorded.

24th April

 An early start as is par for the course now we have light mornings,saw a lovely greeting as i got out of the car at Winter's Pond....a singing male Cuckoo and the first of the year for me here.

I could not see him as i got my kit together as he was singing over near the chimney somewhere,but great to hear all the same.

As i walked down towards the Humber,a Lesser Whitethroat rattled away in the hedgerow and showed unusually well for a Lesserthroat and a couple of Sedge Warblers sang away as the resident male Cetti's Warblers blasted away that loud song.

The Humber looked good for some Tern passage,with a easterly wind and slight mist,but i could see nothing after a good hour,so had a wander and decided to look again on the dropping tide later.

A walk along the mitigation site,saw a few Teal and Shoveler still present and also 2 Drake Wigeon and a lovely female Pintail with them.

Overhead a sudden bit of commotion saw a pair of immature Peregrines shooting past and towards Killingholme,which are always nice to see here and to think when i first started birding, they were a description species in Lincolnshire and pretty rare it has to be said.I'm so glad their fortunes have changed for the better.

After covering the mitigation area,i decided to look around the Skitter,then walked along Skitter Road then Station Road and back to Winter's again seeing nothing out of the ordinary from the avian world,but i did manage to find a 10-spot Ladybird along the grass verge near Redhouse Wood,which is the first record of the species for the patch.

Another look on the Humber from the floodbank at Winter's on the dropping tide,had the desired effect with me seeing 3 Arctic Terns as they headed out south along the Estuary,such great birds to see and an annual passage migrant here.

8th May

A cold start this morning at Winter's,with 4 degrees C showing on the car temperature gauge,so a few layers to start was the order of the day.

As i walked an obvious increase in summer migrants was quickly noted,with 7 singing male Sedge Warbler,10 singing male Reed Warbler,2 singing male Willow Warbler still and the Cuckoo was still in residence.

A watch from the floodbank,saw the unusual sight of a single Pink-footed Goose flying up the estuary,with some considerable wing damage and it probably explains why it was still here and has not migrated.

The mitigation area was the next destination and at last a good bird on here,as i found a cracking Drake Garganey feeding on one of the pools.I watched as i he fed along with a couple of Teal,occasionally calling with that bizarre Crackling call they have,just great to hear.

Other birds on here included a single Ruff,3 Whimbrel,5 Little Egret and a pair of Lapwings with at least 1 chick which was great to see.

The Skitter area held the usual suspects,with 2 pairs of Greylag having goslings,1 with 2 young and the other pair with 7.

There was also 2 pairs of Lapwing squeaking,the sound they make when they have young,but i could not see any to confirm numbers.

Goxhill Marsh held a few species i cannot mention here due to their breeding status,but additional to these were 4 Whimbrel feeding on a stubble field.

Dawson City held very little in the way of birds,but i did manage to find a single Myathropa florea,which was new for my local patch list.

When i arrived back at Winter's the Drake Garganey was swimming around on the main lake and looked to be feeding on St.Mark's Flies which had fallen into the water,giving some cracking views,but better was to come.

I was scanning around the lake watching the Garganey,when a Hobby appeared from nowhere and began to hawk Damselflies and St.Mark's Flies showing really well.

As i have said here so many times,these are such smart birds and a real privilege to watch.

14th May

A lovely sun rise at dawn at Winter's saw the visit off to a flyer,as i found a singing male Redstart along the track down to the Humber.

I managed to see him a couple of times,before he flew over to the mitigation area,still occasionally singing.

I then turned around to see a Cattle Egret fly past me and onto the grassland near the car park,so i went around to try and get some video.

While messing about getting some phone-scoped video a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull flew in and joined the flock of immature Black-headed Gulls which have been hanging around here for a few weeks.

This was mental local patching in the first hour or so of light and just goes to show what a cracking little site this is.

More scanning around the lake saw me adding another year tick for the patch in the form of 6 Swift as they powered north along the Estuary,a welcome sight to see these cracking birds on the patch again.

A scan from the flood bank for an hour saw another Tern species added to the local patch year list,as 2 Common Terns flew overhead towards Killingholme,to say i was having a good morning was an understatement!.

A walk along the mit site up to the Skitter,saw a couple of female Greenland type Wheatears being seen,typical bold supers and the bigger build than our native breeding birds.

Also on here was a smart male White Wagtail watched feeding around what is left of the pools,they are unfortunately disappearing at a rapid rate.

Some nice butterfly sightings were recorded on here today and included 2 Brown Argus and a Small Copper,my first local patch sightings of the year.

I gave the Skitter area a good look over on arrival,with the incredible sight of 4 male Cuckoo's watched chasing and singing together,i really do hope they all successfully breed,as this is another species which is sadly declining.

Some great insects were also seen around here today,with a lifer and obviously a new species for here,the diminutive Longhorn Beetle Grammoptera ruficornis.It was found on a Sycamore leaf while i was looking for other insects,a easy species to overlook.

Other interesting insect sightings included a Mother Shipton Moth and a Yellow Tail Caterpillar.

On arrival back at Winter's the Cattle Egret was still going about its business and the male Redstart was occasionally singing in the copse next to the car park and was receiving some unwanted attention from a Robin.

Well what a great 3 visits here and the year list is now standing on a respectable 134 species,onwards and upwards to more nice finds.

Horse Chestnut Flowers At The Skitter.

Female Orange Tip,East Halton Skitter.

Cardinal Beetle Sp. Pyrochroa serraticornis,East Halton Skitter.

Longhorn Beetle Sp. Grammoptera ruficornis,East Halton Skitter.

Wolf Spider Sp. Trochosa ruricola,East Halton Skitter.

Female Large-red Damselfly Of The Form 'Fulvipes' At East Halton Skitter.

Empid Fly Sp. Empis tesselata,East Halton Skitter.

Winter's Dawn.

Winter's Pond.

Ruins Pond,Goxhill Marsh.

Myathropa florea,Dawson City LWTR,Goxhill.

Dawson City LWTR,Goxhill.

Ten-spot Ladybird,Red House Wood,East Halton.

Hoverfly Sp. Rhingia campestris,East Halton.

The Skitter Beck Outfall,East Halton Skitter.

Male Orange Tip,East Halton.

Misty Humber.

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